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Competitor Ranking Week: Initial Rankings 2025 released


College coaches have begun sorting through upcoming prospects in the class of 2025. Today, initially Rivals100 for class 2025 has been released and the first number 1 player is an offensive player David Sanders Jr.

The prestigious title “National No. 1 Player” is not something usually associated with an attacking striker. In fact, an offensive lineman never finished the leaderboard as the #1 prospect.

Midfielders are highly sought after Bryce Underwoodsolve defense Elijah Griffinpeople in line to attack Douglas Utu and finish the defense Jared Smith round the first year of the first part 2025 Opponent 100.

INITIAL 2025 RANKINGS: Lawyers go to each position

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CLASS 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | position | State

CLASS 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | position | State

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David Sanders Jr.

David Sanders Jr. (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

It’s important to note that no attacking striker has ever been #1 in the rankings but Sanders is an exceptional talent who has all the traits college coaches are looking for in a left ball at the end of the book. Andre Smith, DJ Humphries and Seantrel Henderson all finished in 2nd place in the Rivals250 in their respective years.

Sanders is large in size and continues to add solid mass to his frame. He has a technical point of view, demonstrates good footwork and hand placement, and understands how to play low to use his length to his advantage.

Although he is quite young and not very fit in the gym, his fighting prowess is outstanding. Sanders does a great job of pushing back defensive midfielders whether it’s passing or running. His sense of time as a pass blocker is truly impressive for a player his age. He shoots forehand and understands how to slide and reset his hand while defensive midfielders try different hasty passes to get around him.

His recruitment is still in the early stages, but Michiganwho recommended him when he was still in high school, got a solid position early on.

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Bryce Underwood

Bryce Underwood (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

Simply put, Underwood is a sophomore in high school but he’s been playing a lot and it looks like he could be a college freshman. Underwood physically checks all the boxes. He’s a little over 6 feet 2 and weighs 200 pounds, and is still growing. He is also very mobile and has a lot of experience running regional indicators. Underwood can pick up large chunks with his feet but he prefers scrambling to throw instead of trying to run and pick up yards.

When it comes to pitching, Underwood doesn’t leave much to be desired. He exhibits superior arm strength and can take the ball to pretty much every corner of the field. Underwood did a great job of finding his collector on deep tracks and understanding how to go about his process of finding open collectors. His accuracy is also impressive. Underwood hit a 100% completion rate through his first two drives of the season, going 8 to 8 with one touchdown and 125 passes while adding another touchdown.

Underwood’s development will be key, especially his consistent accuracy on passes down the pitch. He doesn’t rotate the ball much and has a solid throwing mechanism. It will be interesting to see his game develop over the next few years and we will see what Orange Newton The comparison is getting bigger and bigger. Underwood’s recruiting is still in the early stages, but Michigan and the state of Michigan has put itself in good position so far.

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Elijah Griffin

Elijah Griffin (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

The 2025 defense has been pretty impressive with 4 of them in the top 10 of the original 2025 Rivals100, and Griffin looks like the best of the bunch. Griffin did a great job in pushing back the top laners. He was so big and powerful at such a young age that some attackers caught their guard off when they first saw him.

He has very fast hands and is very aggressive so when using his power moves, they are really effective. Griffin’s fitness and motivation make him one of the most counter-attacking defensive midfielders in any class right now.

He can quickly get away from attacking strikers in pursuit of the ball carrier, even when they are trying to double him. Griffin also shows a lot of flexibility on the defensive front. Currently, he is mainly playing defensively, demonstrating a skill set that allows him to keep the edge and keep the plays inside.

On the next level, however, Griffin could very well project as an inner line of defense with the ability to play several lines of defense depending on the situation.

Georgia is one of Griffin’s prime candidates but there’s a long way to go and lots of other schools are hiring him.

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Douglas Utu

Douglas Utu (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

Utu is a longtime attack specialist from a powerhouse program. When we met him this season, he was playing better than his years and showing great playing prowess. Utu played well with his hands to keep the defensive midfielders in front of him but slipped quickly when they tried to counter attack differently.

He has really strong hands and can control almost any defence he comes across. As a road blocker, Utu does a great job driving. Defensive midfielders drop the ball and even create key blocks in the second and third levels. Backward likes to run behind because he opens up great lanes that are easy to see. Utu also brings a lot of flexibility to the offensive line. He can play tackle or defend at the next level, but it will really be determined by how he develops physically.

Utu doesn’t seem to be in a rush to recruit. Oregon is a big threat to sign him down the street but USC, UtahBYU, Michigan and Miami could play important roles in his recruitment.

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Jared Smith

Jared Smith (Nick Lucero / Rivals.com)

Smith has a real chance of challenging Sanders at the top of the leaderboard as the cycle goes on. He is a really nimble defensive player, which is surprising given that he has a 6-foot-5 frame that weighs 230 pounds. Smith is very aggressive and does a great job at his job when it comes to running and passing.

In his passing, Smith used superior hand technique, fierceness and pure power to overwhelm the attacking striker and push deep into the backfield. In the anti-run attack situation, Smith knows how to get past attacking strikers and quickly find the ball bearer.

He plays very disciplined and understands his responsibilities in defence. Smith can really take his game to the next level as he matures physically but what makes him special is his combination of size, agility and aggressiveness.

Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and LSU just some of the teams worth watching in his recruitment drive.



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