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QB Dominoes: Recent pledges will have a ripple effect in 2026 class

Ryder Lyons
Ryder Lyons (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Two top 2026 quarterbacks came off the board over the weekend when four-star Noah Grubbs picked Notre Dame and four-star Will Griffin chose Florida. The 2026 QB class is coming more into shape with other pledges on the board and so today Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney looks at how the other dominoes could fall:

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Florida State and Michigan have emerged as the front-runners for the Newbury Park, Calif., standout who put up massive numbers in his sophomore season as he threw the ball 479 times. Smigiel wants to go somewhere he feels loved by the coaching staff and his relationship with coach Mike Norvell, position coach Tony Tokarz and others definitely stands out. Will he be able to throw the ball enough in Ann Arbor? That’s something Smigiel is figuring out as coach Sherrone Moore takes over. The Seminoles have to like their position in his recruitment at this point.

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USC and Oregon have emerged as the main contenders in Lyons’ recruitment and the feeling is that the Trojans could have the edge right now. Playing for coach Lincoln Riley is a major draw and his brother, Walker, is coming back from a religious mission so he’ll be on the team as well. Five-star Julian Lewis’ decision could make things interesting here as playing for Oregon coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Will Stein is a major draw but there also seems to be some skepticism among top 2026 QBs that Stein will be there all that long as he’s one of the hottest names in coaching circles. LSU recently offered as well so that will be something to watch and Ohio State has shown a lot of interest but is still playing it slow with him.

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The four-star quarterback from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage has been taking visits all over the country but it sure looks like Florida State and Penn State will end up landing a top quarterback in this class. If the Seminoles and the Nittany Lions strike out on all these targets it would be shocking because Bell likes those two a lot as well although many others have been coming and going in recent months.

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After Smigiel in the pro-style quarterback rankings is Georgia commit Jared Curtis and then Grubbs before Hart, the standout quarterback at Cocoa, Fla., who threw for 3,759 yards with 41 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. Both the Irish and the Gators were serious contenders in his recruitment but it looks like that has been changed up with these recent commitments.

As for current favorites, Penn State, Michigan, Miami, Florida State, Oregon, North Carolina and LSU top the list. A bunch of visits are coming up as Hart will visit Tennessee soon, he’ll throw at Clemson and then be at Michigan, Ohio State, LSU and the family is seeing if it’s possible to fit in stops at Texas A&M, Florida State and possibly Miami.

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It’s going to be a busy June for the four-star quarterback from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne and then O’Neal should have a better feel on favorites as he’s going to be at Texas, Colorado, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan, Auburn and Oregon by the end of the month. The chatter is that the Sooners appeal to him the most but O’Neal is going to work through all these visits and then see which ones appeal to him most. The commitments of Grubbs and Griffin don’t really affect his recruitment much at all.

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Coleman will have a decision to make: Oklahoma has been the front-runner for the Orlando (Fla.) Jones standout and his skill set meshes well with what the Sooners want to do on offense. But UCF is making the local four-star prospect a top priority and he’s on campus this weekend. The Orlando Jones standout will have to decide whether going to Oklahoma is the right fit or whether he’s going to stay home and play for coach Gus Malzahn up the road.

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