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 next is linebacker.
NO. 1 AT THE POSITION: Zayden Walker
Ellaville (Ga.) Schley County has not traditionally been a powerhouse program loaded with top players but over the last few years it has become a place where elite prospects go and Walker is definitely one of them.
College coaches from across the nation, especially the Southeast, head to tiny Ellaville – population 1,800 and two and a half hours from Atlanta – for prospects such as Walker. He has a mix of power, speed, athleticism, toughness and playmaking ability into one nice package.
The top-ranked linebacker in the early 2025 rankings, Walker can come off the edge, he can track players to the sideline, he can drop in coverage and his film shows someone who looks far more advanced than a sophomore in high school.
It’s why Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and so many other schools have already offered.
TWO PROGRAMS TO WATCH: Georgia and USC
Surprise, surprise: There’s a very good chance Georgia could load up at linebacker in the 2025 class.
The Bulldogs have already landed a commitment from Buford, Ga., standout Jadon Perlotte. They’re right in it for Walker and then there are others up and down the line who could join Georgia’s recruiting class. That includes London Merritt, who is listed as an athlete but could be an edge rusher or a big linebacker. Once again, the same story is being told that Georgia will be just fine in recruiting.
And the 2025 class is a tremendous opportunity for USC at the linebacker spot as well and two of the biggest reasons are because of location and timing.
It’s a pretty loaded group of linebackers in the West led by Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Nasir Wyatt and San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra Catholic’s Madden Faraimo, who will be squaring off in the Trinity League this season. Four-star Weston Port, who does not have a USC offer yet, is also in San Juan Capistrano at San Juan Hills HS.
Don’t forget about La Verne (Calif.) Bonita’s Noah Mikhail. He’s an outstanding player with speed and power. Mikhail is currently listed as an athlete but will be moved to inside linebacker in the next rankings refresh.
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THREE PROSPECTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Perlotte made an early commitment to Georgia in December and it looked like the Buford, Ga., four-star linebacker would not go through the recruiting drama like so many others. That ended up not being the case as a recent visit to Texas A&M absolutely has him thinking about the Aggies.
This weekend, Perlotte will visit USC and UCLA. There’s a very good chance Perlotte stays closer to home and honors his pledge to the Bulldogs but many others are not giving up.
By the end of this recruiting cycle, Wyatt is someone who could end up at the top of the rankings. As a sophomore at powerhouse Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Wyatt played as an edge rusher and as a linebacker. He was always all over the field and was a tackling machine. Every opponent needed to know where Wyatt was at all times because he came with bad intentions.
LSU could benefit again from location, but it’s not a guarantee. Moses is the top-ranked inside linebacker in the 2025 class, so playing down the road from LSU’s campus could be huge. But his brother, Dylan, chose to play at Alabama over LSU and many others so this is another recruitment worth watching.
Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director