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West Spotlight: Toughest 2024 rankings questions

Dylan Raiola
Dylan Raiola

The next major rankings update following the 2022 season is on the horizon for the 2024 class, and big decisions are left to be made regarding the top prospects in the region. Here are the five toughest questions we will face in the West Region.



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Can Dylan Raiola hang on to No. 1?

The five-star quarterback has already taken over the top spot from Duncanville, Texas, five-star defensive end Colin Simmons earlier in the 2024 rankings cycle. He’s a phenomenally talented prospect who has a big arm, great leadership skills and all the intangibles to be special at the next level.

If there’s one concern about Dylan Raiola it’s that he’s now onto his third high school and has already backed off a pledge to Ohio State.

Georgia, Nebraska, USC and many others are in hot pursuit because Raiola already looks and plays like a college quarterback plus he has an NFL pedigree since his father, Dominic, and uncle, Donovan, played in the league.

There is so much to like about Raiola and his game, but he will be pushed by others as the 2024 recruiting cycle plays out.


Who are the other five-stars?

T.A. Cunningham
T.A. Cunningham (Nick Lucero/

There are currently only 11 five-stars and only two from the West in Raiola and Alabama quarterback commit Julian Sayin. That number will inevitably go up as the recruiting class is built out and more players are seen through the offseason.

The only question is which players in the West region are the best five-star candidates? That list has to start with Georgia safety commit Peyton Woodyard from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco as he had a fantastic junior season at arguably the best program in the country and looks destined for greatness.

Four-star defensive end T.A. Cunningham sure looks like he has five-star potential. But after transferring from Johns Creek, Ga., to Los Alamitos, Calif., he had to sit because of transfer rules and then dealt with off-the-field issues outside his control that shouldn’t reflect poorly on him. He will be up for debate this offseason.

The other one I’m watching closely is Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe four-star defensive end Elijah Rushing, who has freak-level length and athleticism. He was impressive last offseason but a little lean so if he continues to develop physically, Rushing is absolutely on the radar for a significant bump in the rankings.


What to do with the linebacker rankings?

Dylan Williams
Dylan Williams (Nick Lucero/

Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa is ranked No. 67 in the 2024 class and Dylan Williams is No. 76 and throughout this recruiting cycle, there are going to be questions about whether they should be even higher and in which order.

Viliamu-Asa, from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, is one of the top inside linebackers in the country and bounced back from a knee injury to have a phenomenal junior season. Williams, out of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, is one of the top outside linebackers and looked terrific this past weekend at the Passing Down 7v7.

In which order should they be rated in not only the linebacker rankings but in California? That’s yet to be determined.


What order should the offensive linemen be placed?

There is an interesting debate emerging among Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei teammates DeAndre Carter and Brandon Baker about which one is the best offensive tackle in the West. Also, is Carter even going to play tackle or move inside to guard in college? And where exactly do we place four-star offensive guard Isendre Ahfua and some other emerging players at the position.

The West Region has not been known for elite offensive line play over the years but in the 2024 class there are some big-time names. Carter has the edge now but Baker has a more traditional offensive tackle body and arguably moves a little better.

But Justin Tauanuu from Huntington Beach, Calif., and Preston Taumua out of Aiea, Hawaii, are definitely on the radar as well.


Should we get excited about Arizona talent?

Demond Williams
Demond Williams

There is a very good chance the 2024 class in Arizona is going to be very good with a lot of high-end talent and we’re not only talking about Raiola and Rushing.

Phoenix Mountain Pointe running back Christian Clark, Ole Miss quarterback commit Demond Williams, Oregon defensive end pledge Jaxson Jones, Gilbert Casteel defensive back Jeremiah Newcombe and others all have made a big impression.

The question is: How high should they be ranked? Bumps are definitely coming for many.