West Spotlight: Toughest questions about the rankings


Only two rankings updates remain for the 2023 class and one of them is just around the corner. This week the national recruiting analysts give an overview of the toughest questions they faced in this rankings update. Up next is the West region.

THIS SERIES: Toughest rankings questions in the East | Mid-South | Southeast | Midwest

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CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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Are there more five-stars?  

Duce Robinson

Duce Robinson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

There are currently three five-star prospects in the 2023 class from the West region, which is a little low. That brings up a good argument for some of those top players on the fringe to get a bump in the rankings, especially after strong senior seasons.

There are many recruits under consideration as four-star running back Roderick Robinson had an incredibly strong senior season, four-star tight end Duce Robinson is a matchup nightmare and is almost more of a wide receiver than a tight end, and four-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei is a disruptor extraordinaire who can do almost anything on a football field. Others are under consideration, too.

Senior seasons are crucially important from an evaluation standpoint, but there might not be anything greater than the apples-to-apples comparison we will all get during the all-star events coming up in Orlando, San Antonio, Hawaii and beyond.

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Who is the top quarterback?  

This is truly a debate that has to be settled once-and-for-all following the all-star events, but there is an argument for both sides – and believe me, there is vocal arguments being made both ways.

USC commit Malachi Nelson had a phenomenal senior season as he effortlessly threw the ball all over the field, especially to his favorite target, four-star receiver and fellow Trojans pledge Makai Lemon. Nelson is fluid, moves well, throws on the run, has dual-threat capabilities when needed and when Nelson has a clean pocket is maybe the best passer in this class.

Right now, Tennessee commit Nico Iamaleava has the slight edge on Nelson and is the top-rated player in the state of California. He’s big and smooth and has dynamic athletic ability that is unmatched in this class, and when it comes to leadership qualities there might not be anybody better. In a game earlier this season against his crosstown rival, Iamaleava was nearly perfect and showed why he could be so exceptional in Tennessee’s offense.

There are currently four five-star quarterbacks and all of them have special qualities. Figuring out whether Iamaleava or Nelson should be rated higher will be a difficult rankings question heading into February’s signing day.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TENNESSEE FANS AT VOLREPORT.COM

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

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How high should Roderick Robinson go?  

San Diego Lincoln’s season continues with a deep playoff run this weekend and the biggest reason is because four-star running back Roderick Robinson has been completely unstoppable this season.

Originally committed to UCLA, Robinson flipped to Georgia during the season, during which he’s carried the ball 179 times for 1,979 yards and 29 touchdowns. It’s a near certainty he goes over 2,000 yards this season and possibly over 30 TDs when San Diego Lincoln plays Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon this weekend.

So, how high should Robinson go up in the position rankings? He’s currently seventh overall and that’s pretty respectable, but not high enough.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH GEORGIA FANS AT UGASPORTS.COM

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What should be the order be for the receivers?  

Jurrion Dickey

Jurrion Dickey (Jeff McCulloch/Rivals.com)

The all-star events are going to further sort this out and there’s no argument for Zachariah Branch being the lone five-star among this group, but there could be a discussion about at least one other five-star receiver in the West and another discussion about the order of the four-stars.

Oregon pledge Jurrion Dickey had an exceptional summer and a strong fall, Makai Lemon was completely dominant throughout the season and his chemistry with fellow USC commit QB Malachi Nelson is off the charts. Louisville commit Deandre Moore had a huge game in a win over powerhouse Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, and then Grant Gray (UCLA) and Rico Flores (Notre Dame) have been awesome as well.

There is never a shortage of elite playmakers in the West, and this is another strong year.



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