Rivals Rankings Week: Updated 2021 athlete rankings

There’s a new No. 1 athlete in the country. Rivals100 standout Ja’Tavion Sanders added a fifth star and supplanted his Denton (Texas) Ryan teammate Billy Bowman, an Oklahoma signee, as the top prospect at the position. Here’s a rundown of all the new moves among 2021 athletes.

2021 RANKINGS: Athletes



Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Making the Case for No. 1 | How things stand with the uncommitted players in the Rivals250 | The top five-star candidates

Tuesday: New Rivals250 released | Breaking down the new five-stars | Biggest movers in new ranking

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Schools with the most R250 players

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released



The nation’s top two athletes hail from the same high school. That, of course, is Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman Jr., who have signed with arch-rivals Texas and Oklahoma, respectively.

Sanders is now at the top of the position group on Rivals after showing out at receiver and defensive end as a senior, which has been a theme the past few years for the Texas signee. Whether he wants to play tight end under first-year Texas coach Steve Sarkisian or try to see the field right away as a defensive end remains to be seen, but he has a high floor and even higher ceiling at either spot.

Bowman is now the No. 2 athlete nationally and on campus at Oklahoma. Bowman is a terrific slot receiver with electric speed and the ability to dominate in space. He’s also a gifted defensive back with tremendous closing speed. He should further Oklahoma’s vertical passing game or contribute to their speed D campaign.


Out in the Midwest, Iowa signee Arland Bruce moved to the state to play as a senior and lifted Ankeny (Iowa) Senior High a state championship. His game strongly resembles that of Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams, though Iowa may try him in the slot first. Either way, he’s proven to be one of the best at his position nationally and is now a Rivals250 member.

PROSPECT TO WATCH: Tarvarish Dawson

Tarvarish Dawson remains committed to Auburn even after the three-star Florida athlete saw Auburn make a change at the top of the program. Gus Malzahn is out and Bryan Harsin is in, and for Dawson, that means continuing to evaluate his options, including Auburn, where he’s been pledged to since May of last year.

Texas A&M, Florida State and Miami are among the schools hoping to force Dawson to change his mind about Auburn before National Signing Day in February.

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