USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.
We begin in Columbus, where Ohio State has already lost one elite recruit in the 2024 cycle. The No. 1 overall player and top-ranked quarterback Dylan Raiola de-committed from the Buckeyes in December and seems to be deciding between reigning two-time champion Georgia and Nebraska, where he has family ties.
On the bright side, Ryan Day and company still have the No. 1 wide receiver in the class in Jeremiah Smith. However, it’s a long way from signing time, and Smith is evaluating his options. According to Ryan Wright at Rivals, Smith has official visits set for Florida and Miami. He’s also looking into both Georgia and Florida State.
Smith (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) is not only the best wide receiver in his class, he’s ranked second overall behind Raiola. Needless to say, losing both would be devastating for the Buckeyes’ recruiting outlook for 2024 and beyond.
Then again, even if they eventually lose Smith’s commitment, it’s not the end of the road. If the recruitments of 2023’s top cornerback Cormani McClain and quarterback Jaden Rashada have taught us anything, this new-look NIL/recruiting game is more fluid than ever. McClain initially committed to Florida, then flipped to Miami, then finally settled on signing with Colorado. Meanwhile, Rashada committed to Miami, signed with Florida and wound up with Arizona State.
In other words, don’t expect this to be a settled matter anytime soon. The competition for Smith may eventually become even more fierce than it was for those two. According to On3, Smith has offers from 41 different programs to choose from.
While Smith plays the field but remains committed for now, another highly-ranked 2024 wideout has officially re-opened his recruitment.
Long Beach Poly (Calif.) four-star receiver Jason Robinson initially committed to USC back in 2021. However, after a recent visit to Boulder, he has backed off that pledge.
When the news broke, Robinson told 247Sports that his visit to Colorado was eye-opening, especially his conversations with head coach Deion Sanders.
“I really loved it out there, I had no idea it was going to be like that… It was great talking with coach Prime, He was dropping so much knowledge on me. It felt like everything he said was a gem and the energy he has and the rest of the staff have is incredible.”
Robinson also acknowledged that Notre Dame is “coming hard at him,” but there are plenty of other suitors involved. On3 says all together 21 different schools have extended offers. His stock may not have peaked yet, either.
According to Maxpreps, over the last two seasons, he’s totaled 1,678 yards and 17 touchdowns in just 23 games. A productive Senior year could place him among the highest-regarded receivers in his class. For now, Robinson is ranked No. 33 at his position and No. 23 overall in California.
They probably didn’t plan it this way, but Oklahoma State has recently picked up commitments from a pair of 2024 recruits who have a common denominator: they both share names with super-famous celebrities.
One week ago today, the school got a commitment from Longview (Texas) three-star defensive back Willie Nelson. (No, not that Wille Nelson.) According to 247Sports, Nelson (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) is ranked 39 among safeties and 79 overall in Texas.
OSU’s next recruitment came yesterday when Choctaw (Okla.) three-star edge Will Smith (no, not that Will Smith) also announced his commitment. On3 has him ranked No. 40 at his position and No. 5 in the state.
The Pokes’ class of 2024 has two other members: Stillwater (Okla.) tight end Josh Ford and Southeast (Okla.) running back Rodney Fields. It’s still far too early in the cycle to matter, but this group currently ranks No. 36 nationally.