Rivals Rankings Week: Countdown of 2024 five-stars
It's another Rivals Rankings Week, and this time it's the 2024 class in the spotlight, fresh off the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge last week. We kicked things off today with a countdown of the nine five-stars in the 2024 class, as Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney offered his thoughts on each.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Tuesday: Who should be No. 1?
Wednesday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars
Thursday: New Rivals150 unveiled | Biggest risers | Position-by-position glance
Friday: Offensive position rankings released
Saturday: Defensive position rankings released
Sunday: State rankings released
1. DE COLIN SIMMONS
Gorney's Take: Colin Simmons remains at No. 1 in the 2024 rankings based off phenomenal sophomore film where he completely dominates as an edge rusher and shows rare athletic ability for someone his size to be able to track players down, not miss tackles in the backfield and so much more.
What Simmons brings as a defensive end is overwhelming – sudden power and speed that stuns offensive tackles, the ability to hit another gear to get to the ball carrier and the focus and determination to finish plays. As he adds even more size and strength in the coming years, his domination should only continue.
2. CB DESMOND RICKS
Gorney's Take: Length, speed and instincts are crucial at the cornerback position and Desmond Ricks has them all in abundance. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy prospect can jam receivers at the line and turn and run with anybody – as we saw him stride for stride with No. 1 2023 cornerback Cormani McClain when McClain was running routes at the OT7 tournament in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.
When the ball is in the air, Ricks has that special knack to turn at the right second to knock it away. An argument could be made that other than McClain, Ricks is the best cornerback in high school football regardless of class.
3. QB DYLAN RAIOLA
Gorney's Take: Dylan Raiola has all the tools not only to be the No. 1 quarterback in the 2024 class but he could end up at the top of the overall rankings as well. Lofty comparisons are part and parcel of recruiting rankings but if anyone looks and plays like Patrick Mahomes then it’s Raiola.
He would be a five-star QB in the 2023 class as well and might even push to be the No. 1 QB in that group of loaded players. Raiola is that talented and potentially that special. He can make all the throws, he’s a smart leader, he’s competitive, cool under pressure and looks like a 21st century QB. He can throw on the run, off-platform, from different arm angles and so much more. Ohio State is getting a great one.
4. QB JULIAN SAYIN
Gorney's Take: There is not a better technician when it comes to the 2024 five-star quarterbacks than Julian Sayin, who throws a perfect ball nearly every time, spins it well, surveys the field to make the right throw and not the flash throw, and just does everything by the book.
The Carlsbad, Calif., standout who has Georgia, Texas, LSU, Alabama, Michigan and others high on his list, is not going to wow you with his athletic ability. But he can easily make all the throws on the run and he’s going to outhink defenses, find the right receiver and execute the right play.
5. QB JADYN DAVIS
Gorney's Take: Jadyn Davis unequivocally remains a five-star quarterback but Dylan Raiola and Julian Sayin have been so strong this offseason that a move down a few spots happened with the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day standout.
The thing is, Davis has also had a fantastic offseason whether at the Charlotte Rivals Camp or the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat. He has proven to be a phenomenal quarterback as well. He’s a leader, he can deliver the ball anywhere on the field, he is a competitor and there’s no question Davis stays as a five-star.
6. WR RYAN WINGO
Gorney's Take: The St. Louis (Mo.) University five-star receiver certainly passed the eye test at the OT7 event in Las Vegas and while he didn’t make tons of highlight-reel catches because his 7on7 team didn’t have an elite quarterback, it’s clear Ryan Wingo is a special player.
A big-bodied, long receiver, Wingo can outjump smaller defensive backs and muscle them for the football and nobody is jamming him on the line of scrimmage. He’s a big target with ball skills and that keeps Wingo as the No. 1 receiver in the class for now.
7. WR MICAH HUDSON
Gorney's take: Micah Hudson is an elusive, electric receiver who is a big-time playmaker at the receiver position. Get the ball in his hands and watch the new five-star work as he dodges tacklers, even groups of defenders closing in on him sometimes can’t get him on the ground as he finds a way to escape for big gains.
Or he can use his speed downfield and beat defensive backs on 50/50 balls. Hudson has game-breaking ability at the receiver spot, devastating speed and make-you-miss ability and that’s why he moved up to five-stars.
8. WR JEREMIAH SMITH
Gorney's Take: On a South Florida Express 7on7 team loaded with Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, Hykeem Williams, Nathaniel Joseph, Joshisa Trader and others, Jeremiah Smith more than held his own with those players and had his shining moments as well. From the Pylon event in Los Angeles to the OT7 event and other stops this spring, Smith showed surprising speed on the outside, exceptional playmaking ability and he’s talked about learning from those older players as a sign of maturity in his own game.
9. LB TJ CAPERS
Gorney's Take: TJ Capers has some of the best film in the 2024 class, an incredibly athletic and physical outside linebacker who is part edge rusher and part destroyer of receivers who catch passes anywhere on the field.
The Miami (Fla.) Columbus standout can blitz and create havoc that way, he can diagnose plays and come in for the tackle, he can knock the ball away from receivers catching it across the middle and he’s always looking to rip the ball out and make a play. His length and athleticism make him absolutely special.