football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Counting down 2023's five-stars

A new Rivals250 for 2023 will be unveiled on Tuesday, but first we count down the five-stars in the class.


Previews: Who should be No. 1? | Candidates to become new five-stars

Monday: Five-star countdown | A look at the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings

Thursday: Defensive position rankings

Friday: State rankings


1. QB Arch Manning

Gorney's Take: The No. 1 prospect in the 2023 class is polished, has a sharp and precise arm, makes good decisions and has all the special ability to move the offense downfield methodically or hit quick-strike touchdowns. Manning has the intelligence, ability and family pedigree to be really special in college and beyond.

Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Texas, LSU and Ole Miss are among the main contenders.


2. Alex Styles

Gorney's Take: Alex Styles is all of 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds with incredible athletic ability and playmaking chops. He can play safety but probably projects as an outside linebacker in college.

The recent Ohio State commit has superior length and ranginess plus he’s also comfortable in his frame to make plays sideline to sideline, drop in coverage and pick passes off.



3. DE David Hicks Jr.

Gorney's Take: David Hicks can line up inside or outside, he sheds blocks to get to the ball carrier and he has excellent get-off. The five-star defensive lineman keeps his legs churning to get past offensive linemen to create problems in the backfield.

Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M remain the frontrunners in his recruitment.


4. QB Malachi Nelson

Gorney's Take: When the pocket is clean and Nelson has time to scan the field, there might not be a better quarterback in the class. Nelson lets the ball fly accurately downfield but has no problem checking down to make the smart play.

On Sunday, he de-committed from Oklahoma after the news that coach Lincoln Riley is headed to USC and now the Trojans are considered a frontrunner.


5. CB Cormani McClain

Gorney's Take: Cormani McClain might be lean but he has length, speed and that killer instinct to not only knock down passes but make interceptions and return some for touchdowns as well. There is a special knack some cornerbacks have to make those plays and a trust in themselves to break on the ball when they see it coming their way and McClain has it.

Alabama, BYU, Florida, Miami and Ohio State are the frontrunners now.


6. WR Brandon Inniss

Gorney's Take: Maybe the stats aren’t groundbreaking but that’s because Inniss was forced into playing quarterback for long stretches this season and he led his team in TD passes. For years, Inniss has proven to be unguardable. He is a phenomenal route runner to create space from the cornerback and he has some of the surest hands we’ve seen in recent years.

Inniss decommitted from Oklahoma on Sunday and said Miami, Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia have been recruiting him, but he will also look at USC with Lincoln Riley headed there.


7. OT Kadyn Proctor

Gorney's Take: Kadyn Proctor is big, powerful and athletic enough to really make an impact on the offensive line in run and pass blocking. He can get to the second level to seek out others to put on the ground and he is consistent throughout the game grinding down defensive linemen.

Iowa, Notre Dame and Ohio State have all made big impressions among others for the teammate of uncommitted 2022 five-star Xavier Nwankpa.


8. DE Lebbeus Overton

Gorney's Take: Lebbeus Overton missed some time because of injury this season but when he’s on the field he makes a tremendous impact on the defensive line. He’s fast, athletic, can get to the edge against almost any offensive tackle and also has some inside moves to get into the backfield.

Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Texas A&M and others are all involved.


9. OG TJ Shanahan Jr.

Gorney's Take: TJ Shanahan moved up to five-star status for many reasons with one being his aggressive, physical nature on the offensive line. He’s just mean and fierce when playing the position and that mentality and toughness allow him to dominate nearly everyone he faces.

Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU have made a big impression but so have Texas, Utah and others so far in recruiting.


10. ATH Samuel M'Pemba

Gorney's Take: Samuel M’Pemba is a pure athlete who can make impactful plays on either side of the ball but projects as an edge rusher in college and beyond. He’s fast, he’s smooth, he’s physical and he’s productive whether he’s standing up in space or rushing the quarterback with his hand down.

Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Alabama and others remain involved as M’Pemba slows down his recruitment and probably won’t make a commitment soon.


11. DE Jayden Wayne

Gorney's Take: If there is a possible comparison to Kayvon Thibodeaux in the 2023 class it could be Jayden Wayne, who isn’t as athletic but might be more physically put together at the same stage. Wayne is still refining his game but he’s a great-looking kid who can come off the edge with speed or power and be a menace in the backfield.

Alabama and Georgia have jumped to the front but others will be involved as well including Oregon.


12. WR Shelton Sampson

Gorney's Take: Shelton Sampson is the best big receiver in the 2023 class and could even push for the No. 1 overall receiver spot. He’s that good. At 6-foot-4, Sampson shows off excellent speed, he makes tough catches, he is a natural pass catcher and he can go up and high-point the football over smaller cornerbacks. He’s smooth, skilled and makes near-impossible catches look easy.

LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M and others are involved.


13. LB Anthony Hill

Gorney's Take: Here’s the easiest way to put it: Anthony Hill just makes plays. He can blitz, come up to stuff the run, come off the edge, he does a great job of reading screens and then attacking the ball. He’s also aggressive flying all over the field, getting in the backfield and batting down a ball. Hill is productive, tough-minded and relentless, all great attributes for a five-star linebacker.

Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama among others are involved.


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