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Thursdays with Gorney: Position-by-position on the new 2024 rankings

The new Rivals250 for the 2024 class has been released and Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney has some thoughts to share at each position. Instead of his usual Tuesdays with Gorney column, let’s have a special Thursdays with Gorney.



Tuesday: Who should be No. 1?

Wednesday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Thursday: New Rivals250 unveiled | Biggest risers | Position-by-position glance

Friday: Offensive position rankings released

Saturday: Defensive position rankings released

Sunday: State rankings released

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




Dylan Raiola
Dylan Raiola

The 2023 quarterback class is great with four five-stars and this 2024 group is outstanding, too, as these back-to-back classes are absolutely loaded at the position. Ohio State commit Dylan Raiola leapfrogged a handful of other quarterbacks to No. 1 because he was impressive at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat and some other events this offseason. He looks different than many of the other high-end players in his class. Seeing him in person, from a physical standpoint, mental makeup with confidence and his arm talent, he’s elite.

I’ve always liked Julian Sayin and while he’s not going to blow you way from an athletic standpoint he just never throws a bad ball. Every event, every throw is so precise and he’s so focused on delivering perfection that he’s No. 2. It seems maybe a tad unfair that Jadyn Davis is third at the position (he remains a five-star) because he’s had an excellent offseason as well. But we need to order these guys some way and this is how we felt it was right for the time being.

We will watch everybody but there are some who are especially intriguing. Notre Dame commit CJ Carr is in the five-star discussion. Elijah Brown is leading Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s offense and he plays with ice in his veins. DJ Lagway has all the physical tools to be really special and has had his moments this offseason. Michael Van Buren is an undersized kid but someone who really looked sharp at the Rivals Camp Series in Philadelphia.

Two quarterbacks we need to know more about moving forward are actually both from Savannah, Ga., in Calvary Day’s Jake Merklinger and Florida State commit Luke Kromenhoek. Both have the potential to move up fast.



Jerrick Gibson
Jerrick Gibson (Kid Ryno/

This running back group is interesting - and once again dominated by players from the Southeast. Jerrick Gibson is in the No. 1 spot after numerous impressive performances over recent months followed by Florida State commit Kameron Davis, who is rocked up. Stacy Gage rounds out the top three as there are again no five-stars at the position yet.

That second level of running backs is really interesting and someone could emerge from that group to contend for the upper-echelon spots. My pick now is Anthony Carrie or Derrick McFall but it will play out in the coming months. Four-star Ronnie Royal was moved over to No. 1 all-purpose back after an awesome performance at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge.



Ryan Wingo
Ryan Wingo (Nick Lucero)

Wide receiver is going to be one of the strongest position groups in the 2024 class especially with two new five-stars in these new rankings. Ryan Wingo stays in the No. 1 spot but he’s going to be pushed hard by Micah Hudson and my pick for the best receiver in the class, Jeremiah Smith out of Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna. On a 7-on-7 team with Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, Hykeem Williams and Nathaniel Joseph among others, Smith fit right in.

Many others are pushing up the rankings after seeing them this offseason. Nicholas Marsh is very good. Drelon Miller is really intriguing and looks great. Ny Carr is someone who could keep moving up. It should be very interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.

Tight end is also good especially in the Midwest and the Southeast. Landen Thomas leads the way but Brady Prieskorn and Christian Bentancur are really impressive pass-catchers and Trey’Dez Green is one of the best-looking tight ends to come through the ranks in a while. At a high three-star, I’m not sure Jack Larsen is getting the respect he deserves.



Kam Pringle
Kam Pringle

Either it’s still early and we haven’t gotten a chance to see every elite offensive linemen in this class or it’s a slightly down year for top-end talent across the board because we don’t have a five-star at offensive tackle or offensive guard right now. That should change but we also won’t force it if it’s not there.

Kam Pringle was great at the Rivals Charlotte Camp but then was up-and-down at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge. Daniel Calhoun is massive but he’s not overly physical and we wonder about elite athleticism with him. Guerby Lambert and Michael Uini are two to watch but more time is needed to figure this one out.

Offensive guard is impressive. Jordan Seaton is big, mean, tough and smart. Isendre Ahfua has all the intangibles to be really special along the offensive line. And Eddy Pierre-Louis might be someone to watch since he pumped out 26 reps on the bench press at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge, which would have tied him for seventh-most at this year’s NFL Combine.



Colin Simmons
Colin Simmons (Nick Lucero/

Another absolutely loaded group is the defensive linemen. Colin Simmons remains our No. 1 prospect but many others are pushing him. He’s so athletic and fast off the edge, though, and fits what so many coaches are looking for at that position that I like him in that spot. Still, there are tons of incredibly long and incredibly athletic weak-side defensive ends in this class who could move up.

At strongside defensive end, Alex Cunningham leads the way and he has all the size and ability in the world but this group is even more loaded. Eddrick Houston looks great on film, Brandon Davis-Swain just moved up significantly. Kamarion Franklin, Nigel Smith and Dylan Stephenson are all special. The guy I’m really watching, who could make a move once we see him more, is Williams Nwaneri out of Lees Summit (Mo.) Lees Summit North.

The defensive tackle spot is interesting because it’s more preference than ability per se. Justin Scott will be on five-star watch and we’d love to see him at some national events against some high-end offensive linemen. David Stone is a little undersized but he’s so fast and agile that he’s going to push for that top spot as well. There are all different kinds of shapes and sizes among this defensive tackle group so it will be interesting to watch it play out.



TJ Capers
TJ Capers (Kid Ryno/

I like the outside linebacker spot a lot especially at the top with new five-star TJ Capers being absolutely awesome and arguably having the best sophomore film of any player in his class. It has been relatively quiet for Adarius Hayes recently but he’s still very skilled and then Aaron Chiles has completely blown up in recent weeks as more college coaches have seen him.

The inside linebacker spot will be interesting as well since Sammy Brown impressed at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge but Myles Graham might be the most high-level athlete at that spot and Payton Pierce is a tackling machine. There is still a lot to learn about the linebacker spot as we move into their junior seasons.



Desmond Ricks
Desmond Ricks (

After five-star Desmond Ricks, the cornerback position is wide open. Charles Lester is very long and athletic but Bryce West has been really impressive at certain events and then Antione Jackson, Ellis Robinson and others stand out. I still think Wardell Mack is underrated and could be one of the best corners in this class.

Safety is intriguing as well. Peyton Woodyard leads the way and he’s an outstanding player with tons of upside. I also really like Jordon Johnson-Rubell, who is being recruited more at safety than cornerback now, and Jaylen Heyward is someone who has really stood out to me especially at the OT7 event in Las Vegas.



Quinton Martin
Quinton Martin (

We got spoiled at the athlete position in the 2023 class because No. 1 Nyckoles Harbor is a world-class track athlete as well and Malachi Coleman out of Lincoln (Neb.) East is a freakshow physically but there are some superstars in the 2024 group as well.

Quinton Martin leads the way and he’s great, and then KJ Bolden could definitely contend for that top spot since he’s elite all over the field. Mike Matthews is the guy who could shoot further up the rankings and Zaquan Patterson is a great-looking prospect as well.