Now that the all-star games are in the books, it’s time to start thinking about final Rivals rankings for the 2024 class. The analyst team will get together soon to debate the final rankings with last-minute changes based on the games that were recently played.
Let’s take a look at some of the top West region questions on my mind heading into the meetings.
ARE THERE MORE FIVE-STARS IN CALIFORNIA?
The trend over the last decade or so is that annual five-stars in the state of California have gone from about four to about three every year and there are currently three five-star prospects right now in QB Julian Sayin (Alabama), OT Brandon Baker (Texas) and LB Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa (Notre Dame).
The question now becomes after the all-star events in Orlando, San Antonio and the Poly Bowl coming up in Hawaii whether there are more five-stars among the group.
Alabama cornerback signee Zabien Brown is one to consider since he had an excellent week at the All-American Bowl and uses his length and cover skills as well as anyone in the class. Fellow Crimson Tide signee Peyton Woodyard was a five-star so he will be circled back on in the final rankings process.
The other player to consider from the All-American Bowl is Georgia running back signee Nate Frazier. After splitting carries at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Frazier was outstanding in San Antonio, ran with determination and purpose, has breakaway speed and his all-purpose capabilities were put on full display.
IS FRAZIER THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE CLASS?
One of the problems we’ve had from a rankings perspective when it comes to the running backs in the 2024 cycle is that many of them have been no-shows at national events for years.
Taylor Tatum (Oklahoma), Jordan Marshall (Michigan) and Quinton Martin (Penn State) have not been evaluated against national competition, only against their local high school teams, and so there has been difficulty in determining the order of those players – and others – at the position.
That lingering question might have been answered, though, by Frazier during his week at the All-American Bowl. The high four-star split carries with 2025 five-star running back Jordon Davison at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and so he was really never able to showcase all of his skillset during high school.
He did at the All-American Bowl and it’s pretty impressive. Frazier has a college-ready body, exceptional speed and make-you-miss ability and he can be utilized in the running game or as a pass catcher out of the backfield. As others opted out of all-star games, Frazier used it as a catapult to possibly move even higher in the rankings.
WILL WE HAVE REGRETS IF SAYIN ISN’T THE NO. 1 QB?
To put it bluntly, the all-star events were not well-attended by the top quarterbacks in the class. None of the top-13 QBs in the 2024 pro-style rankings participated in either the Under Armour All-America Game or the All-American Bowl so it’s difficult to make any changes atop that position ranking since there was no evaluation of any of those players after their senior seasons.
Still, the lingering question remains whether we will regret if Alabama QB signee Julian Sayin is not moved to the No. 1 player at the position.
By keeping Nebraska signee Dylan Raiola in the top spot, we’re making the educated guess that he will not only lead the Huskers back to some relevancy on the offensive side of the ball but that he’s going to be so gifted and special in Lincoln that he’s also a first-round NFL Draft pick – and to get even more granular – the top quarterback taken in the draft a few years down the road.
Considering Nebraska’s woes on offense, that is a monumental leap. Rankings are not based on where a player signs but fit has to be a consideration if rankings are based on expected college performance, and thus NFL Draft position.
WHO IS NO. 1 IN WASHINGTON?
This has been an ongoing debate throughout the recruiting cycle because there has not been one prospect who has completely grabbed the No. 1 mantle and run with it.
That might have changed after four-star offensive guard Isendre Ahfua (Texas A&M) dropped about 30-plus pounds for the All-American Bowl and then at times totally dominated at the event. It was striking to see him so leaned out but the Seattle (Wash.) O’Dea standout was really good all week.
There could be other considerations here though. Three-star linebacker Brayden Platt can run so well and cover so much ground and then if we’re making long-term projections, four-star Oregon offensive tackle signee Fox Crader has long arms and a good frame and could end up being the best of the bunch.
WHAT SHOULD THE ARIZONA STATE RANKINGS LOOK LIKE?
there are going to be significant changes coming to the Arizona state rankings although maybe not right at the top.
Oregon four-star defensive end signee Elijah Rushing did not participate in an all-star game but Arizona QB signee Demond Williams did and he had flash moments. While undersized, Williams is a big-time playmaker and deserves consideration for the top spot.