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Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 defensive linemen

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 defensive linemen

With the first full 2025 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it’s time to look at the updated position rankings. The offensive position rankings were released Wednesday and today the defensive position rankings are in the spotlight. Up first is the defensive line.

NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Elijah Griffin

Griffin is a special prospect along the defensive front. He plays with a sense of urgency and aggressiveness not often seen by players his size. Griffin has the strength and the technique to be an elite defender. He plays with leverage at the snap and can overwhelm offensive linemen with power and speed.

Even when teams try to scheme against him or go toward the opposite side of the field, Griffin has the tools to make plays in pursuit. If he can maintain this speed and quickness while he physically matures, Griffin could be hard to knock off the No. 1 spot in the Rivals250.

Every program in the nation will be pursuing Griffin but a few teams have made their presence felt early in the process. Georgia will be a major contender for the in-state prospect. He’s already visited the Athens campus along with South Carolina and Florida State.



Armondo Blount (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Georgia and Alabama are set up to recruit an elite class of defensive linemen in the 2025 cycle. With close to 15 offers out to defensive linemen, Alabama has already cast a wide net. Griffin will obviously be a top target and watch for in-state top-25 prospects Zion Grady and Jared Smith. Armondo Blount has shown a lot of early interest in the Crimson Tide. Defensive tackles Andrew Maddox, D.J. Sanders, Amare Adams, Jourdin Crawford, Bryce Jenkins and Kevin Oatis have been targeted by Alabama, too. Expect most of these prospects to make their way to Tuscaloosa at some point this spring.

Georgia is set to host many of the same prospects as well. The Bulldogs already have a commitment from Justus Terry, one of the best defensive linemen in the class, but more will be joining him. Griffin seems to favor the in-state program right now and he’s visited the campus multiple times. The back-to-back national champions don’t have many offers out to 2025 defensive linemen right now but they’ve been targeting an elite few for a long time. Zahir Mathis, Bryce Davis and Amare Adams have strong relationships with the Georgia staff and it doesn’t feel like that’s going to change anytime soon.





Blount is one of the elite prospects in this recruiting class and he’s been well-known on the recruiting trail for a few years so being in the spotlight is something he’s gotten used to.

He has strong connections to Miami, Florida and Florida State but the Canes might be leading the other two heading into the spring visit season. Look for him to visit Ohio State, Florida State and Alabama in the coming weeks.

The spotlight has been on Terry ever since a viral tweet he posted of a post-workout picture as an eighth-grader in May of 2021. The offers started trickling in shortly afterward but most of the big schools didn’t pull the trigger until this past offseason. He’s currently committed to Georgia but other programs will be trying to pry him loose as the process continues.

It’s fair to say the spotlight has been on Epenesa longer than Blount or Terry. Epenesa is the son of Eppy Epenesa, who played for Iowa in the 1990s, and the brother of former five-star and Iowa star A.J. Epenesa, who signed with the Hawkeyes as part of the 2017 class.

Iowa fans have become very familiar with the Epenesa name over the years and they’re trying to make sure the next big star in the family follows the same path as his other family members.

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Adam Friedman, National Recruiting Analyst