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Rivals Rankings Week: Who should be a five-star in the next refresh?

Caleb Downs
Caleb Downs (Nick Lucero/

The 19 five-stars in the newest 2023 Rivals250 were unveiled on Monday and many players were discussed but didn't make the cut. Each of the national recruiting analysts make their case for which player should be a five-star in the next rankings update, tentatively planned for August prior to the high school season kicking off.


CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State


Sunday: Who could supplant Arch Manning atop the Rivals250?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Should Samson Okunlola be the No. 1 OT? | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: Final state rankings released



Malachi Coleman
Malachi Coleman (Casey Fritton)

“There are a number of five-star candidates from the Midwest and it would be easy to pick an obvious recruit like Drayk Bowen, Cayden Green, Miles McVay, Luke Montgomery and Brennan Vernon for this honor. I am instead choosing to go out on a limb by picking four-star athlete Malachi Coleman from Nebraska. Coleman isn't the pick because I see him being a superior football player in comparison to all of the other fringe five-star players as of today. I instead pick Coleman because I think he has the most upside and position versatility of all the other candidates.

“Coleman's development this past season was mind-blowing in itself and I truly believe he will continue to develop with the same trajectory. At 6-foot-5 with a frame that can add at least 30 pounds, Coleman is the complete package. He has as much position versatility as any player in the nation, possesses every intangible and he can flat out fly with personal bests of 10.46 in the 100 meters and 21.31 in the 200. Coleman is just scratching the surface of the player he will eventually be and his ceiling is limitless when it comes to how good he can potentially be in a couple of years from now.

"His recruitment looks to be a battle among Nebraska, Alabama, Oregon, Georgia and USC, but he is not close to making a decision as of today.”



“There’s at least one more five-star cornerback in this class, maybe even two, but I’m the biggest fan of Bravion Rogers. The Texas A&M commit has the size to match up with any receiver and has elite speed. Rogers may not have a ton of experience against top-flight receivers but he is a playmaker that should be able to excel at the next level. I’m looking forward to seeing Rogers compete on the national stage down the road and I think those special physical traits will shine.”




Caleb Downs
Caleb Downs (Nick Lucero/

Caleb Downs is someone I wanted to push even further to five-star status because it's probably inevitable that he ends up with that highest ranking. The Mill Creek (Ga.) Hoschton safety is currently right outside that five-star ranking but in terms of someone who can diagnose plays and then break on the ball, and pick passes off whether covering in the slot or as a center fielder. His athleticism is off the charts.

From a physical perspective, Downs is not a surefire five-star but his knowledge of the position, the way he plays the position and his productivity should further put him in the conversation as one of the best players in the class.”



Rueben Owens
Rueben Owens (

“While the 2022 NFL Draft didn't see a running back come off the board until the second round, the need for an elite all-purpose running back that can open up an NFL offense still persists. Looking ahead to some mock drafts for a much deeper draft class in 2023, Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, Zach Evans and Devon Achane are all names that are getting first-round consideration and are all names that could compete at a high level in the NFL.

"Looking at all of those names and you'll see direct links to Rueben Owens' recruitment. Texas (Robinson), TCU (Evans' former team) and Texas A&M (Achane) are all high on his list and Texas running backs coach Tashard Choice had the task of being Gibbs' position coach for the last two seasons at Georgia Tech.

”Owens' all-purpose ability was on display during his junior season, but it was this spring on the 7-on-7 circuit where Owens really shined in the receiving game. In addition, it certainly helped his case that he rushed for nearly 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his junior year at El Campo. His frame and speed are translatable traits for the next level, and he appears to be a surefire first-round pick after 3-4 seasons.”



“The only thing holding Justice Haynes back from being a five-star is the NFL Draft. On the high school field with Blessed Trinity going against 6A Georgia defenses, there is nothing else Haynes has to prove as a tailback. Haynes is a workhorse player going over 2,375 yards with 29 scores off 275 touches in 12 games. Adding to it, he can also catch out of the backfield with 10 receptions for 136 yards, posting two more scores during his junior campaign.

“Haynes has official visits set with Florida, USC, Alabama and Ohio State after seeing the defending national champs over the weekend. The four-star back is on track for collegiate glory but may not be a first-round draft pick because the NFL no longer values that position as highly.“