USA TODAY High School SportsFriday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting roundup that looks at the latest news from around the country from 2024 through the 25th grade and beyond.
The king remains the king. And right now, the kings of college football are the Georgia Bulldogs, who dominate the competition both on the field and in the recruiting game. Georgia is coming off a second consecutive national championship, as well as a combined #2 ranked recruiting class 2023. Nor is it accidental, especially since they spent about 50% more On recruiting any other Power 5 program in 2022.
While it’s no guarantee of success, outscoring your opponents by a wide margin is a strategy that works more often than it fails. This morning, Georgia added another significant asset to its future plans, a piece that can fit in a variety of ways.
Here’s how Swainsboro, Ga. four-star athlete DeMelo Jones declared his allegiance to the Bulldogs.
HONORED! @Mansell247 @ChadSimmons_ @scottroberts11 @_DwightSmith: @n_david88: @Hayesfawcett3 #strapmobb pic.twitter.com/YAURfJzJVT
— 1 † (@TheMelloJones) March 17, 2023
Jones (6-foot-1, 176 pounds) was a popular recruit, holding offers from 27 different programs. According to On3: were his top 10 schools Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Kirby Smart gets an extremely versatile two-way playmaker in Jones. Last season he ran for 1,279 yards and had 20 groundouts. As a receiver, he racked up 384 yards and seven more scores. He also scored one touchdown. At the same time, on defensehe posted a sack, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and six pass breakups.
According to the combined rankings, Jones is the 18th best athlete in his class and 28th overall in the state. He makes 10 hard commitments In Georgia’s class of 2024, which ranks No. 1 in the nation.
Just as Georgia reigns supreme in college football, the team to beat in high school football in recent years has been: Mater Dei Monarchs Outside of Santa Ana, California.
One of Mater Dei’s top quarterbacks is narrowing down his list of potential colleges. Four star cornerback Zabien Brown Recently listed his top four schools as Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and USA.
— Zabien Brown (@zabien_brown) March 12, 2023
He recently spoke to Sports Illustrated about his list and cracked all four. Brown noted that he has a good relationship with the USC coaching staff. He also likes the way Oregon develops its players, Alabama’s strong tradition and Ohio State’s culture.
If nothing else, he has the length (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) and ball skills to get there at the next level. Brown posted six interceptions and so far 14 have been distributed. He is 8th among cornerbacks in the composite rankings. #10 in California and number 73 in the general class in 2024.
Since taking over as Colorado’s head coach in early December, no one has done a better job of recruiting top cornerbacks than Deion Sanders.
Sanders and the Buffaloes completed the 2023 recruiting cycle by flipping the No. 2 overall prospect and a top cornerback. Cormani McClain pairing him with the No. 1 recruit in 2021, cornerback Travis Hunter, who followed Sanders out of Jackson State.
Coach Prime’s next big recruitment will come in the spring, which will be a busy season in Boulder. Last week, the four-star running back Stacey Gage has announced that she will be visiting for Colorado’s spring game on April 22 on ESPN. However, Gage will only be one of several high school football stars.
There are three five-star defensive line recruits at the top of the list. First, there is Friendship Leadership Academy (DC) EDGE Dylan Stewart, who will be visiting on April 21st. Next day Lee’s Summit North (Mo.) DL Williams Nwaneri and Duncanville (Texas) EDGE: Colin Simmons will visit.
Pinson Valley (Ala.) three-star Tavis Metcalf and Raymore-Peculiar (Mo.) four-star Jayden Redel are also slated for the spring game.
Two other prospects who are expected to visit Colorado but don’t yet have official dates are Dougherty (Ga.) four-star running back Cam Davis and Sultana (Calif.) four-star tight end Lamaison Waller.