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Three-Point Stance: KJ Bolden, 2025 WRs, commitment flips

KJ Bolden
KJ Bolden

As the 2023 football season draws near, we’ve got a combination of elements in the Southeast to consider. From the dozens of preseason commitments to those who had the best offseason and new recruiting rules set to change the fall, there’s plenty to tackle in early August.


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The nation’s top safety is set to come off the board on Saturday evening and there is anything but a unanimous feel going into the pledge. What’s more rare than the industry having a strong idea, is the fact that there are three programs seemingly with a shot just 36 hours before the announcement.

In-state Georgia has long been the favorite to keep Bolden home, but about a month ago a trip to Florida State started to shift some conversation and last weekend’s trip to Auburn seems to have made a similar impact. Each school has a reason to be confident down the stretch, too.

The Bulldogs are the national power who seemingly plucks top defenders from anywhere in the country before developing them into Sunday players, with plenty of winning along the way. Florida State is the program Bolden has always referred to as his dream school, with a lot of Seminole commitments including new headliner Charles Lester heavy on his trail. Auburn got the last visit before the commitment and Bolden confirmed he has a September official visit back to the Plains (ironically for the Georgia game) already on his calendar.

Georgia is the safe pick, Florida State is the long-term contender and Auburn would be the surprise. It could be anyone’s game at this late stage.



The national wide receiver group looks incredibly strong in 2025, and it’s a microcosm in the state of Florida as per usual. Three wideouts in the state have captured the heaviest offseason buzz leading into their junior campaigns, however.

Howard suffered a horrific leg injury last summer at Miami’s Legends Camp, but he appears to be all the way back. Now at a new program at Davie (Fla.) Western, he’ll pair with Virginia Tech four-star quarterback commitment Davi Belfort for a formidable tandem. The buzz at the program is that not only is Howard healthy, but he’s been flashing dominance leading up the his first game in south Florida. More than two dozen programs have already offered Howard, so this isn’t a sleeper story as much as it is a potential head-turning comeback.

Montgomery has been a riser any time a scout or college has seen him this offseason. At 6-foot-1, slender and smooth, he has an effortlessness to his game that many colleges are coveting more and more as a full route-tree runner. Rivals has seen him several times this offseason and Montgomery has that ease and build that may remind people of Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin are his latest offers and he recently committed to play in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Wilson is a legitimate 6-foot-3 with true bounce to his game, evident at every stop this offseason from the Future 50 national event to Deestroying’s 1-on-1 competition stop in the Sunshine State. While the evaluation by Oregon looks strong, there is now heavy competition for Wilson, from Clemson to in-state Florida, Miami and UCF, among many others. The list of challengers won’t soon slow with that Wilson has put on tape in the last 12 months.



Joshisa Trader
Joshisa Trader (

It seems self-explanatory, but there is an added emphasis on preseason decisions this year. Several prospects who were publicly planning on making a late decision now plan on — or have already gone through — with a July or August commitment. One five-star told us his high school coaches pushed him to move things up while another said the colleges initiated the acceleration.

But why?

There’s security for claiming a spot, sure, but there was always the adage of colleges willing to wait on elite recruits no matter when they’re ready to end the process. Surely, NIL negotiations and the college approach of ongoing roster management is playing a part in pushing kids to move their decisions up, but at what cost?

Five-star or not, the combination of early commitments before an entire season gets going and now unlimited official visits is very likely to lead to more decommitments and general changes of heart. Some committed or soon-to-be committed elites, like Miami pledge Joshisa Trader, have yet to take any official visits. On Wednesday, Trader said he would take at least five if possible.