Rivals Rankings Week: Counting down 2023 five-stars
We kicked off our 2023 Rivals Rankings Week on Monday by counting down the seven five-stars. Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney also offered his take on each.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Monday: Five-star countdown
Tuesday: Rivals250 unveiled
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings
1. QB ARCH MANNING
GORNEY'S TAKE: Arch Manning is excellent in the pocket but perhaps even better when he escapes pressure and throws on the run. Even when throwing against his body or getting chased, the new No. 1 prospect in the 2023 class does not lose any arm strength and his accuracy is as good as any quarterback in any class.
It’s impossible to ignore the family pedigree and that also gives him a leg up but his No. 1 ranking is based on his talent and his projection. Clemson, Texas and a host of SEC schools are all involved in his recruitment.
2. QB MALACHI NELSON
GORNEY'S TAKE: Malachi Nelson completed more than 70 percent of his passes last season, which speaks to his excellent accuracy. The Oklahoma commit has such a smooth and effortless release. He is most comfortable sitting in the pocket, scanning the field and then delivering the ball on the money, but he can also elude the blitz, keep his eyes downfield and then fire it to open receivers. Nelson does not make many mistakes.
3. DE DAVID HICKS
GORNEY'S TAKE: David Hicks, a new five-star prospect, can line up across the defensive line. He’s fast and powerful outside and strong and dominating at the tackle spot, so that versatility really makes him one of the most special prospects in the country.
Hicks attacks offensive linemen. He can overpower them, drive his legs and then get off blocks. Once the five-star gets his hands on the ball carrier, it’s over because Hicks makes sure to make the tackle.
4. WR BRANDON INNISS
GORNEY'S TAKE: No receiver in the 2023 class is as good as Brandon Inniss at selling routes, setting up cornerbacks and then catching every ball thrown his way. He has the ability to create separation whenever he wants, even if Inniss is not the fastest straight-line receiver. He can change speeds, confuse cornerbacks and then the five-star has excellent hands to make difficult catches look easy.
5. OT KADYN PROCTOR
GORNEY'S TAKE: Kadyn Proctor is a devastating run blocker who can overpower his opponent, not only move them out of the way, but completely take them out of the play and usually the new five-star puts them on the ground. He can pull, he seeks and destroys defensive linemen or linebackers, and he keeps his quarterback upright. Proctor is athletic and moves his feet well so pass blocking is not an issue either.
6. ATH ALEX STYLES
GORNEY'S TAKE: The first thing that stands out about Alex Styles is that he has such tremendous length and then he utilizes it to make plays all over the field. The new five-star prospect does such an excellent job of reading where the quarterback is going with the football, getting there and then making a play.
With his ranginess and playmaking ability, Styles covers ground so well and then is always around the ball to make something happen. He’s also not afraid to come up in the box to make plays in the backfield or on plays that stretch to the sideline.
7. DE LEBBEUS OVERTON
GORNEY'S TAKE: Lebbeus Overton is no longer the No. 1 prospect in the country but he’s still one of the best and could contend for that top spot again through the 2023 recruiting cycle. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge this summer, Overton showed off violent hands, a great get-off, a variety of moves and the physical potential of someone who could be really special as a defensive end at the next level.