2025 On3 Top 100 List Breakdown

Monday marks the first release of On3’s top 100 football prospect rankings for the 2025 cycle. This ranking is made up of prospects entering their second season. It will be extended to the On300 next spring and will be updated regularly for the rest of the cycle.

The 100 leads that make up the watch list have an initial rating of four stars. Most have a rating of 90 (the lowest rating of four stars), seven have a rating of 91, and two have a rating of 92.

INITIAL 2025 On3 Top 100 Watch List

Why a watchlist?

We see a watchlist as a more honest representation of the early stage of the cycle rather than an effort to cut through second-year prospects and rank them numerically from 1 to 100. Simply put, we don’t see that no one benefits from a From 1 to 100 ask for this at the beginning of the process.

That said, this ranking is very much a projection and will undoubtedly change dramatically over the next year. Perspectives emerge and develop at different rates.

It’s safe to assume that many of the prospects who will end up being the best in the cycle have yet to appear on the national radar. This is especially the case for positions that involve physical and skill development, such as offensive line and quarterback, among others. We’ve also tried to emphasize contributions at the college level, understanding that some physically gifted prospects can play at top high school programs where it’s harder to get on the field as a freshman.

Let’s get into some of the stories surrounding this initial release.

Two Georgia 2025 headliners

Both 2025 prospects for 92 early On3 ratings are Georgia natives: Savannah (Ga.) defensive end Savannah Christian Prep Elijah Griffin and Ellaville (Ga.) Schley County EDGE Zayden Walker.

Griffin immediately jumped out among the defensive line pack with his size and athleticism on the field. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder is an explosive athlete with a violent finishing ability. We saw him line up as a big defensive end for Savannah Christian as a freshman and make high-level plays on a consistent basis. The athleticism is also tested in the combine environment, where Grififn posted an electronic 5.14-second 40-yard dash and a vertical jump of more than 34 inches at the All-American Bowl Underclassman Combine in January.

Walker is already a dominant two-way player at the high school level. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder totaled 1,271 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a running back, along with 16 tackles for loss on defense. He is a strong, explosive athlete and makes some amazing plays as a chase defender. Walker also has a very impressive shot put of 47 feet to his name. The bloodlines are strong, too: He’s the younger brother of the Auburn defensive lineman Zykevious Walker and On300 2024 perspective Jalewis Solomon.

The best skill players of 2025 to watch

They highlighted a handful of offensive skills for 2025, earning initial scores of 91 from On3.

We came away thinking that no quarterback prospect had a stronger combination of on-field resume and physical ability than that Bryce Underwood has proven to this point. Underwood led his Belleville (Mich.) High team to a state title as a freshman while completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,888 yards and 39 touchdowns against just four interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder showed innate instincts and a feel for the passing game as a freshman, along with encouraging mobility and overall athleticism. To make things even more impressive, Underwood should technically be a 2026 prospect. That’s 15 years old this week.

Harlem Berry is the early name to be heard in the 2025 cycle. Metairie (La.) Episcopal School St. Martin had a great freshman season on the field and track. Berry ran for more than 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns and won state titles in the 100 and 200 meters. He backed up his personal best of 10.76 seconds in the 100 meters by running a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash at LSU’s camp this summer. Berry’s track speed translates to the football field, where he is a dynamic big-play threat.

Caleb Cunningham has had relatively quiet hiring so far, but we expect that to change in the coming months. The Ackerman (Miss.) Choctaw County product is a natural receiver with rebounding athleticism and natural ball skills. Cunningham was a big threat in his first season of high school football, scoring 10 touchdowns on just 31 receptions. He excels on the basketball court, where he is a top-level athlete, averaging 16.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.

Ryan Williams is one of several touted 2025 prospects from the state of Alabama. The 6-foot, 155-pounder is already one of the fastest players in the state, showing the ability to break up plays as a deep threat. Williams got behind the corners regularly as a freshman and has shown some encouraging ball-tracking skills. The speed is also tested on the track, where he achieved outstanding marks as a freshman, highlighted by a time of 10.72 seconds in the 100 meters along with a personal best of 21.87 in the 200 meters.

2025 outstanding defenders and athletes

A few more defensive prospects and athletes caught our eye as 2025 standouts, along with Elijah Griffin i Zayden Walker.

Defensive lineman It’s Watford He was dominant in a limited showing as a freshman at Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem, totaling five sacks and eight tackles for loss in just two games. Watford have transferred that disruptive ability to the start of their second year. He lines up as a big EDGE for Salem and has a big frame, checking in at over 6-foot-5, 220 pounds this offseason. Watford’s ability to disrupt as a pass rusher stood out among the pack.

Few 2025 prospects we saw have a better frame than Jared Smith. The Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park EDGE prospect stood 6-foot-5, 225 pounds with 35.5-inch arms on the summer camp circuit. Combine that big frame and elite length with more athleticism for a prospect who just turned 15. Smith made some flash plays against strong competition at Spain Park as a freshman and also shows off his athleticism on the basketball court.

Noah Mikhail from La Verne (California) Bonita stands out among the linebackers. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is a two-way playmaker, lining up at both wide receiver and linebacker. Defensively, he displays a well-rounded skill set with range as both a chase defender and in coverage, along with physical tackling ability. Ball skills and overall athleticism are on display on offense. Mikhail totaled 75 tackles and two interceptions along with four receiving touchdowns as a freshman.

athlete Hill of Dierre is a three-phase playmaker at Vashon High in St. Louis. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder put together a strong freshman video making big plays at running back, safety and in the return game. Hill is an instinctive runner with vision and cutting ability. He also plays fast at safety and makes some impressive plays on the ball.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a 2025 prospect who filled the stat sheet more than an athlete Derrick Smith. The Selma (Ala.) Southside standout caught 57 passes for 1,197 yards and six touchdowns and hauled in an astounding 13 passes as a safety. Smith already shows advanced ball skills with the ability to come down with acrobatic catches in traffic on both sides of the ball. He complements those hawkish tendencies with a physical edge as a defender and the ability to take it to the house after the catch. Simply put, Smith looked like a grown man playing among first graders.

Breakdown of position and status

Quarterback: 8 Running Back: 10 Wide Receiver: 13 Tight End: 4 Offensive Tackle: 5 Interior Offensive Line: 4 Athlete: 11 Defensive Line: 7 EDGE: 8 Linebacker: 11 Cornerback: 10 Safety: 9

22 different states are represented on the watch list. The Big Four of Texas (16), California (14), Florida (14) and Georgia (13) lead the way. The state of Alabama has another strong cycle on its hands with eight members on the watch list, good for the fifth majority.

Only four prospects are currently committed to colleges: wide receiver Winston Watkins Jr. (Texas A&M), athlete LaMason Waller (Washington), cornerback Jontae Gilbert (Ohio State) and corner Jett White (USC).

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