Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2025 linebacker rankings

Zack Carpenter

With the updated 2025 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, it's time to dive into the position rankings. The defensive position rankings are being released today and next up are the linebackers.

NEW 2025 POSITION RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB | Running Back | All-Purpose Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Offensive Tackle | Offensive Guard | Center | Defensive Tackle | Weakside Defensive End | Strongside Defensive End | Inside Linebacker | Outside Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Athlete



Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Gorney goes position-by-position | Biggest movers

Wednesday: New offensive position rankings | QB rankings breakdown | RB rankings breakdown | WR/TE breakdown | OL breakdown

Thursday: New defensive position rankings | DL rankings breakdown

Friday: New state rankings

Saturday: Rankings roundtable


CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals100

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Transfer team ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter


WHO’S NO. 1?

Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng is going to be serious about academics when working through his recruitment as he has family connections to Notre Dame – since his brother played there and the Irish are recruiting him really hard – and he just booked an official visit in June to Stanford.

But those are not the only programs involved as the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout is also serious about Ohio State, Texas and many others pursuing him.

There could be a lot of movement through this recruiting cycle at linebacker but there’s no doubt Owusu-Boateng is special. He’s rocked up but not stiff at all, can play in space or downhill, can get sideline-to-sideline or put the hurt on a running back or quarterback trying to get to the edge.

If today’s linebacker needs to be physical and fast, then Owusu-Boateng definitely deserves top billing right now.



Jeff McCulloch/

Noah Mikhail's visits: Alabama, Texas A&M, Oregon, Nebraska and Notre Dame will all get visits by mid-April but the last one to USC is the one to watch. The Trojans have been a front-runner for a long time and the La Verne (Calif.) Bonita standout has not hid that. Still, the others definitely interest him and will get a fair shot as he works through his busy visit schedule.

Darrell Johnson moving up: After a phenomenal junior season on both sides of the ball and a fantastic showing at the Under Armour Atlanta camp, Johnson has moved all the way up to No. 49 in the Rivals250. It might not be enough. Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee and UCF are highest now but the Eastman (Ga.) Dodge County standout is visiting Georgia soon and if/when the Bulldogs offer, everything could change.

Zayden Walker lock for Georgia?: The consensus thinking is that at some point Walker will commit to Georgia and he will have superstar potential with the Bulldogs. But why has it not happened yet? Florida State and South Carolina among many others are still trying with Walker (his teammate Jalewis Solomon signed with the Gamecocks last recruiting cycle) but the sense is that he’s absolutely Georgia’s to lose.

Tyler Lockhart blowing up: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU are the four newest offers for the four-star linebacker from Winona, Miss., and it doesn’t get much better than that. After reviewing junior season film, which is very impressive, and seeing him in person, Lockhart has athleticism, length and a physical edge. He wore a Mississippi State shirt to a party over the weekend and the video sort of went viral. That’s when you know Lockhart hit the big-time.

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