football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 linebackers

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.

Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng
Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng (Nick Lucero/

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 | Cornerback | Safety | Athlete



Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

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

Tuesday: New Rivals250 unveiled | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers

Wednesday: New offensive position rankings released | QB rankings spotlight | RB rankings spotlight | WR/TE rankings spotlight | OL rankings spotlight

Thursday: New defensive position rankings released | DL rankings spotlight | LB rankings spotlight | DB rankings spotlight | ATH rankings spotlight

Friday: New state rankings released | Breaking down state rankings


FINAL 2023 TEAM RANKINGS: Comprehensive (overall) ranking | High school/JUCO ranking | Transfer portal ranking

CLASS OF 2024 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 are no five-star linebackers yet in the 2025 class – and it might be tough to reach that milestone given the lesser value to linebacker in the NFL Draft – but if there’s one in this class that fits the mold it’s Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng.

The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy high four-star has all the requirements of being an elite player from high-end athleticism, to playmaking ability, to toughness and aggressiveness, to confidence and so much more.

Owusu-Boateng’s brother, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, played at Notre Dame so the four-star linebacker comes from a family of athletes and it’s showing even early in his junior season.

His length and his physical ability are definitely on the high end and if there’s one linebacker in this class that looks the part of a five-star it’s the IMG standout.

As for his recruitment, it’s still in the early stages but Owusu-Boateng is very high on Florida and the Gators could be considered the team to beat. Miami and Notre Dame will be two others given serious consideration.


Movers & Shakers

Jadon Perlotte
Jadon Perlotte

Jadon Perlotte: The Buford, Ga., standout has been committed to Georgia since December but since about that time rumors have started swirling about other schools involved. Late in the summer, there was chatter a flip to Florida State was imminent but that never materialized. Perlotte has now said he wants to slow down, see Alabama, Ohio State and others, and then will make a final determination on his recruitment later.

Jakaleb Faulk: Not many 2025 linebackers have committed yet but Faulk is one of them as he chose Auburn only a few days ago. His brother, Keldric, is a star freshman defensive end for the Tigers so it’s no surprise the Highland Home, Ala., standout is going there as well. But Keldric Faulk had been committed to Florida State for the majority of his recruitment before flipping to the Tigers so one wonders whether the Noles have actually missed out on two pledges once Faulk flipped to Auburn late in the recruiting process.

Nasir Wyatt: What makes the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout so interesting is that he could legitimately play anywhere on the defense and make a major impact. In some ways he’s without a pure position which is a good thing because Wyatt can be an edge rusher, he can play in space, he can cover and Texas has even talked about using him as an inside linebacker where he can roam around and make things happen. Ohio State, USC, the Longhorns and many others are already after him and it’s easy to see why.

Eric Winters: There is some talk from people that have seen a ton of Winters that he could be following in the path of Demarcus Riddick from an athleticism and playmaking standpoint. That is some heady comparison since Riddick might be the best linebacker in the 2024 class. The four-star from Enterprise, Ala., who also plays basketball, moves well, he’s physical and he’s a playmaker. So right now, No. 16 at outside linebacker could be too low, but only time will tell as we see him in person more often.


Top three classes so far

Jakaleb Faulk
Jakaleb Faulk (Nick Lucero/

1. Georgia - Jadon Perlotte

2. Auburn - Jakaleb Faulk

3. Michigan - Mantrez Walker