Tuesdays with Gorney: New 2024 Rivals250 released
The new Rivals250 for the 2024 class was released on Tuesday and that means it’s time for Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney to break down his thoughts by position in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1?
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released | Who will finish as top RB?
Saturday: Rankings Roundtable
SEC battles are going to be fun to watch in the coming years because Georgia commit Dylan Raiola and Alabama pledge Julian Sayin are the two best quarterbacks in the class, and they have different styles. Raiola is a little flashier, maybe a little more dynamic and he has the frame of an NFL quarterback. Sayin was incredibly good at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat and might have the best accuracy in the class. He’s also all-business, so it will be fun to watch.
Michigan commit Jadyn Davis remains a five-star but there will be discussions as we go along how that will all play out. He had a great junior season and had his moments at the Clarkson event, so the upcoming Elite 11 will be huge one way or another for him.
CJ Carr (Notre Dame), Jake Merklinger (Tennessee), Ohio State commit Air Noland and Florida pledge DJ Lagway are others to watch closely. It’s a strong quarterback group at the top, and there might be more depth than we first realized.
I’m still not convinced we have the right order in the position rankings and there might be no way to really flesh this out until the all-star events when we can compare them together on the same playing fields.
Florida State commit Kameron Davis still leads the way and he’s a fantastic prospect with an NFL body, but Michigan pledge Jordan Marshall and Longview, Texas, standout Taylor Tatum (who could be leaning to USC) are emerging as top contenders.
We feel we overrated some of the Florida running backs early, so they’ve moved down a little without freefalling, but one that might continue to move up even after a big bump is Chauncey Bowens, who flipped from Florida to Georgia over the weekend. In the end, Bowens could be the best of the bunch.
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Nathaniel Frazier took over the top all-purpose back rankings. Although he doesn’t catch many passes in high school, Frazier definitely has that dynamic playmaking ability and he only had 61 carries last season, splitting time with elite 2025 RB Jordon Davison.
Unless something completely unforeseen happens, it’s going to be nearly impossible to move Ohio State commit Jeremiah Smith off the No. 1 line at the position. He’s so incredibly talented and he’s a physical specimen the likes we might not have seen since Julio Jones. There is almost a switch he turns on that allows the five-star to dominate at will on the high school level.
But others are definitely pushing. Micah Hudson, who’s mainly looking at Texas and Texas Tech, is a Garrett Wilson clone, and then St. Louis (Mo.) University’s Ryan Wingo has his moments but we need to see more consistent domination to stay in that five-star range.
Phenix City (Ala.) Central’s Cameron Coleman has had maybe the best offseason of any receiver in the class, and new Clemson commit Bryant Wesco is also one to watch as he could possibly move even higher. If four-star speedster Gatlin Bair can dominate against national competition he could move even higher, and then every time we’ve seen Boo Carter this offseason he has been awesome.
As a group of analysts, we’ve had conversations about devaluing the tight end position a little bit because it’s not as utilized in the pro game. But I don’t think the 2024 class is a good time to be dropping prospects at the position because there is tremendous talent up top and a whole lot of depth.
Florida State commit Landen Thomas is the do-it-all type that excels because he’s basically a big wide receiver who is willing to do anything for the team. LSU commit Trey’Dez Green is a great-looking kid with a basketball background, so athleticism shouldn’t be an issue there.
Georgia pledge Jaden Reddell is moving up the charts, but we’d like to see even more of him on the national stage, and Ainsworth, Neb., four-star Carter Nelson is really interesting because he doesn’t play big competition in high school but the whispers are the Bulldogs think he could be Brock Bowers-like.
How much do we like the tight end group? There are 29 four-stars. That’s a lot.
I don’t think offensive tackle is one of the stronger positions in this recruiting class as there isn’t a surefire No. 1 player at that position. But we also might be either overlooking someone or missing the depth that this group could have over the long term.
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Brandon Baker is a safe bet at No. 1 as he had a great junior season and has seen his status take off in recent months. But Ohio State commit Ian Moore, South Carolina pledge Kam Pringle and others are definitely pushing for a spot that could see a lot of changes in the coming months. I would also not count out a guy like Grant Brix, from tiny Logan (Iowa) Magnolia Community, as someone who could emerge further.
The interior players are much more interesting to me – and where we might find the five-stars. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Jordan Seaton and Tampa (Fla.) Catholic’s Eddy Pierre-Louis are definitely on five-star watch as things move forward, and then Notre Dame pledge Peter Jones, Casey Poe from Lindale, Texas, and Georgia prospect Waltclaire Flynn are some other inside guys who could move even higher.
The defensive end group is especially interesting because there are a lot of five-stars, and only time will allow us to find the right order for all those top players.
We like Williams Nwaneri, who has Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and others involved, most at strongside. But Lake Cormorant, Miss., standout Kamarion Franklin is tough as well, and fellow five-star Eddrick Houston from Buford, Ga., is definitely one who could shoot back up the rankings. After those three, there is a significant drop-off, but Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge’s Joseph Jonah-Ajonye could keep climbing the rankings ladder.
At weakside defensive end, also known as edge rusher, I still believe Colin Simmons is an elite talent and his playing style fits exactly what defenses want to do in 2023. But Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy's Dylan Stewart is a phenomenal player and deserved a bump to five-star status. Elijah Rushing and Marquise Lightfoot have incredible length and motors, and a player to watch down the road could be Notre Dame commit Loghan Thomas because of his ranginess and athleticism.
I still prefer Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s David Stone over Chicago St. Ignatius’ Justin Scott as the top-rated defensive tackle, but it’s really a toss-up. Both are elite players. The next group is really interesting because they all have great frames and might be able to move up even more, as Aydin Breland, Dominick McKinley and Jericho Johnson lead the way there and then Kamron Beavers could be one from small-town Mississippi that emerges even more later.
Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge’s Justin Williams has been named a five-star, and I like his updated ranking because he’s a do-it-all type that has just too much production to be ignored. Oregon, Georgia and many others are involved and he’s a special prospect in a strong group of linebackers.
At outside linebacker, Florida commit Myles Graham leads the way but he’s going to be seriously pushed by Georgia commit Demarcus Riddick, who’s being heavily pursued by Alabama and Auburn. Others to watch include Gators pledge Adarius Hayes, four-star Jamonta Waller, former five-star TJ Capers and others.
Cornerback again is one of those positions where very little is settled. Georgia commit Ellis Robinson and high four-star Charles Lester flip-flopped the top spot, but that battle could go either way. Alabama commit Jaylen Mbakwe has too much speed and athleticism to not keep moving him higher.
This is a very fluid position, though, as the prospects ranked from six to 20 at least could see a lot of movement depending on performance in the coming months, and all-star games will play a huge role in our thinking.
At safety, things are getting interesting at the top as well. KJ Bolden, Zaquan Patterson and Georgia commit Peyton Woodyard are the three five-stars, but Florida pledge Xavier Filsaime is definitely someone to watch and there is a lot of depth here into the 20s.
Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview’s Mike Matthews is the top-rated athlete, and we decided to move Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna standout Joshisa Trader from receiver to the athlete position. Trader wants to play receiver in college - and he’s a fantastic one as Ohio State, Florida State and Miami stand out most - but many believe he’s an even better defensive back and he showed that ability at the OT7 in Phoenix this offseason. It will be something to watch.
Terry Bussey is also moving up big-time, and he’s one to watch because the Timpson, Texas, standout plays quarterback in high school but has such an elite feel for the game and such great athleticism that he could be a star at numerous positions at the next level.