The preseason update to the 2025 Rivals250 will be unveiled this week after a summer full of major events and plenty of new evaluations.
Elijah Griffin comes into the week ranked No. 1 in the country but there are a handful of challengers. The national analyst team – Clint Cosgrove, Adam Friedman, John Garcia Jr., Adam Gorney and Cole Patterson – give their takes on who they think should be the top prospect in the Rivals250.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Sunday: Who should be No. 1 in the 2025 Rivals250?
Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars
Tuesday: Rivals250 released | Biggest movers | Gorney’s thoughts
Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
COSGROVE’S TAKE: Bryce Underwood
The nation’s top prospect at the position of most value gets the nod from me and even at a somewhat raw stage of his development – it is hard to find any weakness in his game. Underwood has the prototypical frame and arm talent of a pocket passer, the athleticism of a skill player and all he does is win. The two time All-American has led his Belleville (Mich.) team to consecutive state championships and kicked off the 2023 season with a beautiful game winning touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to keep the streak alive. Michigan, Michigan State, LSU and others are among the contenders for the signal caller who some believe has generational upside.
FRIEDMAN’S TAKE: David Sanders Jr.
Griffin has been the No. 1 prospect in this 2025 class since the beginning of the ranking cycle but the race for No. 1 overall is closer than ever. That’s because Sanders is an elite talent in his own right. He’s a 6-foot-6, 265-pound left tackle and has all the physical traits college coaches are looking for. If he keeps developing at his current rate, he’s on a trajectory that could see him end up as one of the first picks in the NFL Draft when his time comes. The argument over a position value will play a huge role down the road when we’re figuring out who should sit in the top spot of the Rivals250. At this point, I believe Sanders will eventually be the No. 1 prospect in the class, but it’s uncertain as to whether or not he is currently deserving of that title. We’ll have to see where things stand after the season but for now I’m going with Sanders as who I think will be the No. 1 player when all is said and done.
GARCIA’S TAKE: Elijah Griffin
A massive prospect impressing at a premium position is still the first order of business in picking the top recruit and Griffin checks all of those boxes. Even with the added weight he has displayed as a junior, the power he now exhibits has added another layer of potential on an already-impressive underclassman resume. He can still pressure the passer from the outside but now presents as an ideal interior type on early downs, too. There’s a strong group of challengers for the top spot, but Griffin continues to look and play the part into the new season, so he’ll earn the benefit of the doubt to retain his post in the process.
GORNEY’S TAKE: David Sanders Jr.
NFL Draft history would tell us that the best quarterback in the class should be No. 1 overall and that would mean Underwood has an argument for the top spot but Sanders might just be too special to keep off that No. 1 line. Having Griffin there is definitely an outstanding choice as the defensive linemen can dominate and control the line of scrimmage and history says a QB is almost always taken first in the draft but Sanders has elite athleticism, he’s more physical than he was a year ago at this time and he’s only getting better and better. Plus, the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day five-star offensive tackle is not filled out physically yet which means he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet.
PATTERSON’S TAKE: Bryce Underwood
There is quality competition for the No. 1 spot in the 2025 rankings, but my vote goes to Underwood for multiple reasons. First, NFL Draft trends favor the quarterback position at the top of the board. But beyond that, Underwood is a dynamic player behind center with plus arm talent and ability to win in and out of the pocket. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 37 touchdowns through the air as a sophomore, adding over 600 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Underwood makes big-time throws all over the field and features the tools necessary to be highly successful on the next level and beyond as he continues to progress and develop his craft. It’s easy to see why programs like LSU and Michigan are in heavy pursuit of the five-star.