Mid-South Spotlight: Storylines to watch in October
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Cole Patterson takes a look at some of the most intriguing storylines in the Mid-South region as the calendar flips to October. That includes contested recruiting battles, potential five-star prospects and how Texas and Oklahoma are prepping for life in the SEC.
CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals100
WHICH PROGRAM WILL WIN OUT FOR KOBE BLACK?
Perhaps the biggest storyline in the Mid-South for the remainder of the cycle is which program will win out for Rivals100 defensive back Kobe Black. The No. 3 cornerback in the Rivals250 remains undecided and is the highest-ranked available prospect in the region.
There was thought that Black would already be committed by now. But he recently told Rivals that he could take his decision all the way to December. Regardless of when he ultimately announces, the battle for the borderline five-star tops the list of storylines.
CAN SOUTH CAROLINA BEAT OUT ALABAMA FOR DANIEL HILL?
Another highly recruited prospect in the region that remains undecided is Meridian (Miss.) all-purpose back Daniel Hill. Hill plays all over the field in the Magnolia State but looks primed to carry the rock on the next level as SEC programs battle for his signature.
Hill planned to commit in August but opted to hold off on that. Rivals intel suggests that Alabama has the upper hand, but South Carolina is in serious contention. Can Shane Beamer win out for the coveted prospect over Nick Saban?
TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PREPARING FOR LIFE IN THE SEC
This time next year, Texas and Oklahoma will be in the midst of SEC play during their first season in the conference. Both coaching staffs are aggressively recruiting to prepare for life in the sport’s most competitive league.
Oklahoma’s class is headlined by five-star David Stone, who is set to return home to his home state after starring at IMG Academy. The Sooners made a serious push for Terry Bussey and the coaching staff has not let up in pursuing five-star Williams Nwaneri.
How the two new SEC programs finish the cycle is certainly a key storyline to track.
WILL MICAH HUDSON STICK WITH TEXAS TECH?
Micah Hudson committed to Texas Tech in September after months of speculation about whether or not he’d make Lubbock his collegiate home. Hudson made his pledge shortly after the Red Raiders dropped a home thriller to Oregon, leaving Texas Tech winless at the time.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the Red Raiders sit at 2-3. Hudson is different from many recruits in the aspect of him not putting too much stock in current wins or losses.
Rather, his focus is being the reason why things turn around. He has full confidence in Joey McGure and staff, and is a big believer in QB commit Will Hammond.
Still, Hudson was supposed to visit Texas A&M and Alabama this fall with Texas and Oregon also pushing. While I expect Hudson to stick with the Red Raiders, his recruitment is still worth following until pen hits the paper given how highly-coveted of a prospect that he is.
NEW FIVE-STARS EMERGING
The Mid-South region is home to four five-star prospects in the 2024 class as it stands right now: Colin Simmons, Micah Hudson, Justin Williams and Kamarion Franklin. But Rivals will elevate other prospects to that status by the time that the cycle closes.
There are a handful of names in the region to keep an eye on in that regard. Texas A&M commit Terry Bussey arguably tops the list. The recent Aggies pledge has been as advertised this season, playing all over the field in electric fashion and backing up his No. 2 athlete ranking.
Elsewhere, defensive backs Kobe Black and Xavier Filsaime are in striking range. Clemson wide receiver commit Bryant Wesco is on the cusp. Florida QB pledge DJ Lagway has been putting up video game numbers as a senior as he stakes his claim.
The next month or so will go a long way in separating the five-star prospects from the rest of the group.