Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2021 defensive line rankings
Rivals continues to roll out its updated rankings for the 2021 class and our focus turns to the defensive side of the ball, starting with the defensive line. Below is a brief overview of the biggest storylines coming out of the latest update.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
PROGRAMS WITH THE TOP COMMITS: Texas A&M and Alabama
The Aggies did a great job addressing their defensive line in this class. Jimbo Fisher and his staff signed one of the best groups of defensive linemen, starting with five-star Tunmise Adeleye. Texas A&M fans should be excited about keeping this in-state target home along with top-40 defensive lineman Shemar Turner, Rivals250 defensive tackle Marcus Burris and three-star defensive tackle Albert Regis. The East region has been good to Texas A&M in the past couple years and they went back to the East again this cycle to get Rivals250 defensive ends Jahzion Harris and Elijah Jeudy. In all, Texas A&M signed more Rivals250 defensive linemen than any other program in the 2021 class.
Alabama loaded up on talented defensive linemen again this year. Even though the Crimson Tide didn’t get any five-star defensive linemen, Nick Saban’s squad did sign the most Rivals100 defensive linemen, led by Monkell Goodwine. Joining him in the top 40 is defensive tackle Damon Payne. A strong senior season gave Alabama signee Keanu Koht a huge boost up the rankings to No. 42 in the Rivals100. The Crimson Tide also inked four-star defensive tackle Tim Keenan and three-star defensive tackle Anquin Barnes.
PROGRAM TO WATCH: Penn State
The Nittany Lions had a very small recruiting class this year and are filling out their roster with transfers, but they really wanted Rivals250 defensive tackle George Rooks, who committed to Michigan on Wednesday. Adding help on the defensive line has been a priority for Penn State this year and they were only able to sign one in December.
Now James Franklin and his staff will need to put all their efforts into closing on four-star Davon Townley. The Minnesota native is considering a long list of schools but the Nittany Lions are one of his top contenders. Washington has been coming on strong as well but different teams have held the momentum at different times. Keep an eye on Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan State as well.
PROSPECT TO WATCH: Tywone Malone
There has been a lot written about Malone and the visits he’s taken this month. Texas A&M, Florida State and Ole Miss are vying for his commitment and each got him on campus over the last few weeks. Malone is very serious about playing baseball at the next level and each of those three teams have shown him how he can be successful in both sports.
Ole Miss appears to be the leader at this point but this is a very tight race and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Texas A&M or Florida State end up with his commitment. Malone is slated to make his decision on Signing Day.