football Edit

Early QB commits turn efforts toward recruiting other prospects

Dante Reno
Dante Reno

Dante Reno has a hectic schedule, but the South Carolina four-star quarterback commit also budgets time to send a weekly text to a bunch of Gamecocks targets that he wants to lure to Columbia.

It’s a long list.

The Cheshire (Conn.) Cheshire Academy standout hits up Daniel Hill, Dylan Stewart, Parker Livingstone, Zion Ragins, Anthony Carrie, Braydon Lee, Kelvin Hunter, KingJoseph Edwards, Davon Mitchell, Kamron Mikell, Brandon Rehmann, Mike Williams, Justin Greene, Jaylen Harvey, Jordan Ross, Darien Mayo and Booker Pickett.

“Those are the guys I text weekly,” Reno said.


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Reno is far from the only one doing this. Quarterbacks are encouraged by college coaches to commit early so they can lock in their top targets at the position of greatest importance.

Those pledges are also an added recruiting appendage for coaches as quarterbacks want to build out the recruiting class and surround themselves with elite players.

Whether it’s group texts, personalized text messages to certain prospects – that coaches do or do not tell them to hit up – or direct messages on social media, quarterbacks turn into recruiters once they are committed.

And everybody is doing it.

New Ohio State quarterback commit Air Noland has Jordan Seaton, Brandon Baker, Jason Zandamela, KJ Bolden, Bryce West, Boo Carter, Mike Matthews, Colin Simmons and Stewart on his list. That’s shooting for the stars, but the Buckeyes are heavily involved with many of those elite recruits.

Five-star Alabama commit Julian Sayin is working on former Texas commit Aeryn Hampton and he’s really focused on five-star receiver Micah Hudson, along with Jaden Reddell and Matthews.

Texas A&M pledge Anthony Maddox is also working hard on Simmons, who recently visited College Station and had a great time, along with Maddox’s brother, Andrew, and four-star DB PJ Woodland. Simmons is the big fish, though, and Maddox is getting more confident.

“I feel that he will be making a decision soon,” Maddox said. “He would truly be welcomed with open arms over here.”

Every committed quarterback in the position rankings was contacted and nearly every one responded with an extensive list. This is so commonplace it’s hard to believe a QB who has pledged somewhere isn’t doing it.

The list for Florida State pledge Luke Kromenhoek: Charles Lester, Joshisa Trader, James Madison, BJ Gibson, Landen Thomas, Kylan Fox, Lawayne McCoy, Caleb Odom, Cameron Coleman, Tye Helton and Zandamela.

Getting Trader, a five-star receiver from South Florida, would be huge. Thomas, the top-rated tight end in the 2024 class who’s committed to Georgia, keeps visiting FSU so Kromenhoek is encouraged, especially since he had picked the Seminoles early in his recruitment.

“Feel really good on both of them,” Kromenhoek said. “Thomas was a ‘Nole before he was a Bulldog and he keeps coming back, so I feel good about him and maybe we can flip him.”

Florida quarterback pledge DJ Lagway recently flew to Gainesville to spend time with five-star receiver Jeremiah Smith, and over texts he’s working on four-star Terrance Moore, who recently moved the Gators to No. 1 over Clemson after a recent visit.

Bryant Wesco, David Stone, Max Anderson, Caden Durham, Josiah Martin, Zion Kearney, Jaydan Hardy, Kelly Daniels and Ragins top the wish list for new Oklahoma quarterback commit Michael Hawkins.

Texas QB pledge Trey Owens is pursuing the big boys up front, with Blake Frazier, Daniel Cruz and Ory Williams on the list.

NC State commit Cedrick Bailey feels best about four-star receivers Alex Taylor and Jonathan Paylor, but he is also texting Jordan Shipp, Channing Goodwin and others.

All the way from Arizona, Ole Miss commit Demond Williams has narrowed his focus and he is mainly working on Carrie at running back and Odom at wide receiver.

Purdue pledge Marcos Davila has a slew of running backs, including Braylen Russell and Corey Smith, and receivers led by Brauntae Johnson he’s looking to bring to West Lafayette with him.

Texas Tech commit Will Hammond has a long list, including Casey Poe, Ellis Davis and Kedren Young and then three big-time receivers in Hudson, Dre’lon Miller and Ashton Bethel-Roman.

“I feel incredible about all three (receivers),” Hammond said.

The hope is real. So are all the messages coming from all these quarterbacks.