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Rivals Rankings Week: Who should be No. 1 in the 2023 Rivals250?

Cormani McClain
Cormani McClain (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The preseason update to the 2023 Rivals250 comes out this week and current No. 1 prospect Arch Manning has more than a few competitors for the top spot in the rankings. The Rivals national analysts - Clint Cosgrove, Adam Friedman, Adam Gorney, Nick Harris and Ryan Wright - make their case for who they think should be the No. 1 prospect in the refreshed 2023 Rivals250.

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TOP PORTAL ADDITIONS: SEC | Big Ten | ACC | Big 12 | Pac-12

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

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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COSGROVE'S VIEW: Cormani McClain

Arch Manning, Cormani McClain, Nico Iamaleava, Samuel M'Pemba, Carnell Tate and Dante Moore are all neck and neck for the No. 1 player in my opinion, but I am going to go with my gut and stick with McClain here. While the group of quarterbacks and M'Pemba are at positions considered to have more value when it comes to the NFL Draft, there are too many variables that contribute to a quarterback's success at the college level and I need to see M'Pemba play a full season on the edge before I would feel comfortable putting him at No. 1.

McClain, on the other hand, has the frame, athleticism and skillset to make an immediate impact in college. Barring anything crazy, I see him as the one prospect of the group with the best chance of being picked early when this class is draft eligible. I am fully aware that a corner is not likely to be picked first overall, but at the same time I believe McClain is the closest player in this class to being a sure thing when it comes to transitioning from high school to college and then the NFL.

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FRIEDMAN'S VIEW: Arch Manning

There is a lot to like about the top four quarterbacks in this class and there are some special athletes under consideration as well but Manning should hang on as the No. 1 prospect in the Rivals250 this week. The Texas commit has plenty of tools to be successful at the college level and, with his background, shouldn't have too hard a time picking up the college playbook. Dante Moore made a big push in my mind and I've always liked Malachi Nelson and Nico Iamaleava but, for now, I'm sticking with Manning as my top prospect in the class.

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GORNEY'S VIEW: Arch Manning

I'm still convinced we have the right No. 1 prospect in the country in Arch Manning. I wish he did national events and played 7-on-7. We all do. It would give us a more thorough picture of his strengths and weaknesses where he would not be handled every step of the way. But what we want and what is are two different things so we have to play the hand we were dealt. We've seen Cormani McClain and Malachi Nelson and Dante Moore and Nico Iamaleava and a host of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy players a lot more. We've seen Manning a lot less. That still doesn't mean he's not the best player in the class. With his arm strength, intelligence, leadership and pedigree, I'm sticking with Manning until being convinced otherwise through their senior seasons and especially at the all-star events.

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HARRIS' VIEW: Arch Manning

Although there isn’t a sure thing so far this cycle when it comes to being the No. 1 overall prospect, Manning continues to be the safe bet. From a physical standpoint, Manning can be an immediate contributor at Texas if needed, and it doesn’t surprise anyone that he has easily the highest IQ of any of the top quarterbacks in the country along with immense arm talent. However, there are talented and viable contenders for that No. 1 spot such as Dante Moore and Cormani McClain, and that gap has narrowed by a significant margin this summer. If the season continues along the same trajectory, don’t be surprised to see Manning lose his top spot.

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WRIGHT'S VIEW: Dante Moore

Moore has hit the offseason working to prove he’s the top QB in the 2023 class. That effort also puts him in consideration for the top-ranked prospect regardless of position in the Rivals250, and I am on board. Moore has a Sunday arm with a fluid motion that makes it look effortless airing it out across the hashes or downfield. Any throw asked of him on the route tree can be made on time and with accuracy. Seeing him in-person playing 7-on-7 and going over his Elite 11 performance, Moore stands out as the top prospect in his class.

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