Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 linebackers
With the updated Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it's now time to dive into the position rankings. The defensive position rankings are being released today, and next up are the linebackers:
UPDATED 2024 RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB | All-Purpose Back | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Defensive Tackle | Strongside Defensive End | Weakside Defensive End | Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Friday: State rankings released | Who will finish as top RB?
Saturday: Rankings Roundtable
NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Justin Williams
Florida commit Myles Graham was the lone five-star among the linebacker group but now the Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge standout has not only joined him as a five-star but emerged as the top player at that position so far this recruiting cycle.
Williams’ talent is nearly unquestionable as he has size, length, anticipation and the physical makeup to make plays all over the field. The new five-star also has the versatility to line up at numerous positions on the field to make an impact.
TWO PROGRAMS TO WATCH: Oregon and USC
The Pac-12 is not always necessarily known for its linebackers but among the top ones who remain uncommitted there is a lot of intrigue among the powerhouses in that conference.
Williams is definitely one who could end up with the Ducks and some believe it might only be a matter of time. Oregon is also very squarely in the mix for Long Beach (Calif.) Poly high four-star linebacker Dylan Williams, who raved about the coaching staff following his recent official visit. Trips to Washington and Miami are coming up.
Then there is USC. The Trojans decided to only bring in Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco teammates Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, a high four-star linebacker, and five-star safety Peyton Woodyard on officials last weekend.
It could end up paying off as Viliamu-Asa loved his time at USC and the plans the coaching staff has for him on and off the field. Bosco teammate Jordan Lockhart, a physical four-star as well, is also high on the Trojans among others.
THREE PROSPECTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Riddick has been committed to Georgia since November and there are many reasons – including back-to-back national championships – to believe the Bulldogs will keep his commitment. But Alabama is pushing very hard for the Clanton (Ala.) Chilton County in-state standout and an SEC power struggle is being waged for Riddick’s services. Auburn, for its part, is not giving up, either.
Waller is one of the more interesting linebacker prospects this cycle because there are diverging thoughts about where his recruitment is headed. There are some who believe after considering many others that he could end up in-state with Ole Miss looking best. But some others are adamant that the Picayune, Miss., four-star is leaving the state with Penn State holding a slight edge over Auburn at this point. His teammate, Chris Davis Jr., just backed off a commitment to the Rebels and last recruiting cycle Picayune standout Dante Dowdell chose Oregon over the local programs.
Capers is going to be one to watch. An injury has sidelined him for parts of the offseason and we wonder if he stays at linebacker or moves down to the line of scrimmage at some point. The Louisville commit had phenomenal sophomore film but since then has not flashed nearly as much. There are still plenty of rankings cycles to earn back that ranking and he’s shown in the past elite ability so he will be one to follow.