Rivals Rankings Week: Five-Star Countdown for 2024
The 2024 class is on the clock and today we started another Rivals Rankings Week by counting down the 17 five-stars, with Rivals recruiting director Adam Gorney's thoughts on each.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars
Tuesday: New Rivals250 revealed | Gorney goes position-by-position
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings updated
Thursday: Defensive position rankings updated
Friday: State rankings updated
Gorney's Take: Dylan Raiola stays No. 1 and for good reason. The new Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle quarterback is physically and mentally ready for college football, he’s an awesome leader and teammate, tremendously tough and disciplined on the field and then he’s a playmaker with the ball in his hands. Arm strength, accuracy and decision-making are all elite.
After his Ohio State decommitment, Georgia, USC and Nebraska look to have the edge.
Gorney's Take: Jeremiah Smith is the total package at receiver since he has size, length, playmaking ability, great hands and toughness as well. The Ohio State commit had 20 touchdowns in his junior season as everyone knew the ball was coming his way and nobody could stop him.
The Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna standout is best streaking down the field or across the middle where he shows off surprising speed to go in for a score.
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Gorney's Take: Edge rushers such as Colin Simmons don’t come along very often. He’s also an outstanding linebacker who can play in space and make things happen that way as well. The Duncanville, Texas, standout is elite coming off the edge and beating offensive tackles, closing on players that stretch it to the far side of the field and making tons of plays.
His athleticism and physical nature set him apart as LSU, TCU, Texas and many others remain involved.
Gorney's Take: Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan State have made the biggest impression so far on Eddrick Houston and whichever team lands him will be getting a phenomenal defensive end who can use power, speed and length to win.
What makes Houston so special is that he can get to the edge against anybody but he can also go through offensive linemen and he has inside moves as well.
Gorney's Take: The Alabama commit is not going to blow you away with physical gifts or 40 times but he is a pure tactician, a surgeon with the football in his hands. He can dissect defenses, he rarely makes a poor throw or decision, and he gets the ball down the field and in the end zone.
Don’t be fooled, either, because the Carlsbad, Calif., quarterback is also a big-time competitor with a winning drive who’s putting in his 10,000 hours to be an expert at what he does.
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Gorney's Take: Micah Hudson reminds me of the next Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave, someone who isn’t the tallest receiver out there but he’s so smooth, he turns mundane plays into highlight-reels and can make nearly impossible grabs look easy. There is no question Hudson is one of the most talented – and most dynamic receivers – in the 2024 class and it’s why the Buckeyes, a host of in-state schools and many others are pursuing him.
Gorney's Take: Versatility is so huge to Mike Matthews’ game that he’s the definition of an athlete as the five-star can line up as a slot receiver, he can move outside, he can be a one-high safety, he can come down into the box or drop into coverage. Matthews can do it all at a high level.
That ability to play all over the field and make an impact wherever he goes is why Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and so many others are battling for him.
Gorney's Take: Justin Scott, the Chicago (Ill.) St. Ignatius prospect, can line up inside and win with power and speed or he can even go out to the edge and win against offensive tackles because Scott is incredibly comfortable in his massive frame.
There have even been discussions with the 6-foot-5, 310-pound prospect about him playing along the offensive line because he moves so well.
Notre Dame has looked like the leader for his commitment but Scott did push things back once Georgia got really involved.
Gorney's Take: Peyton Woodyard is incredibly pleasant off the field but once he straps on the helmet, something switches inside of him and he becomes an aggressive hunter from the safety position. He likes to make plays on the ball but especially enjoys using his physical ability to get people on the ground. Playing for arguably the top high school nationally in Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Woodyard is the leader of the defense, always communicating and always productive. It’s why Georgia is getting such a special player in the secondary.
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Gorney's Take: Lost in the conversation of other five-star quarterbacks is that Jadyn Davis is a phenomenal talent, a terrific decision-maker and an incredibly steady presence who puts the ball on the money and posts huge stats time and time again. Davis completed more than 72 percent of his passes for 3,425 yards with 43 touchdowns and six picks in his junior season, which shows just how lethal and precise Davis is on the field.
That’s why Michigan has made him a huge priority with Tennessee, Clemson, North Carolina and others involved.
Gorney's Take: Playing alongside Jeremiah Smith in Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna’s offense is just unfair and then this past offseason Joshisa Trader and Smith joined 2023 five-stars Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate on the loaded South Florida Express offense. Trader fit right in as someone who is a playmaker, can run by almost any defender and is a threat both in the short game and stretching the field deep.
Miami has the edge in his recruitment still but Ohio State and many others are pushing as well.
Gorney's Take: Kamarion Franklin’s junior season highlight tape is titled “I Hate QBs!!!” so that encapsulates what you’re getting with the new five-star defensive lineman who can play inside or off the edge.
The Lake Cormorant, Miss., star had 93 tackles including 19 sacks (a school record) and 48 quarterback pressures in his junior season. He’s bigger than everybody he’s playing against but he also has violent hands and great moves to beat offensive tackles.
Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and a host of others remain in the picture.
Gorney's Take: Originally listed as an inside linebacker, Myles Graham does all his production on the defensive side as an outside guy whether coming off the edge or tracking down players to the sideline, using his elite speed and trusting his instincts. The son of former Tampa Bay Bucs running back Earnest Graham, the 2024 new five-star also plays running back and receiver on offense, showcasing his athletic and playmaking ability.
Like his father, Graham has already committed to Florida and looks locked in despite overtures from Alabama, Auburn and others.
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Gorney's Take: David Stone is up to 285 pounds and when he did an interview in recent days previewing his five-star rankings bump, he was in the weight room. What makes the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout so special is that he’s not just a space eater along the defensive line – he’s fast, relentless, has second moves and has an unstoppable motor.
A native of Oklahoma, the Sooners and Michigan State look best but Ohio State and others are also very much in the running.
Gorney's Take: KJ Bolden is the quintessential athlete, someone who is equally gifted on both sides of the field and someone who could make a huge impact on every single play of the game. The new five-star can catch a short pass and his first step might be the best in the class. He can juke defenders out of their shoes and then run by others to the end zone. On defense, Bolden is super smooth, closes incredibly well and has a physical nature to knock the ball out as well.
Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and many others remain involved.
Gorney's Take: For a receiver who’s about 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Ryan Wingo is surprisingly fast and a phenomenal deep threat who is excellent in the open field. The St. Louis (Mo.) University standout has such a physical presence that cornerbacks have no luck muscling him up at the line of scrimmage. He can put the burners on and go deep and he’s a huge target that can make really tough catches look easy.
Tennessee, Texas A&M, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame and others remain involved.
Gorney's Take: Whether he ends up playing linebacker or becoming more of an edge rusher, TJ Capers is going to be physical, play hard and he’s always around the ball to make an impact on defense.
The Louisville commit chose the Cardinals over Georgia, Colorado, Miami, USC and others. He is aggressive, plays with reckless abandon and does a great job of going all out without overrunning plays and missing opportunities.
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