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Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 D-linemen

Elijah Griffin
Elijah Griffin (

With the updated 2025 Rivals250 and the offensive position rankings being released earlier this week, we now turn our focus to the defensive position rankings. First up are the defensive linemen.

NEW 2025 POSITION 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



Sunday: Who should be No. 1 in the 2025 Rivals250?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released | Biggest risers | Gorney's thoughts

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | QB rankings breakdown | RB rankings breakdown | WR/TE rankings breakdown

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released | DL rankings breakdown | LB rankings breakdown

Friday: State rankings released



NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Elijah Griffin

Even though Griffin isn't the top-ranked prospect in the nation any longer, he remains the No. 1 defensive line prospect in this rankings update. The Georgia native has an undeniable skillset that should allow him to be an almost immediate impact player when he arrives at the college level.

Griffin's 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame allows him to overpower nearly any offensive lineman who lines up across from him and he has a great success rate against double-teams. What sets him apart at this point in his career is the quickness he also brings to the table with that size.

Griffin is able to chase down ball carriers when they get to the outside and he consistently flushes quarterbacks out of the pocket if he isn't bringing them to the ground. Physically, Griffin has the tools to play a variety of positions on the defensive line depending on how he develops at the college level.

Georgia, South Carolina, Florida State and many other programs are heavily recruiting him.



Zion Grady
Zion Grady (Nick Lucero/

Alabama: Even though the Crimson Tide already hold commitments from Rivals250 defensive linemen Zion Grady, Javion Hilson and Antonio Coleman, Alabama is expected to load up with elite defensive line prospects in the 2025 class. Along with Griffin, the Crimson Tide are in pursuit of defensive ends such as top-25 prospect Nathaniel Marshall, top-50 prospects Bryce Davis and Jared Smith and top-100 prospect London Merritt. Rivals250 defensive end Amaree Williams is also one of Alabama's top defensive end targets. At defensive tackle look for the Crimson Tide to focus their efforts on Andrew Maddox and D.J. Sanders, both are top-35 prospects. Rivals250 defensive tackle Zion Williams is also high on their wish list.

Michigan: The Wolverines have turned into a powerhouse along the defensive line and they’ve already got a 2025 defensive end commitment from Rivals250 prospect Bobby Kanka. They are in the hunt for a few more and have made some strong early impressions on multiple highly ranked defensive linemen. Top-25 prospect Nathaniel Marshall is one of Michigan's highest priority recruits regardless of position. The defensive end from Illinois likes what he’s seen from the Wolverines so far. Also at defensive end, look for Michigan to push for Rivals250 prospects Jaylen Williams, Ethan Utley, Mariyon Dye and Christopher Burgess. More on Burgess below. The Michigan coaching staff has done a good job with Rivals250 defensive tackles Kevin Oatis and Maxwell Roy early in their recruitments.



It’s still early in the recruiting process for many of the Rivals250 defensive linemen but Burgess is set to announce his commitment during the All-American Bowl on Jan. 6 and there are a few teams to keep an eye on. Michigan is the top contender having hosted him multiple times this year. He really likes the coaching staff and the way they’ve developed players in recent years.

Ohio State and Notre Dame are serious contenders as well. Burgess has visited each program at various times in the last year and both sets of coaches have worked hard to build strong relationships with him.

Terry just moved up to a five-star and the Georgia commit should impress a lot of people as recruiting fans turn their attention to the 2025 class. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive lineman is one of the most physically impressive players in the class. It’s been about 11 months since he announced his commitment to Georgia and teams will have a hard time trying to pry the Peach State native away from the Bulldogs. Defensive line coach Tray Scott is a great recruiter and has a very strong relationship with Terry.

Marshall has been a highly ranked prospect for a while and just got another big bump up in the Rivals250 but many recruiting fans around the country aren’t very familiar with him yet. Look for him to become a more well-known prospect as the offseason camp and combine circuit gets underway. A basketball standout as well, Marshall brings an impressive combination of size, athleticism and aggressiveness to the field. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Marshall turn in a few viral moments during this offseason.