football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 athletes

With the updated 2024 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it's time to dive into the position rankings. The defensive position rankings are being released today, and the final position is the athletes.

Joshisa Trader
Joshisa Trader (

NEW 2024 POSITIONS RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB | Running back | All-Purpose Back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Offensive Tackle | Offensive Guard | Center | Defensive Tackle | Weakside Defensive End | Strongside Defensive End | Inside Linebacker | Outside Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Athlete



Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Robinson receives fifth star | Noland adds fifth star

Tuesday: New Rivals250 revealed | Gorney's thoughts | Ten prospects who could earn their fifth star

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings | QB spotlight | RB spotlight | WR/TE spotlight | OL spotlight

Thursday: Defensive position rankings | DL spotlight | LB spotlight | DB spotlight | ATH spotlight

Friday: State rankings


FINAL 2023 TEAM RANKINGS: Comprehensive (overall) ranking | High school/JUCO ranking | Transfer portal ranking

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer portal player ranking | Transfer portal team ranking | Transfer Tracker | Message board


Who's No. 1? 

The athlete position always has fluidity this time of year as Rivals gets a clearer picture on the future position of a blue-chip recruit. Previous top-ranked athlete Mike Matthews, a top-10 overall prospect, was moved to wide receiver based on his position preference and what he is expected to play in Knoxville. The move enabled another two-way skill talent in Trader to ascend to the top of the positional rankings, though a similar situation is likely with the Miami commitment going forward. He prefers offense but has flashes on defense like few prospects have in the class of 2024, so the jury relative to college may still be out especially considering Trader's plan to take five official visits in the fall. His recruitment may be far from over.

Trader envisions himself playing wideout at Miami, admitting wide receivers coach Kevin Beard was key in the Hurricanes landing him before he took any official visits. Still, he hasn't ruled out moonlighting on defense given his length and immense ball skills have long flashed at cornerback at the catch point. Trader has admitted there could be more upside on defense, even though his wide receiver polish has improved through the offseason. Many eyes will be on the Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna star not only for recruiting purposes, but also relative to that all-important position projection. The five-star will play a national slate opposite the nation's No. 1 wide receiver in Jeremiah Smith, who Trader complemented quite well en route to the program's latest state championship in 2022. CMHS is one of just two programs, along with Buford (Ga.) High School, entering the 2023 season with three Rivals five-stars in the senior class.



Movers & Shakers

Terry Bussey
Terry Bussey (Nick Harris)

Jalewis Solomon: Another wide receiver and defensive back hybrid, Solomon is more balanced in each discipline than most on this list, to the point he had offers to kick off his college career on either side of the ball among the finalists he was considering before an early August verbal commitment to Auburn. There, Solomon will likely begin his work in the secondary, where he flashed throughout the offseason with true length and range when tracking down the football. The full body of work not only saw Solomon move up within the athlete rankings, currently checking in at No. 4 at the position, but he shot up more than 50 spots overall in the Rivals250 in making his debut in the Rivals100 as the No. 91 overall prospect in the country regardless of position.

Jameer Grimsley: New to the Rivals250 and earning his fourth star was the recent Alabama commitment, who has enjoyed as steady a rise as any recruit in America over the last year or so. Grimsley stands a legitimate 6-foot-3, bringing not only offensive and defensive question marks relative to his position, but a potential debate between cornerback and safety on defense itself. He says Nick Saban and company continue to consider him a cornerback on their board, but even a conservative approach would cause for some further evaluation before making a singular position call on our end. Either way, Grimsley has sheer athleticism and ball skills in addition to his great length, all traits coveted no matter where one lines up in the secondary one day. As he fills out his frame and works more comfortably on the island, this rise in the rankings may not be quite over.

Terry Bussey: Now, the top uncommitted athlete in the Rivals250, the Texan is set to come off the board at the end of September with a group of finalists including Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma with multiple official visits still in play for early next month. Bussey may be the prospect with the purest skill set relative to the 'athlete' tag among the elites with a diverse athletic profile between playing three sports and flashing at multiple positions on the football field despite playing the quarterback position primarily. One could see the explosive talent work at receiver, running back, in the secondary or even as a quarterback depending on where he plays his college football.


Top five athlete classes so far

1. Arkansas: Jadan Baugh, Julius Pope, Ahkari Johnson, CJ Brown, Jeremy Cook

2. Tennessee: Mike Matthews, Boo Carter

3. Georgia: Demello Jones, Sacovie White

4. Illinois: Tysean Griffin, Amar Reynolds, Chase Green, Easton Baker

5. Arizona State: Dylan Tapley, Plas Johnson, Sire Gaines