Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2021 ATH rankings
We wrap up the analysis of our updated 2021 position rankings by focusing on the Athlete group. This list grows shorter as we approach the finish line of the recruiting cycle with players finding specific positions as their recruitment advances. Here are the storylines to track with players who still project at multiple positions on the college level.
2021 Rankings: Athlete
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE:
Monday: Five-Star Countdown
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
PROGRAM WITH THE TOP CLASSES: Oklahoma
For the first time in some time, there's a new team with a claim to the nation's No. 1 athlete. Billy Bowman Jr. has maintained his perch as the top athlete on Rivals for about a year. The Denton (Texas) Ryan standout backed off of his longtime Texas commitment shortly into his senior season and has since pledged to Oklahoma. LSU and Georgia were other finalists for the Rivals100 athlete.
Bowman chose Oklahoma because of his desire to continue to make plays on both sides of the ball at the collegiate level. Bowman sees snaps at receiver, running back and in the slot for Ryan, and also returns punts. Perhaps his best position is in the secondary, where he can take advantage of his anticipation and speed in coverage to force takeaways.
PROSPECTS ON THE RISE: Raheim Sanders, Jaydon Hood
Arkansas commitment Raheim Sanders added his fourth star and cracked the updated Rivals250. Sanders has the versatility to play multiple positions when he arrives in Fayetteville, Ark., including running back and receiver. He picked the Hogs over Oklahoma, Florida State, Missouri and South Carolina.
Jaydon Hood also joined the list of four-star athletes and was inserted into the updated Rivals250 for the 2021 class. The Michigan commitment is projected to play linebacker at the next level. Miami and Minnesota are continuing to maintain dialogue with the Florida native, who likely won't sign until February.
PROSPECT TO WATCH: Marquael Parks
Parks, who sits No. 15 nationally at this position, is the top uncommitted athlete in the country. The question is how much longer that will last? Parks played running back as a junior and is being courted as a wide receiver by some Power Five and Group of Five programs. With the success that Cincinnati is having this season under Luke Fickell, could the Bearcats make a move to keep one of Ohio's best in-state?