Rivals rolled out the updated offensive position rankings for the 2021 class yesterday and now it’s time for the defense, starting with the defensive linemen. Five of the top six defensive linemen in the Rivals250 remain uncommitted and commitments could be right around the corner for them. Take a look at which teams could have a big month, which player is making waves, and which teams already have the best defensive line classes.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE:
Monday: Five-Star Countdown
Thursday: Defensive position rankings released
Friday: State rankings released
TEAMS WITH TOP COMMITS – Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama
It’s a three-way tie for which team has the best class of defensive linemen right now and none of the teams listed here should be a surprise. Ohio State is the only team with a five-star in their defensive line class. Ohio native Jack Sawyer has been committed to the in-state program for a very long time and now sits at No. 12 in the Rivals250. Fellow Ohio native Michael Hall, the No. 6 defensive tackle and No. 89 in the country, gives Ohio State two defensive line commits in the Rivals100, tied for the most in the nation. Four-star defensive tackle Tyleik Williams rounds out this current Ohio State defensive line class.
Alabama is tied with Ohio State for the most defensive line commits in the Rivals100. Both Monkell Goodwine, the No. 6 strongside defensive end, and Damon Payne, the No. 2 defensive tackle, are in the top 40 of the Rivals100. In addition to those two, the Crimson Tide hold commitments from four-star Tim Keenan, the No. 18 defensive tackle, and three-star Anquin Barnes, the No. 33 defensive tackle.
Clemson is firmly in the conversation with these other two schools, boasting the most defensive line commitments in the Rivals250. Their defensive line haul is led by Rivals100 defensive tackle Payton Page. The North Carolina native is now No. 50 in the nation and No. 4 at his position. Strongside defensive end Cade Denhoff landed at No. 188 in the Rivals250 and weakside defensive end Zaire Patterson, a new four-star, sits at No. 247 in the Rivals250.
TEAMS TO WATCH – LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M
LSU has had a lot going for them with five-stars Maason Smith and Korey Foreman, but things could be trending the wrong way right now. The off-the-field headlines appear to be hurting the Tigers as much as the on-the-field results. Smith and Foreman have wanted to play together for a long time and LSU has looked like the school they could end up at, but now the friends could look elsewhere. The Tigers appear to be keeping Bryce Langston warm but he likely won’t sign until the February Signing Day.
If Foreman and Smith do end up playing together in college, Georgia could be the destination. Smith just took an under the radar visit to Athens for a couple days and Foreman has been there before. Kirby Smart and his squad are also in the mix for Rivals100 strongside end Shemar Turner.
Texas A&M appears to be the slight leader for Turner. The Texas native is considering teams like Georgia and Texas, but the Aggies could have the edge. Five-star Tunmise Adeleye is very serious about Texas A&M too but Florida isn’t backing down. Alabama is in the mix for him as well.
PLAYER TO WATCH – Korey Foreman
The five-star may have lost the top spot in the rankings but he has everybody in the recruiting world’s attention. Foreman returned to Clemson last weekend to take in his first Tigers game and it sounds like Clemson is right back in the mix for the former Tigers commit.
USC and Arizona State have surged within the last month or so but LSU is also lurking. Foreman and Smith have been talking about teaming up at the next level and LSU could be the likely destination if that were the case. Georgia has an outside shot as well but they have some ground to make up if they want to be the choice.
Foreman is expected to sign this month but go public with his commitment on Jan. 2. Keep an eye out for potential last-minute visits to schools like USC and Arizona State.