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Rivals Rankings Week: New 2021 RB rankings

Camar Wheaton
Camar Wheaton (Sam Spiegelman)

Rivals continued to roll out its first Rivals250 for the class of 2021 this week. Our focus here is on the running backs. Five-star Camar Wheaton headlines a talented group of both tailbacks and all-purpose backs.

There are currently 16 backs featured in the inaugural Rivals250 rankings for the class. Below if a brief overview of the biggest storylines coming out of the rankings update as we brace for the season.

UPDATED 2021 RANKINGS: Running backs | All-purpose backs

RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK:

Monday: Top 10 revealed

Tuesday: Rivals100 revealed | New five-stars | Mind of Mike | Ranking top QBs

Wednesday: Rivals250 revealed

Thursday/Friday: Position rankings revealed

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

TEAM WITH TOP COMMIT: Auburn

Armani Goodwin debuted at No. 110 in the initial Rivals250 rankings for 2021 and stands as the No. 3-ranked all-purpose back in the country ahead of his junior season at Alabama powerhouse Hewitt-Trussville. Goodwin committed to Auburn at the tail end of the spring, giving first-year Tigers running backs coach Cadillac Williams one of the more prolific weapons out of the backfield to game plan around for the next two years.

Goodwin held offers from from Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Kentucky before pledging to the in-state Tigers. He grew up a fan of Auburn and the same goes for his entire family. It will be interesting to see if Auburn and Williams can hold onto Goodwin’s commitment until December of 2020, especially if programs like Alabama, Georgia or Florida State elect to offer during or after his junior year.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH AUBURN FANS AT AUSPORTS.COM

TEAM TO WATCH: Clemson

Clemson is currently in the mix for a recruiting championship thanks to a star-studded collection of commitments in its 2020 class, but Dabo Swinney has apparently gotten a jump start on the 2021 haul already. Clemson is trending for some of the nation’s best junior running backs, namely Will Shipley, the No. 1 all-purpose back in 2021, and Phil Mafah, a four-star from Georgia who currently stands inside the Rivals250.

Shipley is high on Clemson as well as Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern, N.C. State, South Carolina and Duke, and the explosive North Carolina standout is putting an emphasis on academics before trimming his list of top schools down. Stanford, Notre Dame and N.C. State were certainly viewed as the favorites before Clemson extended an offer. We’ll see if Swinney can continue to gain momentum with the nation’s top all-purpose back.

While Clemson has some steam with Shipley, the Tigers are also in a good position with Mafah. Clemson has traditionally recruited Grayson (Ga.) High School very well and Mafah impressed the entire coaching staff at prospect camp this summer. It’s no wonder that Clemson is currently the team trending for the Rivals250 back.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CLEMSON FANS AT TIGERILLUSTRATED.COM

PLAYER TO WATCH: Camar Wheaton

Much like five-star Zachary Evans, the No. 1 running back in the 2020 class, Camar Wheaton is an incredible talent that tends to stay quiet when it comes to his recruitment. Wheaton holds offers from all over the country — from Texas and Texas A&M to Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma, among many, many others. Wheaton has taken a good share of visits since the spring, namely to Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, TCU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan.

Wheaton isn’t the type of person that has stay close to home, though he’s a priority target for regional programs like Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. He’s already been to the Southeast and Midwest. There’s destined to be a fair share of twists and turns in the five-star’s recruitment, but don’t expect a decision until National Signing Day of next year.