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Rivals Rankings Week: Five schools that should be pleased

Alex Styles
Alex Styles (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The updated 2023 rankings have been released, which of course shakes up the race for the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. It remains early in terms of commitments for this cycle, so much of these teams have been determined by early commitments accumulated and top targets moving in the ranks.

Here are five teams that should be pleased with the new rankings.

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Sunday: Who should be the No. 1 prospect in the 2023 class?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers in new ranking

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Programs with the most R250 commits

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

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1. OHIO STATE 

The new rankings update made a significant move right at the top – with five-star do-it-all Pickering (Ohio) Central athlete Alex Styles ascending five spots. He is now the No. 1 position player behind Arch Manning. Additionally, Rivals250 offensive lineman Joshua Padilla slid into the Rivals100.

Other risers include top targets Zachariah Branch (59 spots), Richard Young (11) and Carnell Tate (53).

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2. NOTRE DAME

The Irish are putting together a formidable 2023 class on the defensive side of the ball, though that may change with Brian Kelly's departure to LSU. That group was originally headlined by high four-stars Brenan Vernon and Drayk Bowen, ranked No. 16 and 34, respectively. The other leg of that triangle, defensive end Keon Keeley, climbed up 78 spots to No. 28 in the nation. Keeley and his Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep team were outstanding in their national TV appearance this fall.

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3. GEORGIA

The emergence of Brock Bowers is just one reason why Kirby Smart's Georgia squad has been atop the College Football Playoff rankings for much of the season. Given the Bulldogs' momentum on the recruiting trail, it should come as no surprise that next in line to follow in Bowers' footsteps, four-star tight end Pearce Spurlin, has moved up 10 spots to No. 54 nationally. In the process, he ascended to the No. 2 tight end in the nation behind Duce Robinson.

Recent Georgia flip Raymond Cottrell sits at No. 112, legacy four-star cornerback Marcus Washington moved up eight spots to No. 68 and Georgia remains a contender with the nation's top overall player, Arch Manning.

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4. TEXAS A&M  

Jimbo Fisher's Aggies have garnered a lot of steam on the recruiting trail the past few years since his arrival in College Station, but Texas A&M could be close to historic finishes with its 2022 and 2023 classes. Texas A&M holds a commitment from a pair of Rivals250 players in quarterback Eli Holstein (No. 50) and defensive end Anthony James (No. 227).

Other notable risers include several recruits sitting atop the Aggies' wish list, including newly minted five-stars TJ Shanahan Jr., Shelton Sampson and Anthony Hill.

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5. PENN STATE

Penn State locked up James Franklin for the foreseeable future and in today's college football, stability could become a major selling point on the recruiting trail. The Nittany Lions' future is certainly one to look forward to with early commitments from Rivals250 lineman Alex Birchmeier out of Virginia, in addition to in-state defensive back Lamont Payne.

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