football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 LBs

Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng
Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng

With the updated 2025 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it's time to dive into the position rankings. The defensive position rankings are being released today, and next up are the linebackers.

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

Friday: State rankings released



NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng

The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy linebacker is a true hybrid who can play all over the defense and that’s what he’s shown for years.

Whether it’s rushing off the edge, sitting in the middle and playing downhill, playing in space or even covering like a nickel cornerback, Owusu-Boateng can do it all well.

He looks chiseled from a piece of granite but he’s not stiff. Rather, Owusu-Boateng is twitched up, plays fast, hits hard and has tremendous vision and speed to attack the ball carrier and get him on the ground.

Recruiting is busy and Owusu-Boateng hasn’t narrowed it down yet but his brother, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, played at Notre Dame.

Florida and Miami figure to be very involved along with others.



Gavin Nix
Gavin Nix (

Florida: The Gators have compiled an excellent 2024 recruiting class led by five-star Myles Graham and high-end four-stars Adarius Hayes and Aaron Chiles but they could be in line for more elite players in the 2025 class. Owusu-Boateng is one of them as Florida has made him a top priority.

IMG teammate Gavin Nix could be one to watch, flipping Jadon Perlotte from Georgia is a priority and top inside linebacker Riley Pettijohn will be interesting. He’s teammates with Florida pledge Xavier Filsaime, who’s being heavily courted by Texas, but if Filsaime sticks with the Gators that could deliver Pettijohn, too.

USC: It’s an embarrassment of riches at linebacker in Southern California’s 2025 class and the Trojans could be primed to load up. If USC doesn’t and these top recruits leave the area, it would be a major missed opportunity. Leading the way are Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Nasir Wyatt, who’s used more as an edge rusher but still has elite playmaking skills playing in space as a linebacker, and San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra Catholic’s Madden Faraimo, a big hitter who can also run. At inside linebacker, the Trojans definitely are in good standing with La Verne (Calif.) Bonita’s Noah Mikhail and could be the team to beat.



Is it only a matter of time until Walker commits to Georgia? That’s what it feels like but the high four-star linebacker from Ellaville (Ga.) Schley County has not committed yet and many others are pursuing him. Walker has five-star ability but just needs more national exposure to lock that in since he can cover well, hit hard and runs like a deer.

In two-straight recruiting classes, Nebraska has landed the top in-state prospect and both could be game-changers in WR Malachi Coleman and TE Carter Nelson. Now the Huskers have to be considered the favorite for Jones as well. The 2025 four-star linebacker from Omaha (Neb.) Westside has shown a ton of interest in Nebraska and while others are definitely involved, the Huskers have to like their chances.

Over the last few months, Ohio State, Penn State, USC and Michigan have been the programs most mentioned by the hard-hitting linebacker from Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola but now Miami has made major in-roads in Melendez’s recruitment as well. There’s a good chance the four-star linebacker could commit this weekend – if that doesn’t happen he would wait until January – and the Hurricanes are definitely worth watching here.