Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 DBs
With the updated 2024 Rivals250 being unveiled this week, it's now time to dive into the position rankings. The defensive position rankings are being released today and here we focus on the defensive backs.
NEW 2O24 RANKINGS: Cornerback | Safety
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Tuesday: Who should be No. 1?
Wednesday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars
Thursday: New Rivals250 unveiled | Biggest risers | Position-by-position glance
Friday: Offensive position rankings released
Saturday: Defensive position rankings released
Sunday: State rankings released
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State
NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Desmond Ricks
Desmond Ricks retains his top spot and remains the lone 2024 five-star defensive back in the latest rankings release. He is a special talent with the physical and athletic skill-set to be a dominant player at the college level and beyond. Ricks is built like a safety but plays like a physical cover corner and that is a combination that you rarely find in a defensive back, especially one that has only played two seasons of high school football. With his size, speed, strength and hip mobility, Ricks is as complete of a corner as you are going to find at this stage of their career. Alabama appears to be an early favorite with LSU, Miami and others in the mix for the 2024 phenom.
TWO TEAMS TO WATCH: Alabama and Georgia
The Tide are a top contender for multiple top-10 prospects in the defensive backfield with their most notable target being five-star corner Desmond Ricks. Charles Lester III, the nation's No. 2 overall corner prospect, appears to favor Alabama early on and Rivals250 newcomer Wardell Mack also appears to have the Crimson Tide toward the top of his list. Mack may not be a household name yet, but he has all of the tools to be one, and if Alabama can manage a clean sweep of those three prospect it will be a tough battle for any team in the nation to replicate a group of that caliber. Nick Saban's reputation of consistently identifying and developing NFL talent in the secondary makes Alabama a contender to sign the nation's top defensive back class on a yearly basis.
The reigning national champions are fresh off a season where they were nothing short of dominant on defense. Shortly after the season ended, the Bulldogs went on to dominate the NFL Draft as well, with a record five defensive players selected in the first-round. After such a performance, it should come with little surprise that Georgia is now a destination spot for top defensive talent. The Bulldogs already have the nation's No. 4 corner recruit Antoine Jackson committed and remain a serious contender for other elite defensive back talent in Ellis Robinson, Damani Maxson, KJ Bolden (listed as an athlete but could end up playing defensive back) and No. 15 corner Jalyn Crawford. There is little question that Georgia will be a contender for one of the top defensive back classes in the country and they are already off to a good start with the highest ranked defensive back commit in the nation.
THREE PROSPECTS TO WATCH: Jaylen Heyward, Wardell Mack and Aaron Scott
Jaylen Heyward has had a phenomenal offseason on the camp and 7-on-7 circuit and made a gigantic leap in the latest rankings as a result. The Rockledge, Fla. safety jumped 67 spots to become the No. 5 prospect at his position and No. 86 player overall in the nation. Although Heyward is listed as a safety he can cover like a lockdown corner and he has the speed to match his spectacular play on the field. He appears to favor the SEC and Alabama, Georgia and Florida are the top teams involved in his recruitment at this point.
You don't go from unranked to a top-100 prospect over the span of one rankings release without seriously impressing a lot of people and that is exactly what Wardell Mack has done. The Louisiana native is a dynamic athlete that makes everything he does look effortless and he does this while only scratching the surface of what he will eventually be as a football player. Mack has a great frame, is incredibly smooth and can do just about anything on the football field. Look for LSU to try and close on the Louisiana native as soon as possible because the longer his recruitment goes the harder he will be to land.
Aaron Scott has been phenomenal this offseason and his recruiting stock has gone through the roof as a result. The Springfield, Ohio standout has been a top performer at every camp I've seen him at this spring and with his frame, athleticism and raw talent there is no telling how good Scott can eventually be. His development from the football season to where he is now has been a thing of beauty to follow and as a 5.8 four-star he may even be a little underrated. If Scott continues to develop the way he has over the span of the past few months, he will jump in the rankings and add to his already impressive offer list. Look for Ohio State and Notre Dame to battle it out for Scott's pledge in the end.