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Tuesdays with Gorney: Position-by-position on new 2023 rankings

Another round of rankings for the 2023 class is being released this week and Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney has his thoughts on the new Rivals250. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of what he sees in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney:

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team



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 | Biggest risers

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: Final state rankings released




Arch Manning
Arch Manning (

This pro-style quarterback group could go down as one of the best – and deepest – in recent memory as we’ve seen almost all of them over the last few months and there have been some impressive performances. Arch Manning doesn’t do any national events but we stopped by his school for spring ball and he continues to be really impressive. The three other five-star quarterbacks – USC commit Malachi Nelson, Tennessee pledge Nico Iamaleava and Detroit Martin Luther King’s Dante Moore – continue to push him.

I wasn’t sold on any other five-star quarterbacks in this class but I’m warming up to that idea especially after seeing Clemson commit Christopher Vizzina at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat. He was outstanding and then Pittsburg, Calif., prospect Jaden Rashada and Oklahoma commit Jackson Arnold are within striking distance as well. I’m not sure yet on Alabama pledge Eli Holstein or Baylor commit Austin Novosad but I’m watching both closely.

The 2023 quarterback class is amazingly good and higher rankings could be coming.



Justice Haynes
Justice Haynes

I’m having a difficult time figuring out the top of the running back rankings because Justice Haynes is maybe the best one, Rueben Owens is the most versatile and Richard Young looks the best. That’s going to be a tough call placing them as this recruiting cycle continues and to determine whether any are five-star prospects especially considering that the position has been downgraded in the NFL Draft recently.

The player I’m most interested in and the one who could be the surprise of this entire class is St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers’ Jeremiyah Love, who had impressive stats last year but not blockbuster ones because he shared the ball with other running backs. I actually like that since Love has more tread on his tires and his legs could stay fresher for longer. Michigan and Notre Dame seem to be battling it out for him but a recent visit to Georgia went well, too.



How the wide receiver rankings end up is still to be determined but there was a change at the top as Carnell Tate took over No. 1 and Brandon Inniss, who is still insanely talented, is now at No. 2. New five-stars Hykeem Williams and Zachariah Branch are completely different players but they have production in common and they felt like no-brainers after seeing them numerous times this spring.

Where do we go from here? I would love to see Shelton Sampson at some events this offseason to gauge whether we were too harsh in dropping him from five-star status or if it’s right that he got bumped down a little bit. The one receiver I hope to see more of this offseason is Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep’s Jalen Brown, who mixes production with elite speed and those are the type of receivers I love.

There was some minor movements at tight end but it’s going to be difficult to push Duce Robinson off the No. 1 line and I wonder if he ends up as a five-star prospect. An elite talent with incredible physical tools who is also a star baseball player, Robinson is special.

Georgia commit Pearce Spurlin has definitely caught our attention and even though Jaxon Howard doesn’t do many national events, I wonder if he’s a little underrated at No. 5 at the position.



I would not be opposed to the discussion of moving Samson Okunlola to the No. 1 offensive tackle in the class especially after he looked so great at numerous events this offseason including the Rivals Camp Series in Philadelphia. I’m torn, though, because I initially pushed Kadyn Proctor to be a five-star and I’ve loved him on film. He is such a physical specimen and moves so well so that will be an ongoing discussion. I also think Francis Mauigoa has the chops to move up to a five-star prospect and as we see more of Ohio State commit Luke Montgomery through this cycle he could join that group as well.

I don’t get the lower rankings elsewhere for TJ Shanahan Jr. because for years he has shown up time and again – even when he didn't need to – to kick butt and take names, and never back down from anybody. The Austin (Texas) Westlake standout completely dominates nearly every rep he takes. What else can Shanahan show to prove he’s a five-star prospect and the No. 1 interior offensive lineman in the class? Harris Sewell might be a touch under-ranked at No. 6 at the position and the more I see DJ Chester on the camp circuit the more I like him.



Jayden Wayne
Jayden Wayne

Starting at strongside defensive end, there is a chance there could be significant changes at the top as we see these guys more in person through the summer and especially at all-star events. We like David Hicks Jr. and Jayden Wayne a lot and that’s why they are five-star prospects but I’m especially intrigued by Notre Dame commit Brenan Vernon (mainly because we haven’t seen a ton of him yet), Kelby Collins and Georgia commit Gabriel Harris, who was great last offseason and only seems to be getting better.

At weakside defensive end, Samuel M’Pemba is the new No. 1 player at that position and he’s one of the best-looking prospects in the entire class. I still think Keon Keeley is a phenomenal player and a five-star recruit but we would love to see him at more national events to challenge himself against the best of the best. Chandavian Bradley and Keldric Faulk will be closely watched, too, because their athleticism and length really stand out.

Defensive tackle is a position in flux, too, because Jamaal Jarrett was so massive and dominant at the Rivals Camp in Charlotte that he could push for No. 1 at the position. Jason Moore has hung on and while it’s not an elite group across the board, there are some others that could emerge and Kayden McDonald could be one of those guys.



Anthony Hill
Anthony Hill (

Denton (Texas) Ryan’s Anthony Hill remains the lone five-star among the group but I’m certainly not against considering others as we go through the recruiting cycle with Malik Bryant and Notre Dame commit Drayk Bowen as the leading contenders.

Tausili Akana is a really interesting prospect who could also be an edge rusher. Then I have my eye on Braylan Shelby and Derion Gullette out of Texas as two that moved up in this new rankings cycle but still might not be high enough.



Javien Toviano
Javien Toviano (

Javien Toviano has moved up to five-star status and I absolutely love his junior film after reviewing it again heading into rankings but Cormani McClain will be tough to topple as the No. 1 cornerback in the class. The Lakeland, Fla., prospect is just so smooth, so talented and so instinctual that Toviano deserved a bump but not over McClain. The guy I want to see more of is Alabama commit Jahlil Hurley but the Florence, Ala., recruit has not done many national events yet.

There continues an ongoing debate whether Caleb Downs is a five-star. My vote has been yes but the Mill Creek (Ga.) Hoschton stays a high four-star at this point. Derek Williams moves up to that level as well but we haven’t named a five-star safety in the class yet. Joenel Aguero is a great-looking kid who we saw at Rivals Camp in Philadelphia but he didn’t work out.



Nyckoles Harbor
Nyckoles Harbor (

Nyckoles Harbor is ranked seventh nationally and we might regret not having him higher. He’s super high but the Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll standout is such a freak athlete and a track superstar that it’s hard not having him in the top five because he will absolutely blow the socks off NFL GMs at the combine. He also had 17 sacks last season and while it wasn’t against great competition, it was still significant.

Malachi Coleman has also moved up to the highest four-star ranking and whether he plays wide receiver or edge rusher, the Lincoln (Neb.) East standout will make an impact.