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Rivals Rankings Week: Storylines to follow with top 2025 linebackers

Rivals.com

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 up next are the linebackers.

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

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

MONDAY: Who should be No. 1?

TUESDAY: Five-Star Countdown | Tavien St. Clair moved into five-star status

WEDNESDAY: New Rivals250 unveiled | Gorney goes position-by-position | Biggest risers

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

FRIDAY: New defensive position rankings released | DL rankings breakdown | LB rankings breakdown | DB rankings breakdown | ATH rankings breakdown

SATURDAY: New state rankings released | Who is No. 1 in each state?

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PETTIJOHN ON PACE FOR FIVE-STAR?

Since his rankings debut in July of 2023, Riley Pettijohn has hovered in the 70s of the Rivals250. But after a dominant junior season paired with an equally impressive offseason, he finds himself at No. 33 overall.

Pettijohn is an easy answer as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2025 class at this time. What time will tell though is if he should rise even more, potentially into five-star status. Pettijohn possesses true sideline-to-sideline ability, is comfortable in coverage and has natural instincts to diagnose plays and pursue ball carriers. His athleticism is through the roof, highlighted by a 10.77 100-meter dash time this spring.

Looking at the modern linebacker position in college football and beyond, Pettijohn is a prospect you could hand design for the role.

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METZ MAKES MASSIVE RISE INTO TOP 100

Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

Each major recruiting update throughout the cycle sees some major risers and while outside linebacker Charles Ross was the largest riser in the class, Luke Metz was not far behind. And what makes it even more intriguing is Metz, an Alabama commit, started the week outside the Rivals250.

Metz has developed a prototypical body type for the position at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and now finds himself at No. 83 overall, and the No. 3 inside linebacker, a rise of 15 spots at the position. With continued development and further evaluations, Metz has chance to move up the ranks even further.

While committed to Alabama, Georgia has roared into the race and is very much a factor. After committing to Kalen DeBoer and the Tide, the Bulldogs offered Metz and will now receive an official visit June 14. Alabama will the last crack though, hosting Metz the following weekend for an official.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ALABAMA FANS AT TIDEILLUSTRATED.COM

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OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS ARE LEADING THE WAY

Marshall Levenson/Rivals.com

Looking at the rankings, there is an extreme lean to the outside linebackers when it comes to the 2025 class. Of the 28 total linebackers in the Rivals250, 18 of them are at the outside linebacker position. Of the 12 total linebackers in the top 100, nine of them are outside linebackers.

The group at the outside linebacker position is special in this class, headlined by the duo of Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng and Zayden Walker. If the rankings were expanded at this time, both would likely find themselves in five-star range.

The position got a major bump with the rise of LSU commit Charles Ross, who rose a class-leading 201 spots within the Rivals250 to No. 48 overall. An elite athlete that has clocked a 4.3 40-yard dash and 10.3 100-meter time at 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounds, Ross has a high floor moving forward.

Not far behind him is a California duo in Oregon commit Nasir Wyatt and Madden Faraimo, who have each been among the elite talents in the West since their debuts in the rankings. Another riser at the position was Ohio State commit Tarvos Alford, who shot up 92 spots into the top 100, landing at No. 68 overall.

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UNCOMMITTED PROSPECTS AT THE TOP

Mike Olivella/Rivals.com

As we enter June, there are plenty of positions that have very few uncommitted prospects among their top spots. Among the linebackers though, there are still several high-profile recruitments that have yet to wrap up.

Within the top 10 linebackers, including both inside and outside, half of the top 10 are on the market, headlined by the top three. Owusu-Boateng, the top-ranked outside linebacker, has a busy month of visits ahead with USC (May 31), Notre Dame (June 7), Ohio State (June 14) and Michigan (June 21). Walker, just four spots behind him in the Rivals250, has four visits of his own approaching with Georgia (May 31), Penn State (June. 7), Miami (June 14) and South Carolina (June 21).

The top-ranked inside backer, Pettijohn, will visit Ohio State (May 31), followed by USC, Texas and Texas A&M. As it stands right now, the Longhorns look to be in prime position to win the race.

Other top linebacker prospects available include Noah Mikhail with visits to Oregon, Texas A&M and USC ahead; Gavin Nix, who has Miami, Ohio State, Florida State and Oregon on the hunt; and Madden Faraimo, who is set to see Washington, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas this summer.