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West Spotlight: Biggest questions in next rankings refresh

The post-spring rankings update is getting large on the horizon. Plenty of new information has come to light during the spring camp season and soon the rankings will be updated to reflect the national analyst team’s latest projections for the 2025 and 2026 classes.

This week the national analyst team is examining its biggest questions heading into the upcoming rankings meetings. Next up is the West region.

THIS SERIES: Four big rankings questions in the Mid-South | East Region | Southeast Region | Midwest Region

MORE GORNEY: Ten most intriguing visits this weekend | Ten biggest decommitments of the 2025 class


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1. Is Jordon Davison the top running back in 2025?

Jordon Davison
Jordon Davison

There are two five-star running backs in the 2025 class in Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Jordon Davison and Metairie (La.) St. Martin’s Episcopal’s Harlem Berry and then a group of elite four-stars led by Penn State commit Alvin Henderson, who has put up insane numbers through his high school career at Elba, Ala.

All three of them are expected at the Rivals Five-Star later this summer at the Jacksonville Jaguars facility and the rankings could work themselves out then. But it might even happen sooner.

Davison has been great in pads the last two seasons at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei sharing carries with Georgia signee Nate Frazier, but this year he should be the workhorse in the backfield. The five-star is above 220 pounds so he’s definitely a different kind of back than Berry and Henderson, who are built but are more electric with the ball in their hands and used more in the passing game.

It might end up being a matter of taste. Davison can be the NFL workload back while Berry and Henderson are more the electric make-you-miss players. But this summer could go a long way in determining final rankings.

RELATED: 2025 running back rankings


2. What should be the order of the 2025 California QBs?

Akili Smith Jr.
Akili Smith Jr. (Nick Lucero/

Texas A&M commit Husan Longstreet has a cannon. Oregon pledge Akili Smith Jr. has phenomenal size and the pedigree. Stanford commit Bear Bachmeier has the accuracy and comes from a family of Division I athletes. Four-star Madden Iamaleava learned under his five-star brother, Nico, and is now putting up huge numbers and has a ton of upside.

Those are some of the considerations when re-ranking the 2025 quarterbacks in California and whether any changes need to be made.

As for offseason work, Iamaleava has arguably had the best few months. Every time we see him – such as the Downey (Calif.) Warren Showcase – the four-star who’s visiting UCLA this weekend seems more confident, throws a beautiful ball and is carrying himself as one of the better quarterbacks in this class.

RELATED: 2025 California state rankings


3. Is there another five-star in California?

The last time there was only one five-star in the California state rankings was in 2021 when defensive end Korey Foreman earned that ranking (although he has not played up to a five-star yet in his college career). That was also the recruiting cycle of Brock Bowers, who ended up as a four-star prospect out of Napa, Calif., and one ranking we will rue in the years to come.

Even though talented depth in the state has been trending down a little over the last few recruiting cycles, there are still usually a handful of five-stars in California. But this could be another case of a recruiting class that just doesn’t have that five-star level player.

Davison is the lone five-star right now and he’s a running back, definitely not a position of first-round value in the NFL Draft. Last recruiting cycle, there were some late additions after dominating performances in their senior seasons and all-star games, and that might be the case again in 2025.


4. Should linemen lead the Nevada state rankings?

Douglas Utu
Douglas Utu

A vast majority of top players from the state of Nevada play at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, which could have the top team in the country this season, and an argument could be made that its three best players are all offensive linemen.

Five-star Douglas Utu leads the way and whether he stays at offensive tackle or moves inside to offensive guard, it almost doesn’t matter in terms of ranking because he’s been so dominant for so long and almost never loses a rep. But interior teammates SJ Alofaituli and Alai Kalaniuvalu have been phenomenal this offseason as well and impressed again at the recent Gorman showcase. Some say that Kalaniuvalu was the best of the best that night.

The question here is where to place four-star receiver Derek Meadows. The Gorman receiver, who has Notre Dame and others at the top of his recruitment, is all of 6-foot-6 and 195 pounds. He looked impressive at Battle Miami earlier this offseason, but he’s been sidelined the rest of the time with a hamstring injury.

RELATED: 2025 Nevada state rankings