Rivals Rankings Roundtable: Who should move up?
It has been a long high school season filled with excellent matchups and valuable evaluation opportunities. Today, we ask the Rivals team of analysts to name one prospect in their region that they will push for a move higher in the next round of rankings in the coming weeks.
ROB CASSIDY: DEREK WINGO
"Florida commit Derek Wingo is a five-star and I will be driving that push during the upcoming rankings meetings. Wingo had added size and no linebacker in the country is more athletic. His upside is off-the-charts, as he has first-round pick potential." – Rob Cassidy, Florida analyst
ADAM FRIEDMAN: MARLOWE WAX
"I’ve written about a couple guys in the last few months that would fit for this answer but the one I’ll highlight here is Syracuse commit Marlowe Wax. He does a solid job as a running back at the high school level but he doesn’t have excellent top-end speed. On the defensive side of the ball, Wax is plenty physical, sees running lanes well, and flies to the ball. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him end up a linebacker at Syracuse." – Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic analyst
ADAM GORNEY: CJ STROUD
"There are a few in the West region who have been very impressive this season but four-star quarterback CJ Stroud tops the list for me. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., prospect, who is looking at Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon and others, has been so outstanding this season. He’s not only putting up huge numbers but he’s athletic, has a big arm and has outplayed a lot of quarterbacks ranked ahead of him. He’s due for a big bump in the rankings after I’ve seen him numerous times this season." – Adam Gorney, West Coast analyst
JOSH HELMHOLDT: RAYSHAUN BENNY
"Five-star Justin Rogers has gotten the lion's share of attention out of Oak Park (Mich.) High School this season, and for good reason, but junior Rayshaun Benny is deserving of increased hype. Like Rogers, Benny plays on both lines for Oak Park, but his highest upside is on the offensive line. Even though he started as a four-star, he has outplayed his rating this season." – Josh Helmholdt, Midwest analyst
CHAD SIMMONS: BRIAN BRANCH
"Brian Branch is a player that is already on the back end of the Rivals250, but after seeing him this season, and seeing more of the type of player he projects as on the next level, he needs to be higher. Much higher. I am going to push for him to be in the Rivals100 and to get a major boost up the rankings. Not only has the Alabama commit played at a high level at defensive back, but he has shined on offense and special teams as well. He is a player that hardly left the field this season and his stock is at an all-time high for me." – Chad Simmons, Southeast analyst
SAM SPIEGELMAN: MARVIN MIMS
"Marvin Mims completely surpassed my expectations during his senior season. Mims is a high three-star, but he’s played way above that grade and has dominated week in and week out. Also deserving of a mention here are Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Parker Washington. Smith-Njigba is a Rivals100 prospect but he’s flirting with five-star status. Washington added his fourth star after a big spring, and he is astounding to see play." – Sam Spiegelman, Texas/Louisiana analyst
WOODY WOMMACK: JALIN HYATT
"I was really impressed with Tennessee wide receiver commit Jalin Hyatt when I saw him play earlier in the fall. The knock on him has always been that he's slight of build, but he has something that can't be coached – elite speed. He can be quite the weapon in the right offense, especially playing out of the slot, so I'll be advocating for him to make a move up at his position." – Woody Wommack, Southeast analyst