Arch Manning’s commitment to Texas led the Longhorns to the top of ESPN’s college football recruiting class rankings.
Since Manning — the nephew of former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Alley — announced for the Longhorns on June 23, 10 prospects have joined him in Texas, four of them 2023 ESPN 300 recruits: wide receiver Jonte Cook II (No. 43), safety Derek Williams (No. 76), defensive tackle Sedir Mitchell (No. 148) and wide receiver Jonah Wilson (No. 278).
In turn, Texas has moved from No. 16 to No. 3 on June 17, and the 2023 success could also affect the 2024 class.
State wide receiver Micah Hudson is keeping an eye on what’s happening in Austin. The 6-foot, 186-pound Hudson, from Lake Belton High School in Temple, is ranked No. 15 overall in the 2024 ESPN Junior 300. In an eight-day span in January, she received offers from both Texas and Texas A&M.
Hudson said so far, he feels a stronger connection with the Aggies thanks to more consistent communication with coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff, but the Longhorns aren’t far behind.
“Ark is a really good quarterback and Jonte, me and him have the same coach,” Hudson told ESPN. “But look [the flood of commitments]Well, that wouldn’t really change anything for me. I’m going where it’s best for me.”
Texas isn’t the only team that has made a big jump in the rankings over the past few weeks.
Below, we’ll take a look at how Miami and LSU stack up for the top-10 classes that will make the ESPN 300 prospects over the next few weeks, and also look at where 2024 recruits go.
Moving up the Miami recruiting rankings
The floodgates at Coral Gables are starting to open a little bit since the June 26 commitment of quarterback Jaden Rushda.
The 22-year-old from Pittsburgh, Calif., became the first of six ESPN 300 prospects to announce for coach Mario Cristobal and the Hurricanes over the past three weeks.
Miami ranks 11th in ESPN’s category rankings, having not been in the top 25 until the end of June most recently.
Cristobal inherited the Class of 2022, ranked outside the top 50 after his appointment on December 6. From there, he was able to push hard enough to improve to 19th in last year’s class after the late signing period.
With Rashda and offensive lineman Francis Mouigoa (No. 5) in the 2023 class and 2024 cornerback Anthony Jackson (No. 109) flipping from Georgia to Miami, Cristobal is certainly building momentum.
LSU continues to focus on the defensive line
LSU went from unranked to 10th in the latest class rankings, and new defensive line coach Jamar Cain may be the biggest reason.
Kane, who joined Brian Kelly’s staff in Baton Rouge after spending the previous two seasons on Lincoln Riley’s staff in Oklahoma, helped the Tigers recruit four new defensive linemen in early July.
Jackson Howard (No. 118) is listed as a tight end, but also plays defensive end for Robbinsdale Cooper High School (Minnesota) and made his commitment debut on July 1. Joshua Mickens (No. 283), a 6-4, 225-pound defensive end who had 12 sacks and 23 tackles as a junior at Lawrence Central High School (Indiana), committed July 3.
The other day, Da’Sean Womack (No. 93), who had 11 sacks and 19 tackles for St. Francis Academy (Maryland), and four-star Darron Reed, a 6-5, 260-pound defensive end from Carver. Had 19 sacks as a junior in high school (Georgia), both committed to the Tigers.
But the Tigers’ top-ranked commitment is wide receiver Jalen Brown (No. 53). Brown, a 6-1, 170-pound wideout, caught 56 passes for 1,033 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior for Gulliver Prep High School (Florida).
What does he do best?
“Maybe [being] A playmaker, being able to move, takes the top off the defense,” he told ESPN. “Basically make big plays, open up plays for my teammates.”
Four-star linebacker Troy Bowles is doing just that on Saturday
26) of Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida, narrowed down his choices to Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
Bowles, the son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, made official visits to each school in June.
The 6-1, 210-pound linebacker had 110 tackles, seven tackles for loss and seven sacks for Jesuit as a junior in 2021.
Top-25 is likely to be held on July 23
Jonale Aguero (No. 21), a 5-11, 195-pound safety, is down for Georgia, Ohio State, Miami and Florida.
Aguero visited each school in June, with Miami’s last visit June 24-26.
Aguero is the No. 1-ranked prospect in Massachusetts. He transferred back to St. John’s Prep from IMG Academy (Florida) for his senior season.
Four-star linebacker on July 23
Malik Bryant (No. 58), a 6-2, 235-pound linebacker, is considering Alabama, Florida, Miami and Maryland.
Bryant took an official visit to Florida on June 10, traveled to Maryland on June 17, and visited Miami on June 24.
He had 98 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, an interception and a touchdown return as a junior for Jones High School (Florida) in 2021.
The four-star ESPN 300 teammates are coming together
Defensive linemen Derrick LeBlanc and John Walker, who are on the Osceola High School (Florida) team, have extended their commitment dates from Oct. 22 to July 28.
LeBlanc, ranked No. 31, will run from Penn State, Oklahoma and Florida. The defensive end visited Gainesville from June 10-12, followed by an official visit to Happy Valley from June 17-19.
As a junior, LeBlanc had 38 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in 2021.
Meanwhile, Walker (No. 88), a 6-2,300-pound defensive tackle, took official visits to UCF, Michigan, Miami and Ohio State in June.
Walker had 77 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 13 sacks as a junior in 2021.
2024 Recruitment Preliminary Form
Several top prospects in next year’s orbit are taking casual trips and landing offers.
Defensive end Colin Simmons (No. 9) at Duncanville High School (Texas), visited LSU in late June. Last month, offers came from Florida, Jackson State and Mississippi State. Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, Michigan and USC all offered between April and May.
Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Florida) wide receiver Jeremiah Smith (No. 12) recently received an offer from Jackson State. Smith is making his rounds and has visited Alabama, USC, Miami, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Georgia.
King Joseph Edwards (No. 16), a defensive end at Buford High School (Georgia), has traveled to Florida, Miami, Oklahoma and Georgia. He plans to visit Michigan and Oregon later this summer. Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Miami, USC and Texas are the schools that Edwards is working hard on.
Eliza Rushing (No. 19), a defensive end from Sailpoint Catholic High School in Arizona, picked up an offer from Oklahoma this week. He received offers from Pittsburgh, Clemson and Tennessee in June.
Jefferson High School (Georgia) linebacker Sammy Brown (No. 20) has committed multiple times to Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson.
Willis High School (Texas) quarterback DJ Lagway (No. 21) has received offers from Florida and Oklahoma in the past few weeks. He has offers to play football and baseball from Florida, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, LSU, Arkansas, Baylor and Houston.