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Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 defensive linemen

With the updated 2024 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it's time to look at the updated position rankings. The offensive position rankings were released Wednesday and today the defensive position rankings are in the spotlight. Up first is the defensive line.

Colin Simmons
Colin Simmons (Cole Patterson)

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?

There wasn't much movement among the very top players in the country and Nwaneri retained the No. 1 defensive lineman ranking in the Rivals250 and stayed at No. 3 overall. The recent Missouri commit, who chose the Tigers over Oklahoma, Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee, gives head coach Eliah Drinkwitz and his staff an instant impact player. Nwaneri has all the physical talent in the world (6-foot-6, 265 pounds with speed, quickness, and strength) and has worked hard to improve from a technical standpoint throughout the offseason. Now, the season is upon us and Nwaneri will be able to show everyone a preview of what they'll see at the next level.

Nwaneri leads a very impressive group of seven five-star defensive linemen. No. 5 overall Colin Simmons recently committed to Texas while Ohio State picked up a huge commitment from No. 8 overall Justin Scott just before July 4. At the beginning of August, South Carolina added a commitment from No. 16 overall Dylan Stewart. David Stone (No. 10 overall), Kamarion Franklin (No. 11 overall) and Eddrick Houston (No. 17 overall) are the remaining uncommitted five-star defensive linemen but each of them will have announced their decisions by the end of the month.



Movers & Shakers

David Stone
David Stone (Nick Lucero/

Multiple five-stars are getting close to announcing their decisions. David Stone, the fourth-highest-ranked defensive lineman in the Rivals250, is set to come off the board on Aug. 26. Miami, Michigan State and Oklahoma are the teams to watch out for there. Five-star Kamarion Franklin, the fifth highest-ranked defensive lineman in the Rivals250, is expected to announce his commitment on Saturday. Auburn is in good position here but Miami is a team to watch out for along with Tennessee and Ole Miss. Look for five-star Eddrick Houston, the seventh-highest-ranked defensive lineman in the Rivals250, to announce his commitment on Aug. 22. Ohio State is viewed as the leader as we head down the stretch but Georgia, Clemson, Alabama and USC are in the mix.

Tennessee has the momentum in Rivals250 No. 81 overall Jordan Ross' recruitment. Florida and Georgia are in the mix and so is Alabama. Oregon is working hard to get his attention as well. With his Aug. 21 decision date less than a week away, the Vols are doing all they can to make sure Ross doesn't slip away.

Oklahoma seemed like the early favorite for Rivals250 No. 82 overall Nigel Smith but he's gone through the recruiting process and took official visits to Ohio State, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M along with one to Oklahoma. The Sooners worked hard to keep his attention throughout the process and it seems like they're still holding onto that top spot. Smith will announce his commitment on Sept. 8 so there is a little less than a month for teams to still jockey for position.


Top five defensive line classes so far

1. Georgia: Joseph Jonah-Ajonye, Justin Greene, Jordan Thomas, Quintavius Johnson, Nnamdi Ogboko

2. Clemson: Darien Mayo, Hevin Brown-Shuler, Champ Thompson, Adam Kissayi

3. Oregon: Tionne Gray, Xadavien Sims, Jaxson Jones

4. Texas: Colin Simmons, D'Antre Robinson, Alex January, Melvin Hills

5. Miami: Marquise Lightfoot, Elias Rudolph, Artavius Jones, Daylen Russell