Rivals Rankings Week: Meet the four new five-stars
The first update to the 2024 rankings since February kicked off today with the unveiling of the 20 five-stars, including four new ones. Take a closer look at each of the new five-stars and why they deserve such a lofty ranking.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Monday: Five-star countdown | Meet the new five-stars
Tuesday: Rivals 250 released | Ten prospects on the verge of five-star status | Gorney's thoughts
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released | Who will finish as top RB?
Saturday: Rankings Roundtable
"One could argue that no other player in the 2024 class has as high of a floor and ceiling as Williams Nwaneri. The newly minted five-star has the length, frame, strength and athleticism to play anywhere on the defensive line, giving him incredible versatility and making him a fit in virtually any defensive scheme.
"His explosiveness and punch enable him to deliver a line of scrimmage moving blow, making him extremely disruptive and stout against the run. While his versatility and ability to be a physical presence against the run makes him a special player, it is his ability to rush the passer at an even higher level that makes Nwaneri elite.
"Oklahoma has long been considered the front runner for the Lee's Summit (Mo.) North standout, but with official visits to Georgia, Tennessee, Oregon and Missouri all on the books, don't be surprised if one or more of those additional schools remain in the mix until the end of his recruitment." - Clint Cosgrove, national recruiting analyst
"Justin Williams fits the mold of the prototypical linebacker in today's game to a T. The 6-foot-2 and 210-pound defender features an impressive frame to pair with the ability to get sideline-to-sideline in a hurry. He's a tackling machine that recorded more than 100 tackles as a junior to go along with nearly double-digit sacks. Additionally, Williams is a highly intelligent player with very good instincts from the middle of the defense.
"Williams has been clocked in at 11.09 in the 100-meters, and that shows up on tape while he flies all over the field. He gets after the passer and chases down ball carriers. The new five-star creates havoc as a blitzer and moves well in space. There's not much he cannot do, and that has made him one of the most coveted defensive prospects in the 2024 recruiting cycle." - Cole Patterson, national recruiting analyst
"Zaquan Patterson has answered just about every question onlookers could have thrown out his way to this point, especially where it counts most -- on Friday nights as the heart and soul of one of the nation's most talented programs. He still supplements the versatile skillset in the offseason as a dominant cover man and wide receiver during the 7-on-7 circuit, reemphasizing the dynamics he can bring to a collegiate back-seven one day. Patterson has enough hip fluidity and physicality to cover wide receivers in space while also comfortable enough to work downhill with force against bigger bodies.
"When projecting Patterson as a collegiate safety, the instincts he works with against the pass and run will prove invaluable early on at the next level, where it doesn't take much imagination to see him working sub defender roles in space or closer to the box depending on the opponent. Throw in the alpha mentality while working one-on-one, plus ball skills on a strong 6-1, 195-pound frame and Patterson feels like one of the safest bets in the class of 2024." - John Garcia, national recruiting analyst
"There isn't much Stewart isn't capable of on defense. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end can dominate the opposition playing with his hand in the ground, standing up and playing off the ball, or lining up at multiple linebacker positions. Stewart is plenty strong and a big hitter but it's his quickness and athleticism that make him an elite defender. Offensive linemen have almost no chance of slowing Stewart down or keeping him out of the backfield. Stewart may not be the most refined from a technical perspective but his physical traits and exceptional athletic abilities make him one of the best defenders in this class."
"Miami just got Stewart on campus for an official visit but the Canes are battling the likes of South Carolina, Ohio State, Georgia, and many others for his commitment. A decision from Stewart won't come until the fall so there is plenty of time for teams to jockey for position." - Adam Friedman, national recruiting analyst