Ranking the contenders: Demarcus Riddick’s top five OLB 2024

Heading into his junior campaign with Chilton County in Alabama, four-star outside linebacker Demarcus Riddick was ready to focus on his recruiting process. With more than 20 deals in hand, Riddick has produced a top five in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

At the start of his recruiting journey, more offers are coming for Riddick. But among the five that have already caught his eye, we rank the contenders.

CLASSIFICATION OF CONTAINERS

Georgia: Holding a bid from Georgia but not from Alabama must be frustrating for the Alabama native. The Bulldogs coming out of a national championship and still producing talent for the NFL have UGA as a strong contender for Riddick. The Bulldogs hosted Riddick on campus last season for a game day.

Tennessee: The Volunteers hosted Riddick on campus this summer. During the visit, Riddick practiced for Tennessee getting first-hand knowledge of what it would be like to be coached by defensive coordinator Tim Banks and outside backer coach Mike Ekeler. The familiarity and rise of volunteers under head coach Josh Heupel puts them second on the list.

State of Florida: The messaging under head coach Mike Norvell has been consistent with rookies and effective. Randy Shannon has built his reputation on developing linebackers, which is a big draw for Tallahassee. FSU’s advantage is having players on campus and at their facilities. Once there, the culture and atmosphere created by Coach Norvell is always positive for prospects. FSU also hosted Riddick for a game day last fall.

Oklahoma: If the Sooners can get Riddick to Norman for a game, a junior day in the offseason and maybe spring training, watch Oklahoma come up on the board. The OU staff is loaded with excellent defensive-minded coaches, starting with leader Sooner Brent Venables.

Kentucky: There’s no denying what head coach Mark Stoops has built at Lexington. The Wildcats are one of the feared teams in the SEC capable of sending a message to top prospects like Riddick about being that difference maker to help ride out the 10-win hump. The added element for Kentucky, Riddick being coached by defensive coordinator/outside backer coach Brad White. White brings his NFL experience to the table talking to rookies about development and what it takes.

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