College football recruiting storylines to follow in the 2024 class

The 2023 recruiting cycle is behind us – with the exception of No. 1 ranked tight end Duce Robinson who elected not to put pen to paper or even commit during Wednesday’s National Signing Day – allowing us to turn our attention to a 2024 class that’s already off and running.

Let’s get up to speed on what’s already happening.

Georgia Tops The 247Sports Recruiting Rankings

Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs staff have 10 early commits headlined by two five-stars in top-ranked cornerback. Ellis Robinson IV and the No. 1 tight end in the land Landen Thomas. The class also includes Top247 defensive backs. Peyton Woodyard and Jaylen HeywardTop247 linebacker Demarcus RiddickTop247 receiver Ny Carr and Top247 running back Dwight Phillips Jr. and his 4.2 speed in the 40-yard dash. Those prospects are all 247Sports Composite Top100 players.

As Smart and company are positioned well for a third No. 1 ranked recruiting class since they arrived in Athens, they are in great shape to ultimately secure future verbals from the nation’s top-ranked overall recruit in five-star quarterback. Dylan Raiola247Sports No. 2 ranked prospect in safety/receiver KJ Bolden and the No. 1 linebacker in the land in Sammy Brown, although there will be plenty of competition for all three of them. More on Raiola in a second. Bolden is also high on Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama among others while the Tigers, Tennessee, Buckeyes and Oklahoma are a few other contenders for Brown.

With the players Georgia is in on, this could very well end up the highest-ranked recruiting class in the 247Sports era dating back to 2010. Texas A&M’s haul in 2022 is the current bar.

The Raiola sweepstakes

The Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle passer thought he had found his future home in Ohio State, committing to the Buckeyes back in May. By December that didn’t feel right any long and Raiola reopened his recruitment.

Georgia has quickly emerged as the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite but Raiola is no lock to end up in Athens. Nebraska, USC and Oregon are a few other major contenders.

UGA was the first program to prioritize Raiola and they were the early favorite before things shifted to Ohio State. He has a long-standing relationship with Smart, Todd Monken and company and has been to campus several times. He looks forward to returning in March, loves the program’s winning pedigree and culture, thinks Monken’s offense would prepare him for the next level and a chance to play in the SEC for the nation’s premier program is also exciting. Raiola’s older sister plays volleyball at TCU and the family attended the Bulldogs National Title game win over the Horned Frogs.

Nebraska will not be out-recruited by anyone for Raiola. New head coach Matt Rhule was in the area to see Raiola two weeks ago and last week all nine of his assistants (including Raiola’s uncle Donovan who is the offensive line coach) went by to show him how much time and effort they’re going to put into recruiting him to. his father’s alma matter. The elder Raiola Dominic was an All-American, Rimington Trophy winner (given to the best center in college football) and his number is retired in Lincoln. The younger Raiola has already started to click Rhule and offensive coordinator. Marcus Satterfield and the whole family is excited about the trajectory of the program.

Lincoln Riley and the Trojans had Raiola back on campus last weekend and Riley’s track record developing quarterbacks, engineering high-octane offenses and just the relationship he has with the USC head man has the Pac 12 program in prime position. This past weekend was about getting Raiola’s mom on campus for the first time and she loved it.

Raiola has several relationships with folks in the building at Oregon and with that the Ducks are near the top of the list as well.

More quarterback dominoes

Five of 247Sports Top10 ranked quarterbacks are committed in Julian Sayin (No. 4) to Alabama, CJ Carr (No. 5) to Notre Dame, DJ Lagway (No. 6) to Florida, most recently Austin Mack (No. 7) to Washington (announcing on Wednesday) and Luke Kromenhoek (No. 9) to Florida State. In this past cycle we saw four of our Top10 passers decommit for various reasons so future movement with one of these guys should never surprise. Sayin in particular already has Ohio State and Miami pushing hard but he’s saying all the right things about his pledge to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

The No. 2 ranked quarterback in the country Jadyn Davis has at times looked to be close to coming off the board and Michigan continues to trend for the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year. Beyond the Wolverines, the five-star continues to have high interest in programs like Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina and Tennessee.

After a wave of visits, the nation’s No. 8 quarterback. Walker White could be close to coming off the board with places like Auburn, Baylor and Clemson well positioned.

The quarterback that programs seem to be buzzing about now is Air Noland out of Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes who threw for 4,095 yards and 55 touchdowns in a state championship junior campaign. Auburn, Miami and Texas A&M have built some nice momentum with the No. 11 quarterback in our rankings, and an offer from Alabama during a visit this last weekend also moved the needle with the talented lefty.

This quarterback class also includes Top247 recruit. Isaac Wilson (No. 12 in the position rankings nationally), the younger brother of New York Jets signal-caller Zach Wilson.

Other quarterbacks that have made early declarations include Ryan Puglisi to Georgia (the Bulldogs would like to sign two in 2024 after not taking one in 2023), dangerous dual-threat signal-caller Demond Williams to Ole Miss, four-star Dante Reno to South Carolina and four-star James Resar to Iowa.

LSU has their guy in Colin Hurley who has reclassified from 2025 and Trey Owens is the one that’s going to follow Arch Manning to Texas and is excited to compete in the Longhorns very talented position room.

Programs having fast starts

LSU has eight commits and ranks No. 2 nationally with the class jewel being Pearland (Texas) Shadow Creek safety. Maurice Williams Jr. who could blossom into a terrific linebacker on the next level. Brian Kelly and the Tigers finished No. 6 in 2023 and are looking to sign another one of America’s best classes coming off an appearance in the SEC title game.

Florida State won 10 games for the first time since 2016 and the momentum is carrying over to the trail where the Seminoles have nine early commits and sit at No. 3 in the standings. It’s a class that in addition to the talented Kromenhoek, includes five-star running back. Kameron Davis and a pair of dynamic receivers in Camdon Frier and Tawaski Abrams. FSU hasn’t finished with a Top10 class since 2017.

Carr headlines a Notre Dame class ranked No. 4 nationally. Marcus Freeman and the Irish have put together three-straight Top10 hauls heading into this cycle and look poised for another.

Nick Saban has had 10 No. 1 classes since coming to Tuscaloosa and they’ll be in the mix again in 2024, strongly positioned at No. 5 right now. Sayin is the jewel with special talent in cornerback. Jaylen Mbakwe also in the fold.

More Notable Items

Texas Tech nearly signed a Top25 class in 2023 finishing No. 26 in the first full cycle of the Joey McGuire era and the Red Raiders are out fast in 2024 sitting at No. 6 including a verbal from four-star running back. Johann Cardenas. Duke is another using the momentum of a strong first season under a new regime and have five early commits and ranked No. 14 early in the cycle.

Ohio State has no surprise secured a verbal from top-ranked receiver Jeremiah Smith.

Shane Beamer and South Carolina closed 2023 extremely strong with a signature from five-star Nyckoles Harbor, putting the finishing touches on a haul ranked No. 16 nationally. They are No. 10 early in 2024 and with the prospects on the board like America’s No. 2 offensive tackle. Josiah Thompson they could be tracking for the program’s best class in our network’s history.

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