Junior season evaluations lead to 2025 On300 overhaul

On3 imageby:Charles Power02/26/24


On3 has updated its football prospect rankings for the 2025 cycle. This release marks the first update since mid-fall and is one of the more extensive overhauls over the course of the year.

Since putting the 2024 cycle to bed last month, we’ve been able to dive into evaluating the junior seasons of 2025 prospects. In addition to full film and stats, we’ve seen hundreds of prospects emerge on FBS radars since the last 2025 On300 update in October. Movement in this update may seem more volatile than later in the cycle. Much of that is due to the rapid expansion of the prospect pool with the emergence of so many more prospects. There are 59 new entrants into the On300 with this update.

This release represents the initial look at junior season evaluations, which will persist for the next several months. In addition to continued evaluations of the junior seasons, the next few months will see several big offseason events that include national camps and 7-on-7’s, along with the high school track season. The increased exposure and added data points will help drive future updates, adding critical context to junior season evaluations as we move towards the senior season.

Updated 2025 On300

Our goal is to assess a prospect’s long-term potential in college football, as manifested by the NFL Draft. We now have eight prospects rated as five-stars and will finish with 32 five-stars every cycle. 

Let’s get into some of the big storylines surrounding this update.

Bryce Underwood holds top spot in the On300

LSU quarterback pledge Bryce Underwood maintains his hold on the No. 1 overall spot in this On300 update. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Underwood continues to look like the top pure arm talent in the cycle. The ability to drive the ball to all levels of the field stands out at this stage. Underwood also turned in another strong season in 2023 with the one of the best statistical passing years of any quarterback in the On300. The Belleville (Mich.) High standout completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,329 yards (a gaudy 12.4 yards per attempt) for 41 touchdowns against three interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns. Underwood should technically be a 2026 prospect, as he turns 17 in mid-August. Given his physical ability, on-field play and production and room for continued improvement, we don’t currently see a player with a higher long-term upside in the cycle.

Elijah Griffin (No. 2) looks to be the most advanced defensive line prospect at this stage in the process in several cycles. At 6-foot-4.5 and around 290 pounds with 35-inch arms and plus athleticism, Griffin mirrors a create-a-player from a physical perspective. The on-field play is that strong, too. He was dominant yet again as a junior, tallying 97 tackles for 31 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks while leading Savannah (Ga.) Christian to a state title game berth. Griffin is a dominant presence on the interior pairing his length and athleticism with outstanding play strength and an advanced understanding of leverage. The advances in his technicality at the position year-over-year are quite encouraging. Simply put, he looks like you’d hope a defensive lineman who ranks as a top five overall prospect would as a junior. The in-state Bulldogs are out in front per the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine.

LSU wide receiver commit Dakorien Moore (No. 3) rounds out the top three, looking like the clear top talent at the position at this juncture in the cycle. Moore is a dynamic pass-catcher with a complete skill set. He has the ability to attack every of the field and win in every phase. A touted track athlete, he has elite vertical speed, showing the ability to take the top off of defenses with ease. We also see him win with route-running, rip off long scores after the catch and dominate at the catch point, playing well above his size at 5-foot-11.5, 175 pounds. Moore had a huge season in 2023, hauling in 68 passes for 1,486 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading Texas powerhouse Duncanville High to another state championship.

Four new five-star prospects

Four prospects earned their fifth star in this update, expanding the total number of five-stars within the 2025 On300 to eight.

DJ Pickett (No. 4) was right on the cusp of adding a fifth star and gets the nod in this update. Once ranked as a safety, Pickett now checks in as the top corner in what is a very strong group at the top of the position. At over 6-foot-3, 170 pounds with elite length and 10.6 second speed in the 100 meters, Pickett has elite physical traits as a corner. He backs that up on Friday nights as a dynamic two-way player, starring as a wide receiver (1,033 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns) and safety for his Zephyrhills (Fla.) High team. Though he’ll need to make the adjustment to playing corner full-time, the elite traits and startling functional movement skills and fluidity we see on film point to what should be a smooth transition. In addition to his athletic and playmaking ability, we also view Pickett to be the most physical top cornerback prospect, by what looks to be a fair margin. LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Miami and Oregon comprise his top five.

The biggest rise to five-star status belongs to Notre Dame offensive tackle commit, Will Black (No. 6). The Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rosemary Hall standout by way of Canada has arguably the best functional movement skills we saw on film among the top offensive tackle prospects. That’s high praise when you consider this offensive tackle group is the best we’ve seen at this juncture in the cycle in several years. At 6-foot-7 and over 285 pounds, Black has the big frame and even weight distribution desired at the position. He shows outstanding flexibility and movement skills on junior film, playing with eye-popping bend for such a tall lineman. The coordination and controlled movements stand out within the group as well. Black is a smooth, effortless mover both in pass protection and as a run blocker when working to the second level. He’ll need to continue getting stronger in his upper body, but the anchor and balance are very encouraging.

Offensive tackle David Sanders (No. 7) has long been considered one of the cycle’s top prospects – and with good reason. At 6-foot-5.5, 255 pounds, he is a twitched up athlete who has been a dominant two-way player for Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day for several seasons. Sanders’ elite athleticism shows up both as a run blocker and in pass protection. He’s a physical, tough drive blocker who consistently gets a push in the run game. He also held up very well in pass protection while facing some talented pass rushers last fall. Sanders will need to continue adding weight to his frame, but has notable upside given his athleticism and play strength. Georgia and Clemson are teams to watch according to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine.

Devin Sanchez (No. 8) has a case as the top cover corner in the cycle. He joins fellow five-star Na’eem Offord (No. 5) in giving Ohio State two top corners early on in their 2025 class. At 6-foot-2, 170 pounds with plus length and 10.69 speed in the 100 meters, Sanchez owns elite physical traits for the position. We saw that carry over to Friday nights, where he was a virtual lock down cover corner for Houston powerhouse North Shore High. Working exclusively as a cornerback, Sanchez has has the most cover polish of a top cornerback in the cycle. He notched five interceptions and fared very well against Dakorien Moore in the state championship game. Moving forward, he’ll need to increase his physicality and level of willingness as a tackler.

Notable risers within the On300

Dozens of prospects made huge upward moves in the rankings.

At quarterback, the big mover is Matt Zollers (No. 17). The 6-foot-3.5, 200-pounder has a live arm, plus athleticism and perhaps the best individual playmaking skills we saw on junior film at the position. No 2025 quarterback put more high-level reactive playmaking on film last fall. Zollers passed for 2,917 yards and 37 touchdowns against two interceptions and added 420 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. On3 was the first to tab Zollers as a blue-chip prospect when he held just one Power Five offer last fall. Penn State, Georgia, Missouri and Pitt make up his top four.

At wide receiver Kaliq Lockett (No. 13) and Oregon commit Dallas Wilson (No. 28) moved from outside the top 100 into the top 30. Lockett brings elite length (34.5-inch arms at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and big-play ability, turning in a 1,299 yard, 13 touchdown junior season. Wilson is another big outside wide receiver at over 6-foot-3 and around 190 pounds with the ability to win in every phase.

In addition to Will Black, Broderick Shull (No. 18) and Jackson Lloyd (No. 25) are two offensive tackles who made massive moves into the top 30. Shull has an argument as the twitchiest prospect at the position in the cycle, along with David Sanders. The Bixby (Okla.) High tackle is an elite athlete on the field and it the combine setting. Shull moves at a different speed than most of his peers at the position while owning a big frame with plus length at 6-foot-5.5 275 pounds. Lloyd appears to be the top offensive line prospect in the West region in the cycle, perhaps by a considerable margin. The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder is from off the beaten path at Carmel (Calif.) High, but looks to be a high-end talent. In addition to impressive junior film, Lloyd has a very strong multi-sport profile as a basketball star with above-the-rim bounce in addition to playing baseball.

We saw a shakeup at the EDGE spot with Isaiah Gibson (No. 24) and Smith Orogbo (No. 26) making big leaps into the top 30. Gibson is a physical talent at the position with an outstanding combination of size, length and high-end athleticism at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. There may not be an EDGE prospect with better junior film than Orogbo. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is a banshee on defense, tallying over 100 tackles and nine sacks as a junior. His level of twitch, physicality and motor project very well along with his developmental frame and high-end length.

At linebacker, Ty Jackson (No. 16) makes a huge jump in large part to fantastic junior film. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is a three-phase playmaker at Loxahatchee (Fla.) Seminole Ridge. He flies around as an instinctive, athletic, highly physical defender, tallying 135 tackles as a junior. We also see him making big plays as a receiver and returning kicks for touchdowns. Jackson also registers as a top athlete in the combine setting.

At athlete, two from the Lone Star State make big moves in Michael Terry (No. 14) and Texas pledge Lance Jackson (No. 39). At 6-foot-2.5 and over 210 pounds with elite athleticism, Terry could star as a wide receiver, running back or back half defender at the next level. Jackson stars as a big defensive end and tight end, making big plays on each side.

Clemson, Ohio State leading with most On300 commits

Ohio State and Clemson lead the way with eight commits each inside the On300.

LSU’s top-ranked class features seven prospects in the On300 with three commits inside the top ten (Bryce Underwood, Dakorien Moore and Harlem Berry). Notre Dame is up next with six pledges in the On300, followed by Georgia with five. Auburn, Florida State and Oregon each have four apiece.

For a more accurate and up-to-date picture of where things currently stand, check out the On3 Industry Ranking Team Recruiting Rankings. This formula provides the most accurate real-time ranking of recruiting classes, especially separating itself in the early and middle stages of the cycle.