Thoughts on 10 recent high-profile commitments
There have been a bunch of high-profile commitments over the last week and some might have been lost in the shuffle. Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney looks at the 10 that stand out most to him and offers thoughts on each.
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MICHAEL DAUGHERTY: LSU
After Daugherty’s recent visit to LSU it sure sounded like the Tigers were going to be tough to beat for the four-star safety from Grayson, Ga. He and those close to him loved the attention to detail from the new coaching staff in Baton Rouge, quickly building relationships with them and the discussions over his major all stood out. North Carolina still had a real shot when the Tar Heels got him on campus this past weekend, but Daugherty loved too much about LSU and committed. The four-star runs, he covers, he hits and he looks like a great fit at DBU.
CHRIS PALFREEMAN: Texas Tech
Palfreeman represents a lot of important - and telling - things for this Texas Tech recruiting class. He’s a fast and shifty slot receiver who many times has to slow down to catch balls that are a little underthrown, so all of his athleticism is not on full display. He’s also already the No. 15 commit for the Red Raiders this recruiting cycle, and all of them are in-state prospects with first-year coach Joey McGuire taking the approach of winning close to home first in recruiting and then spreading out further. Palfreeman is a talented playmaker who could go either way, and more speed in Lubbock won’t be a bad thing.
JAYVON THOMAS: Texas A&M
No team has been recruiting better than Texas A&M in recent months as the Aggies reeled in the No. 1 class in 2022 with an absolutely insane haul along the defensive line. Things continued to stay busy this week as they landed commitments from two of the best cornerbacks in the 2023 class. Bravion Rogers was first, and then a day later Thomas made his pledge as well. Thomas can play all over and what stands out most about him is his outstanding top-end speed. That can be utilized in College Station as the Aggies make a run at the playoff.
REID MIKESKA: Clemson
Mikeska released a top 12 in late March, and he said a meeting with Alabama coach Nick Saban was “surreal.” He also said South Carolina, North Carolina, Baylor, Ole Miss and Miami were some other schools that caught his attention. But when it was time to decide, the four-star tight end could not turn down Clemson. A day after four-star QB Christopher Vizzina picked the Tigers, Mikeska jumped on board and it was a huge two-day run for the ACC powerhouse loading up on the offensive side of the ball. With more than 40 offers, Mikeska liked Clemson most.
MARK FLETCHER: Ohio State
Up until his visit to Ohio State it very much looked like Fletcher was going elsewhere. His visit to Michigan went really well and he said “everything” stood out. A big, bruising back with good speed, Fletcher would have definitely fit in at Michigan. He has such a good relationship with Penn State position coach Ja’Juan Seider that the Nittany Lions also looked like a real option. Miami is right down the road for the Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage standout, and kids are intrigued by new coach Mario Cristobal. But Fletcher took that trip to Ohio State with some high school and 7on7 teammates, and the rumor was he left with his mind made up. The Buckeyes still have so much pull.
CHRISTOPHER VIZZINA: Clemson
When the four-star quarterback visited Clemson for the second time in a week and told coach Dabo Swinney he was 100 percent sure that’s where he wanted to be, Swinney told him, “You’re the guy we want here.” Clemson clearly made Vizzina a top priority in this class at quarterback and the Tigers did everything possible to get him to commit. The Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian standout made his choice in recent days. In a loaded quarterback group, Vizzina is ranked sixth at pro-style quarterback and is the No. 54 player in the class. Clemson is getting a good one.
BRAVION ROGERS: Texas A&M
Rogers’ commitment to Texas A&M is important on many levels, but mainly because he’s super talented, making him another key cog in the Aggies’ run to the College Football Playoff, but also because he’s an in-state prospect who was wanted by many national powerhouses. Rogers doesn’t say much and he isn’t in the spotlight as often as others, but he's rated as the sixth-best cornerback in the 2023 class, he’s super talented, super athletic and is a huge piece in this Texas A&M class. It would not shock me to see Rogers move up much more nationally as we see more of him against elite competition, and that puts him easily in the five-star discussion.
NATHAN ROBINSON: Tennessee
Robinson has elite size, elite stats and from the beginning of his recruitment he seemed like a player who could end up at Tennessee, and that’s what happened when he committed in recent days. It should not be lost among the Vols faithful just how impactful Robinson could be in the defense because he could play outside linebacker at his size but is probably much more important along the defensive line. That length is special, and Robinson has the potential to be really special for the Vols in the coming years.
TERRANCE LOVE: Auburn
Other regional schools were very involved with Love, and he had recent visits to Florida, UCF and others, but in mid-March the four-star safety from Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes said “everything” stood out on his visit to Auburn and that the “whole atmosphere” from the players to the coaches was something he liked. He also said the Tigers were recruiting him “super hard” and that diligence paid off in a commitment in recent days. A big safety at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Auburn made Love a target and won out for him.
MARCUS STOKES: Penn State
There is going to be a lot of debate about where Stokes should end up in the rankings because he’s a very interesting case at quarterback. The Ponte Vedra (Fla.) Nease standout has outstanding dual-threat capabilities, he has the speed to extend runs and break big ones, and while he’s a capable passer there are some risky throws in there that might not work against Big Ten defenses. Still, Stokes has a great arm, really good feet and he’ll provide a breakaway threat from the QB spot for the Nittany Lions.