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Tuesdays with Gorney: Ten prospects that could be No. 1 in 2024

Ellis Robinson
Ellis Robinson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The team of Rivals analysts are meeting later this week to roll out the first Rivals250 for the 2024 class. In this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney, national recruiting director Adam Gorney takes a look at 10 prospects who he thinks could have a chance at the No. 1 spot in the initial rankings:

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Adams might be a little bit of a sleeper for No. 1 overall but the Virginia Beach (Va.) Green Run receiver caught 42 passes for 1,009 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore. Just imagine how dominant Adams is going to be in his junior and senior seasons. What makes Adams so special is that he can line up outside, in the slot, anywhere and make plays. Short passes, no problem. Going deep, no problem. Adams can do it all and put up big numbers.

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Long, rangy, athletic and physical defensive ends don’t come around like this too often and so Cunningham is definitely in the discussion for No. 1 overall especially because of position value. Cunningham is not only a great-looking prospect but he routinely beats offensive tackles to the edge and inside, his length gets him to the ball carrier and Cunningham has also shown a relentless motor early in his career.

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What stands out most about Davis’ game through his sophomore season is the maturity in which he carries himself. He’s a leader on the field, he doesn’t make many poor decisions, he’s calm under pressure and then Davis has all the physical tools to be a special thrower all over the field. Davis would prefer to stay in the pocket but he can dodge blitzers, throw on the run and even gain yards by getting out and running. He’s not a surefire lock for the No. 1 spot but Davis has a lot of advanced abilities.

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The problem quite frankly with making a running back No. 1 overall in any recruiting class is that the position has been devalued in the NFL Draft and so it’s ever-more difficult to be a first-rounder coming out as a running back. That might be the case but Gage still has first-round ability since he’s physically built, smooth and moves well and is already establishing himself as one of the best backs nationally regardless of class.

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For a sophomore to be this versatile in the defensive backfield is incredibly impressive and he’s a tough, physical kid who likes to pop the ball out as well. Patterson can play safety, he comes down into the box to defend the run, he can cover in the slot and Patterson is comfortable doing it all. From sideline to sideline, Patterson tracks the ball and attacks and in the passing game he’s there to knock the ball away from a receiver or blast it out of there with a big hit.

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Ricks has a real chance. He was outstanding at the IMG Pro Day over the last week and then right to Battle Las Vegas to compete there - and shined in that tournament, too. He’s all of 6-foot-1, he has length and Ricks can move whether in the 40-yard dash or turning and running with any receivers. He's an outstanding prospect with even more upside as he grows more

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The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy who was playing at New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep can be physical or dynamic depending on the situation. Robinson can plan man coverage at the line, jam his receivers and get them off their routes. Or he can give receivers space, let them make the short catch and then aggressively come up and make the tackle. For a sophomore playing on an island, Robinson plays the position with tons of confidence.


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This encapsulates Sayin: The Carlsbad, Calif., quarterback completed more than 71 percent of his passes for 2,769 yards with 34 touchdowns and five interceptions. All those numbers are to illustrate that Sayin is a smart, skilled quarterback who can deliver the ball, put up big points and he did it without an elite receiving corps. There is so much that’s special about Sayin, his mentality, his calmness and coolness under pressure and the way he can just throw a football down the field.

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His brother, Neto, just signed with Texas and so the Longhorns could be in a fantastic position to also sign Umeozulu down the road - and he could be one of the more special prospects in this class. Umeozulu is just scratching the surface of his potential but at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he’s a long, lean playmaker off the edge that’s tough to handle because he’s already so big and dominant. It wouldn’t be a shock at all to see his development take off in the next few years, either.

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Wingo can make all the catches but what makes him extra special is when his St. Louis University team uses him on jet sweeps and other inventive ways to get him the ball. One thing that makes Wingo unique is his uncanny ability to weave through would-be tacklers even when it looks like the play is over and he’s hemmed in, Wingo uses his vision to find some space for more yards - sometimes for touchdowns. His hands are solid and Wingo can also make tough catches look easy.