Tuesdays with Gorney: 15 teams that could load up with top 2024 prospects
The 2024 class is off and running, and soon the team rankings will take even more shape with players coming off the board. Visits start in earnest again in March, so in today’s Tuesdays with Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney looks at 15 teams that could load up with top 100 prospects in the Rivals250.
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If all goes right, Alabama could be loading up with big-time Rivals100 prospects and then fill out its class with other high-end players. The Crimson Tide are key players for five-star defensive linemen Eddrick Houston and Kamarion Franklin, four-star Terrance Hibbler, massive offensive lineman Daniel Calhoun, defensive backs Charles Lester, Zabien Brown and Fred Gaskin. Four-star linebacker Dylan Williams should be visiting soon as well.
There are so many top-notch running backs in the state of Florida this recruiting cycle it would be unthinkable if the Gators didn’t land one of them - even if it’s not former commit Jerrick Gibson. Florida looks strong with four-star RBs Stacy Gage and Anthony Carrie, among others. It could also be the early leader for strongman offensive lineman Eddy Pierre-Louis and the Gators are right in the mix with four-star defensive lineman D’Antre Robinson and four-star defensive backs Zaquan Patterson and Fred Gaskin, among others.
The rich are probably only going to get much, much richer. The Bulldogs, along with Nebraska and USC, are right in the race for five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, along with so many others. Five-stars Eddrick Houston, Mike Matthews and Justin Scott are all high on Georgia, with KJ Bolden, Jordan Seaton, Sammy Brown, TA Cunningham, Daniel Calhoun, Taylor Tatum and Xavier Filsaime among those on the watch list. Some will probably end up elsewhere, but Georgia is sitting in prime position for a lot of top prospects, especially since so many are in-state recruits.
It would be a major coup if coach Brian Kelly and his staff could close on five-star defensive end Colin Simmons, who has many others in the running, but it sure seems like he likes the Tigers a whole lot. Four-star tight end Trey’Dez Green and four-star cornerback Wardell Mack feel like locks if there ever is such a thing. Four-stars Ka’Davion Dotson, Ryan Pellum and Tylen Singleton are three others to watch. LSU could be a stretch for Pellum, but the other two look strong at this point.
Coach Mario Cristobal is in the rebuilding process, and a big piece of that could be winning in-state recruiting battles. Five-star receiver Joshisa Trader has publicly said Miami has the edge in his recruitment, but Ohio State isn’t giving up. Locking up players like Zaquan Patterson, Dylan Stephenson and an in-state running back, possibly Davion Gause from Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna, would be a phenomenal start. Flipping five-star WR Jeremiah Smith would be a dream come true.
Five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis said in January that he wanted to end his recruitment soon, and with coach Jim Harbaugh making it clear he’s coming back the Wolverines have to like their position even more. Michigan could really load up in this recruiting class if all the chips fall the right way, with defensive linemen Brandon Davis-Swain and Marquise Lightfoot, running back Jordan Marshall, tight end Brady Prieskorn, offensive lineman Blake Frazier and linebacker Aaron Chiles as some of the top prospects to watch.
There are a lot of situations where this could go the other way - Justin Scott is enamored with Georgia, Ryan Wingo wants to play in the SEC, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa could decide to stay home and play at USC - but those three, among many others, could all end up at Notre Dame, and it would be another monster recruiting class for the Irish. Midwest standouts like Brauntae Johnson and Marquise Lightfoot are also in play, along with four-star receiver Bredell Richardson, four-star linebacker Payton Pierce and others.
Ohio State signed five-star receivers Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate and four-stars Noah Rogers and Bryson Rodgers in the 2023 cycle, but there might be no slowing down at that position when it comes to 2024. Five-stars Micah Hudson and Joshisa Trader are real possibilities, along with four-stars Quinton Martin, Mylan Graham, Stacy Gage, Ryan Pellum, James Peoples and others at the skill spots. Four-star OL Jordan Seaton is one to watch, although Georgia is pushing hard. If KJ Bolden doesn’t pick Georgia then the Buckeyes are right in the mix. Cleveland Glenville four-star corner Bryce West feels like a lock.
The Sooners had their first losing season since 1998 in coach Brent Venables’ first campaign, but that has not slowed down the recruiting train one bit. If anything, it’s reinforced to top recruits they could see the field even earlier, and 2024 could be a loaded class if things fall the right way. Five-star DL David Stone has Oklahoma in his top two, and the Sooners also look very strong with Nigel Smith and Xadavien Sims and they’re right there for Williams Nwaneri, Payton Pierce and others. On offense, running backs Stacy Gage and Taylor Tatum are in the mix, along with OL Jordan Seaton and ATH Xavier Filsaime. Some believe OU is also very much in the mix with four-star speedster Zion Ragins.
Coach Dan Lanning and his staff have already proven they can recruit, but if things go the right way then the 2024 class could be loaded - and it won’t only be with players from the West. Sure, those top recruits are on watch, with Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei teammates Elijah Brown, Zabien Brown, Brandon Baker and Aydin Breland as possibilities, along with Long Beach Poly’s Dylan Williams, Long Beach Millikan’s Ryan Pellum and Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe’s Elijah Rushing as players to watch. But the Ducks are also very much in it for standout DL Williams Nwaneri, elite linebacker Justin Williams and many others.
What Penn State might not have in quantity, the Nittany Lions could certainly make up with quality. It’s unlikely the Big Ten squad will land as many top 100 prospects as some SEC teams or even Ohio State, but quarterback Michael Van Buren, offensive lineman William Satterwhite, running back Quinton Martin and elite defensive linemen Dylan Stewart, Darien Mayo and Ernest Willor could all end up in Happy Valley.
With Tennessee’s success under coach Josh Heupel, more and more top prospects are mentioning the Volunteers among their top schools. On Monday, four-star receiver JJ Harrell from Sardis (Miss.) North Panola committed to Tennessee over the in-state schools and many other SEC powers. More could be on the way as four-star quarterback Jake Merklinger is high on the Vols, as are four-star RB Jordan Marshall, five-star receiver Ryan Wingo, five-star DL Kamarion Franklin and four-stars Williams Nwaneri and Justin Greene. Good things are happening in Knoxville.
There is hope in at Texas - the Longhorns landed No.1 overall Arch Manning, along with five-stars Anthony Hill and Johntay Cook - but there is also some concern, since coach Steve Sarkisian is 13-12 in two seasons in Austin. Still, a major group of top players is serious about Texas, led by top running back Jerrick Gibson, along with Taylor Tatum and James Peoples, receivers like Micah Hudson and four-star Dre’Lon Miller are in the mix, as are a bevy of defensive players. Getting five-star DE Colin Simmons to stay local would be massive, and then defensive backs Kobe Black, Corian Gipson and Jordon Johnson-Rubell could all pick Texas.
Last season was supposed to be a turning point for Texas A&M, especially coming off such an incredible recruiting class. It turned into a disaster, a 5-7 season and all kinds of questions. But there could be significant help on the way in the 2024 class since WRs Micah Hudson and Dre’Lon Miller, running back Taylor Tatum, DB Kobe Black and ATH Ryan Pellum are just a few of the top prospects getting pretty serious about the Aggies.
After spending a day with coach Lincoln Riley, USC has become a main contender for five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, along with a host of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei teammates, including QB Elijah Brown, OL Deandre Carter and Brandon Baker, DL Aydin Breland, DB Zabien Brown and more. Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco’s Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa looks like a USC linebacker of old, and the Trojans are trying to get four-star LB Dylan Williams back in the fold. Four-star DE TA Cunningham is also one to watch. Five-star playmaker Mike Matthews is set on visiting USC, although Clemson and Georgia are pushing hard, too.