Tuesdays with Gorney: Position-by-position on new 2024 rankings
The initial Rivals250 for the 2024 class was released Tuesday and in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney, national recruiting director Adam Gorney shares some thoughts on each position and looks ahead to what’s next.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Weekend: Who should be the No. 1 prospect in the 2024 class? | Top QB?
Monday: Five-Star Countdown
Tuesday: Initial Rivals250 released | Analysts discuss new ranking
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Programs with the most R250 commits
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
This quarterback group has legitimate talent at the top and then impressive depth so there is still a lot of room for adjustments as I see two players at least who could really emerge as five-star contenders down the line. Jadyn Davis and Julian Sayin lead the way as early five-stars but DJ Lagway at dual-threat quarterback is a phenomenal talent with size and arm talent.
The prospects I’m really going to watch closely in the coming months are Dylan Raiola and Adrian Posse. CJ Carr is ranked third at pro-style quarterback and he checks all the boxes as Lloyd Carr’s grandson is smooth, smart and more than capable to be a star. Raiola’s dad played in the NFL and his uncle coaches at Nebraska, and Posse is a big, physical kid with lots of abilities. This group is very strong and others will definitely emerge.
Is there a five-star running back in this class? Not yet but Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Stacy Gage would have the best chance right now as the position rankings are loaded with players from the Southeast. Teammate Jerrick Gibson is also very intriguing and might be the most dynamic player with the ball in his hands. I also very much like Anthony Carrie from Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day and see him as someone who could move even higher than third in the running back rankings.
At all-purpose back, Bryan Jackson from McKinney, Texas, is someone who could move up way higher in the top 100 but we just need to see more of him in person.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
For the second time in three years, a player originally from Missouri leads our receiver rankings. That’s a little strange as Luther Burden, who was from there but finished his career across the river at East St. Louis, Ill., was the top dog in 2022 and now it’s St. Louis (Mo.) University’s Ryan Wingo in the No. 1 spot. He’s big, has speed, great catch radius and outstanding hands – but others will be on his tail.
Four of the top six receivers are from Florida and while James Madison is the most impressive physically, Joshisa Trader and Jeremiah Smith have been outstanding pass catchers and they lead the way after Wingo. Ny Carr is someone who could move even higher than ninth in the position rankings with a big offseason.
Tight end is a position that still needs to be worked out. Brady Prieskorn has great ranginess and ability and leads the way right now but Landen Thomas is impressive and Trey’Dez Green is also a basketball player who has length and size. Things will shake out as we see a lot of these guys through the offseason.
One of the first six five-stars, Daniel Calhoun from Roswell (Ga.) Centennial leads the way here and then Kam Pringle out of Dorchester (S.C.) Woodland is right behind him as the top two offensive tackles in the 2024 class. There still needs to be depth built out among this group and one guy I like very much in this group who could move even higher in the future is Cordele (Ga.) Crisp County’s Barry Walker, who’s currently ninth at the position.
The top of the offensive guard group is very strong with Jordan Seaton and Isendre Ahfua set to battle it out for supremacy. Both are very capable and massive players who are also versatile along the offensive line. From center to guard to tackle, there are some very interesting names in this group but depth is needed to make it more impressive.
Colin Simmons is the No. 1 prospect in the initial 2024 rankings but odds are very likely that he won’t be the only five-star prospect at this position group. It’s completely loaded. Strongside defensive end is led by Alex Cunningham, who will be in the five-star conversation, and Eddrick Houston is incredibly impressive as well. Both are from the state of Georgia.
At weakside end, Simmons leads the way and then Leeds, Ala., prospect Kavion Henderson and Miami (Fla.) Columbus’ TJ Capers are pushing but with how dominant Simmons is, it might be tough to push him off that No. 1 spot.
Defensive tackle is loaded as well. David Stone, a recent transfer from Oklahoma to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, and Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy’s Hevin Brown-Shuler will battle it out for the top spot. But Justin Scott out of Chicago (Ill.) St. Ignatius College Prep might be the best of the bunch and also could look the best in person so he’s someone to watch with five-star potential.
The defensive line group could be the most loaded in the 2024 class.
There are no five-star linebackers yet and it might end up that way but Sammy Brown is the top-ranked outside linebacker and Payton Pierce is a tackling machine as the No. 1 inside linebacker. Pierce might end up being the best of the bunch after totaling 131 tackles as a sophomore, playing with no fear and running around the field with the sole focus of getting people on the ground.
The outside linebacker spot is especially deep as Adarius Hayes and Aaron Chiles are very talented, Edwin Spillman (whose brother Nate just committed to Tennessee) is becoming a more complete football player and in the next round of rankings Elijah Rushing will move to weakside defensive end as an edge rusher. Kyngston Viliamu-Asa is the next big thing at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco but he lost all of his sophomore season due to injury.
This is another position group where there is a clearcut leader at cornerback in five-star Desmond Ricks from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and then a tremendous amount of depth where we could see jostling among the other top-rated players. Jordon Johnson-Rubell is now at IMG as well and he has been fantastic the times I’ve see him and could see his recruitment blow up even more. I also really like Bryce West and Zabien Brown at cornerback and both could move up.
At safety, Peyton Woodward and Myles Graham lead the way. But Maurice Williams from Texas and Ty’shun White out of Georgia are close as well and there could be some movement here as this class continues.
Belle Vernon, Pa., athlete Quinton Martin has five-star potential and could be someone who moves up even higher in the rankings once we see him more. Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt and many others will be involved in his recruitment because Martin is a special athlete. But this group is deep as well with Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview’s Charles Lester and Texas commit Aeryn Hampton are also special athletes.
Two I have my eye on: Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side’s Brauntae Johnson could have seen his recruitment take off much more if he had more national exposure and Jordan Anderson from Long Beach (Calif.) Millikan has been outstanding this season showing toughness and athletic ability at receiver and defensive back.