Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 ATHs

Rivals Rankings Week: Breaking down the 2024 ATHs


With the final 2024 Rivals250 being unveiled Tuesday, we are wrapping up our final position rankings. The defensive position rankings were released today, and the national analyst team – Adam Friedman, John Garcia Jr., Adam Gorney and Greg Smith – offered their takes on which player is the best fit with the team they signed with. Last up are the athletes.

I am a big fan of what Carter can do on the field, regardless of where he lines up. The Tennessee native and future Vol should be able to find success as a receiver or defensive back.

When he lines up on offense, Carter has shown the ability to create separation from nearly any defender and make plays with the ball in his hands.

If Tennessee decides to line him up in the secondary, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Carter become a major playmaker as a nickel defender or as a safety. He has the tools to be an asset against the run as well.

With his skillset, it would be surprising if he didn’t turn out to become an impact player for Tennessee before his career is out.


The Rivals250 talent is one of the top two-way recruits in the class and the programs in the mix at the end of his recruitment back that up. In-state Georgia wanted him in the secondary or out wide but he stuck with a November commitment to Coach Prime and Colorado in order to play offense.

Mikell can work with legitimate wheels out of the backfield or the slot – sound familiar? The college football world witnessed Dylan Edwards burst on the scene as a gadget player in 2023, so maybe there’s room for more of the same from Mikell in 2024.

Unlike Edwards, though, the Peach State native is around 6-foot and has room to add mass, allowing for potentially a larger workload with the ball in his hands. Mikell is a three-sport star with a 10.5-second 100-meter dash mark to his name, so sky’s the limit when he focuses on one side of the ball, much less one sport.


A team can never have too many athletes and Carter is one of the best in the 2024 class. Josh Heupel is building an SEC juggernaut at Tennessee by recruiting high-end athletes and then getting them on the field and Carter can legitimately be a superstar at receiver or defensive back.

He’s an outstanding playmaker wherever you put him on the field and in that sense he gives off some Adoree’ Jackson vibes – just put him out there and let him work. To compete with Georgia in the SEC East, Tennessee needs more players like Carter who can run by anybody on offense and then stay with anybody if he flips over to cornerback.

The Colorado signee is a versatile playmaker on both sides of the ball. In high school Mikell played a little bit of everything – defensive back, quarterback, wide receiver and running back. Some programs wanted to use his elite athleticism on defense. Georgia wanted him to play receiver.

Mikell is an accomplished track athlete and also starred on the basketball team so he’s been plenty busy with sports during his high school career. He’s a true two-way standout that could excel on either side of the ball in college.

I like him more at defensive back where he could be a real playmaker that also shuts down one side of the field.


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