Tuesdays with Gorney: The latest on the 2024 five-stars
There are currently 17 five-star prospects in the 2024 class so we’re just about halfway through naming five-stars for this cycle. Some are committed, many are not, but recruiting is still going on for all of them.
Here is the latest on all of them in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney:
RUMOR MILL: Big visits continue around the country
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There have been rumors for weeks now that the five-star quarterback and No. 1 overall player is prepared to make his commitment with Georgia as the favorite along with USC and Nebraska in his recruitment.
But Raiola and his family continue to say he’s not ready to make his pledge just yet, especially after backing off an Ohio State commitment earlier in his recruitment. The Bulldogs look to have the edge here but the Trojans and the Huskers remain serious contenders.
RELATED: Podcast with Raiola's dad, former Huskers All-American Dominic Raiola
An Ohio State commitment since December, Smith remains locked in with the Buckeyes and a recent visit there with his family only solidified things with Ohio State. There are so many connections there including his relationships with coach Ryan Day and position coach Brian Hartline plus former South Florida Express teammates Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate just signed in the 2023 class.
The Miami ship has sailed, Florida State is in there but marginally and Georgia could be the biggest contender. But a source told me unless something “drastic” happens, Ohio State looks good here.
LSU has to love that it got the five-star defensive end back on campus over the weekend as Simmons went to Baton Rouge instead of Colorado. The Tigers remain very strong in his recruitment and he’s always had a serious interest in playing at LSU.
Texas has made a real run at him and Texas A&M could be surging a little more than people realize with Alabama, Georgia and others involved. If picking today, LSU would be the spot.
A decision still does not feel all that close for Houston as many programs continue to battle it out but Georgia has to like where it’s sitting with the five-star defensive end from Buford, Ga.
Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson, Ohio State, LSU and Texas among others are still in the ballgame.
His Buford teammate Justice Haynes just signed with the Crimson Tide and Houston could do his own thing but Georgia rarely gets turned down by elite in-state prospects.
The five-star quarterback from Carlsbad, Calif. took a methodical approach to his recruitment and it basically came down to Alabama and LSU in the end with Georgia and others in the mix. The Crimson Tide won out in November.
Sayin just took another extended visit to Alabama with a bunch of his coaches to really dive deeper into the program and get a feel for the offense which further solidified his commitment. Ohio State has been trying hard to get him to visit but Sayin doesn’t think it will happen.
The recruitment of Hudson is one of the more interesting in this recruiting cycle because it’s believed Texas has the lead right now but many still think other programs have a legitimate shot at stealing the five-star receiver away.
Georgia and Alabama could be two to watch, Ohio State could be in the picture because Hudson is very similar to Garrett Wilson and then there’s Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are not an also-ran here because Hudson keeps visiting Lubbock, he loves the coaching staff and the offense, and he’s a legacy since his father is former DL Desmond Royal.
There are still a lot of moving parts in Matthews’ recruitment and not one clear front-runner as it stands now. Georgia is going to be a player because he’s an in-state prospect and the Bulldogs have made him a top priority. But Alabama is right there as well as he loves the professionalism of that staff.
Clemson would be a good fit for Matthews as he has a similar makeup to a lot of players that the Tigers recruit. Tennessee could be a dark horse and USC has really piqued his interest as well. Those are the main contenders but as of today, it is still any team’s opportunity to land the Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview standout.
After a recent visit to Miami, there has been a lot of chatter that the Hurricanes are surging in his recruitment and could land the five-star defensive tackle from Chicago (Ill.) St. Ignatius. I’m not sure I buy that yet since Notre Dame is the favorite of some people close to Scott and it would be incredibly appealing to play down the road at a great academic school as well. Notre Dame is going to be a contender until the end here and Georgia might be in second place.
Miami is certainly a player and his visit to Coral Gables went really well but let things settle after that visit and the Irish could still be the team to beat.
A lot of eyes opened wide when the five-star safety who’s been committed to Georgia since January took a semi-secret visit to Ohio State and Alabama in recent weeks. That was interesting because Woodyard has always had a thing for the Buckeyes while the Crimson Tide were also very high on his list.
But after those two trips, the Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco recruit returned to Georgia for yet another visit to Athens for G-Day and it seemed to solidify his pledge even more.
In January at the National Combine in San Antonio, the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day five-star quarterback sounded like he wanted his recruitment over pretty soon. Michigan had been considered the long-time favorite but Davis was also keeping tabs on the offensive coordinator situation and rumors that coach Jim Harbaugh could be off to the NFL.
With everything settled now in Ann Arbor, Davis committed in late March to the Wolverines over North Carolina, Tennessee, Clemson and others. Unless a major surprise comes to the coaching staff, Davis should be all in.
A little while ago at OT7 Phoenix, Trader cleared up some chatter that Miami was the front-runner in his recruitment. The Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna five-star receiver who could also excel at defensive back said while the Hurricanes had been recruiting him the hardest and making an impression, he did not have a leader.
Miami is still very much in focus for Trader especially with Kevin Beard now on staff and some close to him encouraging him to pick the Hurricanes. But Trader also likes Ohio State a ton and his teammate, five-star WR Jeremiah Smith, is committed there. It’s basically those two right now with Florida State and others in the mix, too.
In the vein of players who are still really undecided like Houston and Matthews, there is Franklin. He also remains wide open in his recruitment although some things are starting to take shape. The five-star defensive end from Lake Cormorant, Miss., loved his recent visit to Alabama and now the Crimson Tide could be considered the leader if there is one in his recruitment.
But Tennessee, Auburn and Miami have also made a big impression on him although the in-state programs look like long shots now.
Florida was always the dream school, he’s a legacy in Gainesville since his father, Earnest, played there and so it was no surprise at all that Graham committed to the Gators in August and has given no hints of looking elsewhere.
Many other SEC programs including Auburn, Alabama and Georgia have come after the College Park (Ga.) Windward Academy standout but a flip would be shocking.
Stone’s recruitment is incredibly interesting and still unpredictable. The five-star defensive tackle plays at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy but he’s originally from Oklahoma so picking the Sooners would make a lot of sense. But Stone has said his mom would prefer he go somewhere out-of-state.
Some still believe Oklahoma is in strong shape to land his commitment at some point. Michigan State had been emerging as a front-runner but then two important coaches left. Stone told me a recent visit back to East Lansing – and a heart-to-heart with coach Mel Tucker – put the Spartans right back up there. Texas A&M would be a dark horse and others are still in the mix.
Early in his recruitment, all the whispers were that Bolden would end up at Georgia. That pretty much continues with the Bulldogs again sitting in a great spot with the five-star athlete from Buford, Ga.
But Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and a whole host of others continues to at least make this one interesting.
If there is one recruitment among the five-stars that has been toughest to nail down and predict, it could be Wingo. Georgia looks to have a slight edge at this point but Tennessee is absolutely right there as well and the St. Louis (Mo.) University standout plans to visit both schools in June.
After those trips there could be a much clearer picture as to where Wingo is leaning. Notre Dame remains in serious contention and I wouldn’t count out Missouri. But it could be a Georgia/Tennessee battle right now.
The five-star from Miami (Fla.) Columbus committed to Louisville on Jan. 7. His pledge is not in question but his future position – and his ranking – sure are. Capers had a so-so junior season and might be best coming off the edge full-time instead of playing an outside linebacker position. He’s also coming off a knee injury so only time will tell how Capers bounces back from that and at which position he is best.
Those questions probably won’t be answered until we see more of him in his senior season but as of now his Louisville commitment is strong.