The first Rivals100 for the 2023 class was released last week and there are plenty of questions left as the heart of the spring camp season approaches. Each day this week we will examine the biggest rankings questions at each position, starting with the quarterbacks.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
1. How will the Malachi Nelson/Arch Manning debate play out?
This debate is going to go on through to the end of the 2023 rankings cycle. Arch Manning brings name recognition and an outstanding skillset to the table and Malachi Nelson is supremely talented as well. Each of them throw with impressive accuracy, timing, touch and have the ability to make all the throws.
At this point, the difference between the two five-stars is very small. Nelson is playing his sophomore season right now and then will jump into camp season with just a couple months before he gets started on his junior season. Over the next eight months we’re going to learn so much about Nelson’s game and how quickly he is developing.
Manning likely won’t be participating in many offseason events so the opportunities to watch his development and get a handle on the finer points of his game could be limited. However these two elite prospects handle their schedule throughout the rest of this year, the debate about which should be ranked higher will be the rankings question from now until the 2023 rankings are finalized in 21 months.
***** 2. Is Dylan Lonergan being slept on?
No, Dylan Lonergan, the 32nd-ranked player in the 2023 Rivals100, isn’t getting slept on but, right or wrong, he certainly isn’t getting the hype that some other quarterbacks are in this class. Lonergan put on an impressive performance at a camp in Florida back in December but he’s been quiet since then.
He’s also a big-time baseball prospect and hopes to be able to pitch as well as play quarterback at the next level. As a quarterback prospect, Lonergan shows off a big time arm and is very polished technically. Looking at his throwing motion, it’s obvious there is some baseball influence that could affect his timing with receivers but it hasn’t hurt him so far. That will be just one of the things we watch for as we track his development.
***** 3. Which quarterback in the Rivals100 has the best chance of moving up if he shows development?
Nico Iamaleava is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the nation. Just inside the Rivals100, the Southern California native has all the physical traits a coach could wish for in a quarterback. Iamaleava stands tall at 6-foot-6, has plenty of arm strength, and can pick up chunks of yards with his legs.
As a passer, he is still a bit raw but he is in the middle of his sophomore season right now. If he shows the ability to throw with more consistent accuracy and touch, and is able to move through his progression to find the open receiver, Iamaleava could find himself rocketing up the Rivals100.
***** 4. Where are some of the other big 2023 quarterbacks that have garnered a lot of hype?
Tad Hudson (Rivals.com)
Cameron Edge, Tad Hudson and Gabarri Johnson are three 2023 quarterbacks that got a ton of hype after their freshman seasons and heading into the limited 7-on-7 and camp season of last year but none of them landed in the first Rivals100 for the 2023 class.
Each has plenty of attractive traits and can be really effective at times but all three of them run very hot and cold. On one play they could throw a beautiful pass between three defenders for a touchdown and on the next they could miss a wide open receiver just five yards down the field. For these players, throwing a few touchdowns in one half could happen just as easily as throwing a few interceptions in a half. Better decision making and consistency will help these three players in the rankings.
***** 5. Who are some Rivals250 candidates?
Chris Parson (Chad Simmons / Rivals.com)
Outside of Edge, Hudson and Johnson, there are a few other names we already have our eye on as four-star candidates who could make the Rivals250 when the 2023 rankings are expanded this summer.
Louisiana natives Eli Holstein and Rickie Collins have been mentioned as possible four-stars. Holstein is an LSU legacy with a big arm and impressive athleticism and Collins keeps defenses on their toes because of his ability to do damage with both his arm and legs. Texas native Chris Parson, now playing Ravenwood High School in Tennessee, has stood out because of his throwing mechanics and arm strength. This is just a handful of quarterbacks that could find themselves earning a four-star rating and possibly finding themselves inside the Rivals250.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Wednesday: Recruiting updates on offensive players in the ranking | Positions producing the most 2023 talent | DE is among loaded positions in 2023 | Who should be the next five-star DE? | Rivals Rankings Podcast