Rivals Rankings Week: Five-star countdown for 2024
High school football seasons across the country will be underway by this weekend, so we cap our preseason coverage with our post-summer update to the 2024 rankings. We start today with the five-star countdown, and recruiting director Adam Gorney's thoughts on each.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Monday: Five-Star Countdown
Tuesday: Rivals250 revealed
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings revealed
Thursday: Defensive position rankings revealed
Friday: State rankings revealed
1. QB Dylan Raiola
Recruiting Update: Among the five-star prospects in the 2024 class, Dylan Raiola is the only one who’s committed as he picked Ohio State on May 9 after a busy offseason of visits around the country. The Chandler, Ariz., star quarterback cited coach Ryan Day and position coach Corey Dennis as two reasons why the Buckeyes won out.
Gorney's Take: After a big sophomore season in Texas where he put up impressive numbers, Raiola was fantastic at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat and is poised for a monster year at Chandler, Ariz. Seeing him in person, it becomes obvious the Ohio State quarterback commit is special and while Patrick Mahomes comparisons might be optimistic, he has that arm talent, plays with that level of moxie and loves the off-platform throws from different arm angles. The play style is shockingly similar in many ways.
2. CB Desmond Ricks
Recruiting Update: Desmond Ricks is planning trips to LSU and Florida this season as the two DBU schools keep battling it out for the five-star cornerback. He also visited Miami recently as first-year coach Mario Cristobal continues to compete for the IMG standout.
This summer, Ricks said that despite all the attention from elsewhere that Alabama would remain very high on his list because it’s so hard – maybe impossible – to turn down coach Nick Saban.
Gorney's Take: Cormani McClain is the No. 1 cornerback in the 2023 class and an outstanding prospect. Well, when McClain was playing receiver in Las Vegas, Ricks went stride-for-stride with him on deep routes and has similar length, playing style and instincts - and he’s a class behind the 2023 five-star. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout has all the tools to be a lockdown corner who can play on an island and shut off half the field.
3. WR Jeremiah Smith
Recruiting Update: Ohio State is considered the frontrunner for Jeremiah Smith, the Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna standout, especially since South Florida Express teammates Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss are already committed to the Buckeyes as well. Smith recently confirmed a rumor that he almost committed to Ohio State but decided to hold off. Alabama, Miami, Florida and Florida State are also on the list and the five-star said he wants to visit LSU, Michigan, West Virginia and Cincinnati this season.
Gorney's Take: Smith has size, playmaking ability, speed and he plays with a quiet competitive drive that’s impressive to see. In a contest to start his junior season, Smith was a highlight-reel waiting to happen and that has compelled us to move him to the No. 1 receiver in the 2024 class.
4. DE Colin Simmons
Recruiting Update: Game-day visits to Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are being planned out for Colin Simmons but the five-star defensive end could have LSU on top at this point. He has really clicked with that coaching staff and playing in Baton Rouge definitely appeals to him. But Texas and Texas A&M are going to be two others to watch and more will be known after his SEC trips.
Gorney's Take: The former No. 1 prospect moved to fourth in the 2024 class not based on any dislike of his performance but others just had a stronger - and more visible - summer. The Duncanville, Texas edge rusher is still special beating offensive tackles to the edge, closing out plays, tracking down the ball carrier and pressuring the quarterback and he could be even more primed heading into his junior season. An easy argument could be made that he was the best defensive lineman on his team last year that also featured Ohio State signee Omari Abor. Simmons wants to visit Georgia, Florida and Tennessee this year but LSU and the in-state schools are high as well.
5. QB Julian Sayin
Recruiting Update: The rumor with Julian Sayin was that wherever Arch Manning went (Texas or Georgia), the five-star quarterback would go to the other spot. With Manning committed to the Longhorns, the Bulldogs look to be in excellent shape for the Carlsbad, Calif., standout.
But a phenomenal summer visit to LSU stood out and then Alabama and others are trying to keep pace. His two planned trips for the fall will be to Athens and Baton Rouge so far.
Gorney's Take: In terms of technicians at the quarterback spot, Sayin might be the best one regardless of class. The ball comes out so cleanly, it’s delivered on time to receivers perfectly in stride and rarely are mistakes made. Sayin is not going to be the most physically-gifted or athletic QB in the pocket but he does throw well on the run, his orchestration of an offense is incredible and how his mind works while on the field is something any coach can trust.
6. LB TJ Capers
Recruiting Update: Georgia is definitely a school to watch for TJ Capers and USC intrigues him, but Miami should be considered one of the top teams as well for numerous reasons. Capers said Miami “feels like family” during a recent interview, plus he likes the development of the players under coach Mario Cristobal, who also attended Miami Columbus like the five-star linebacker.
Gorney's Take: Even though Capers had a quiet summer and was not at many national events, the Miami (Fla) Columbus linebacker has arguably the best film in the 2024 class and that’s why his high ranking is so warranted. He looks like an NFL linebacker physically already – he is fast, hits like a truck, plays with controlled aggression where he attacks but doesn’t overrun plays and his motor is always going.
7. WR Ryan Wingo
Recruiting Update: Notre Dame could be a school to watch for Ryan Wingo but it does feel like the Irish are not a lock and that things could still head in numerous directions. Plenty of Big Ten teams including Michigan and others are working hard. Missouri and other Southeast teams could emerge more as well.
Gorney's Take: The St. Louis (Mo.) University receiver is a big-bodied, big-target standout who can muscle defensive backs and go up to get the ball as well. Even though he’s bigger, Wingo can move and beat defenders deep and his size allows him to get catches where smaller receivers wouldn’t have a chance. Wingo was solid in Las Vegas this summer but Smith overtook the No. 1 spot at the position because he was just more dominant.
8. QB Jadyn Davis
Recruiting Update: Michigan has to like its position with the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day standout as coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff have made Jadyn Davis a priority – especially as Ohio State has landed Dylan Raiola and Notre Dame got a pledge from CJ Carr, former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr’s grandson.
Davis was also expected at North Carolina this weekend. Clemson is in the mix and so are others, but the Wolverines are in good shape.
Gorney's Take: Davis has moved down slightly in the 2024 rankings but remains a five-star quarterback because he continues to put up impressive performances at every event. He has all the tools, shows up to numerous places and just continues to put the ball on the money with every throw. Raiola and Sayin have the edge in the quarterback rankings right now for numerous reasons but Davis is absolutely in that highest-end conversation as well.
9. WR Micah Hudson
Recruiting Update: There are numerous teams involved but this could boil down to a decision between Texas A&M and Ohio State. The Aggies have made a real push early for the Temple (Texas) Lake Belton standout and that will be significant. But Micah Hudson has drawn comparison former Ohio State star receiver Garrett Wilson, also from Texas, so it will be something to watch. Texas Tech, Tennessee, Oregon and others are involved.
Gorney's Take: As a sophomore, Hudson led his team with 45 catches. No one else even had 20. He’s also utilized out of the backfield because of his playmaking ability. Hudson has all the tools at receiver whether it’s taking a short pass and running by people or blowing by cornerbacks on the outside for the deep ball and he has incredible balance to gain extra yards with the ball in his hands.
10. WR Joshisa Trader
Recruiting Update: Miami is the frontrunner for Trader as the new five-star said so himself during a video interview over the weekend. Seeing the Hurricanes play well this season is going to be crucial to keep them high on the list. Ohio State is also a top team for the South Florida receiver and he's expected to visit Columbus with Jeremiah Smith this season. Alabama is another school pushing hard early on.
Gorney's Take: Trader fit in perfectly well with the other elite players this offseason whether it was Inniss, Tate, Williams or Smith, his teammate at Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna who look to become an unstoppable force in the passing game this season. Trader makes things happen every time he touches the ball, he can outrun most defenders and then the new five-star can flip over to defense and make an impact there as well.
11. ATH Mike Matthews
Recruiting Update: Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and other Southeast schools will remain seriously in the mix for Mike Matthews and a lot of visits could be coming up this season but absolutely do not count out Notre Dame for the Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview standout either. The Irish’s new coaching staff and everything offered in South Bend stand out. The Tigers could hold a slight lead especially since it’s closer to home but this is going to be a heated battle with a lot of moving parts right now.
Gorney's Take: Matthews is the true definition of a five-star athlete as he’s someone who dominates with his athletic ability and smooth playmaking style at receiver and then can comfortably flip over to defensive back and make an impact there. One game into his junior season and it was clear to see why the Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview standout should be moved to five-star status. He’s impactful on almost every play out there.
12. DT Justin Scott
Recruiting Update: Notre Dame is considered the frontrunner for Justin Scott and he had an excellent visit to South Bend in late July. But a host of Big Ten schools – Wisconsin, Michigan and others – will also be in the mix as the Chicago St. Ignatius standout goes through recruiting. August was interesting as Miami and LSU offered. Numerous national programs came through with offers in July, so things seem to be expanding for him.
Gorney's Take: Listed as a defensive tackle at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Scott is incredibly fast off the ball and lives in the backfield when he’s lined up inside. Or he could line up on the edge and win reps that way because even though he’s big, Scott is super comfortable in his frame and moves so well for someone so young. There is at least one major school that even likes Scott to play on the offensive line because his versatility is off the charts. A new five-star Scott can be plugged in anywhere to have a big impact.