Rivals Rankings Week: Meet the No. 1 player at each position

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There are a lot of new prospects from the class of 2025 that college football fans will need to get familiar with as the rankings cycle progresses. The Rivals national analyst team of Clint Cosgrove, Adam Friedman, Adam Gorney, Nick Harris and Ryan Wright help speed that process along for the public.

Here’s a look at what makes the top-ranked player at each position special and where his recruitment currently stands.

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NEW 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Introducing the top five | Position breakdown | Five biggest debates | Latest in their recruiting

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CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

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QUARTERBACK: Bryce Underwood 

“Underwood collected plenty of accolades last year, and with good reason. As a freshman, the 6-foot-3 gunslinger threw for close to 3,900 yards with 39 touchdowns and only four interceptions while leading his Belleville, Mich., team to a state championship. The crazy part about all of that success is how young he is for his grade. He could have technically been an eighth grader during the historic season, and that is a testimony to his poise and maturity.

“Underwood looks to have picked up right where he left off early this season and has Belleville rolling to a 3-0 start in dominant fashion. With his size, arm talent, athleticism and intangibles he is the complete package. Underwood should be sought after by every elite program in the country, but look for the in-state schools Michigan and Michigan State to be at the top of the list early on in his recruitment.” – Cosgrove

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RUNNING BACK: Jordon Davidson 

“When Davison lived in Northern California he was trained by the same people who worked with Joe Mixon, Najee Harris and Raleek Brown, so Davison is expected to be next in line. He’s a different running back than those three guys but special in his own way because he’s big, strong and can bounce off tacklers with ease. In an elite program like Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Davison is already special. Ohio State leads with Georgia, Texas and others involved.” – Gorney

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WIDE RECEIVER: Dakorien Moore 

“Duncanville (Texas) wide receiver Dakorien Moore is one of just a handful of freshmen to ever get ample playing time at the DFW powerhouse, and he made the most of it last season for the Panthers in helping lead the way toward a state championship appearance.

“Moore has also been a camp legend early in his high school career and has proved to be a matchup nightmare for anyone that lines up opposite of him. Pair his abilities with a 21-foot, 7-inch long jump and an early 11.42 100-meter time, and it becomes clear that Moore oozes with potential.

“Moore holds 21 early offers including Florida, Ohio State, Texas and more.” – Harris

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TIGHT END: Davon Mitchell 

“Allen (Texas) tight end Davon Mitchell already possesses a wide 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame that he pairs with an above-average skill set and athleticism that make him an early bloomer at the position. Mitchell has shown a dangerous ability in the pass-catching game and has already displayed that in his sophomore season in helping the Allen offense open up in 11- and 21-personnel sets.

“His dominance on the camp circuit both in the spring and at college campuses in the summer has earned him 16 early offers, including from Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and more.” – Harris

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OFFENSIVE LINE: David Sanders Jr. 

“Sanders has the skill set college coaches around the country are looking for and – as the No. 1 prospect in the 2025 – the expectations are high. The 6-foot-6 left tackle plays with excellent technique for such a young player and his quickness gives even the most agile defensive ends fits when they’re trying to rush the passer. Physical development is key for Sanders as he gets older but his playing strength for his age is already pretty impressive.

Clemson, Ohio State, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan are just some of the schools to watch in his recruitment. Sanders will be in Columbia this weekend when South Carolina hosts Georgia.” – Friedman

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DEFENSIVE END: Jared Smith 

“When it comes to upside and unlimited potential, Smith’s trajectory is sky high. The Spain Park defender has height that excites college coaches and a wingspan that could hug a Mack truck from side-to-side. The physical attributes help keep opposing linemen’s hands off him while creating a wall on his side of the field. His athleticism and technique are coming with his age and experience. Once he adds strength – watch out.

“Smith’s early work against 7A Alabama offenses have made it easy for next-level coaches to drop offers. Tennessee, Miami, LSU, Georgia and Auburn are just a few of the teams to hand over scholarship opportunities.” – Wright

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DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Elijah Griffin 

“The state of Georgia always seems to produce top high school defensive linemen, and Elijah Griffin continues the legacy. During Griffin’s freshman campaign he was playing like a grizzled high school veteran while shutting down 69 plays with eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The offseason was full of hard work, coming back with noticeably improved overall strength while shedding blocks and controlling the line of scrimmage with relative ease.

“An added bonus to Griffin’s play in the trenches is his versatility. The coaches at Savannah Christian use Griffin as end and defensive tackle. The overall talent has Griffin at the 20-offer mark.” – Wright

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LINEBACKER: Nasir Wyatt

“Wyatt was a name to know on Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei last season. He developed even more this offseason and now he’s one of the more productive players on the entire defense coming off the edge, always being around the ball and having a knack for making things happen. He has the frame to grow into an edge rusher and the speed and instincts to drop in coverage to make plays. Ohio State is the dream offer, but many others will be involved.” – Gorney

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DEFENSIVE BACK: DJ Pickett

“The coaches at Carrollwood Day trusted the rising freshman from the jump, making him a focus of their defense at safety. Pickett, who is now at Zephyrhills, responded by being among the team leaders in tackles (24) and a team-high two picks. Showing off his athleticism, the 2025 standout also lined up on offense, hauling in eight passes for 171 yards with one touchdown in eight games.

“Top college programs wasted no time offering Pickett, with a reported 39 on the table. The list is impressive, highlighted by Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Texas, Georgia, LSU and Michigan.” – Wright

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ATHLETE: Noah MIkhail 

“It’s probable that Mikhail ends up playing linebacker in college because he’s already 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and that’s perfectly fine coming off the edge or coming down to make tackles. He’s productive and all over the place. The La Verne (Calif.) Bonita standout is also an impactful player at receiver and safety, though, and with nearly 20 offers to sort through things are just getting started in his recruitment.” – Gorney



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