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 2023 through the 24th grade and beyond.
We start in Columbus, where Ohio State has already lost one elite recruit in the 2024 cycle. The No. 1 overall player and highest-rated defenseman Dylan Raiola decommitted from the Buckeyes in December and looks set to decide the defending 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. It’s still a long way from the signing deadline, though, and Smith is evaluating his options. Agreed Ryan Wright at RivalsSmith has official visits to Florida and Miami. He is 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 is second overall Behind Raiola. Needless to say, losing both would be devastating to the Buckeyes’ recruiting outlook in 2024 and beyond.
Then again, even if they end up losing Smith’s commitment, it’s not the end of the road. If the drafts of 2023 cornerback Cormani McClain and linebacker Jaden Rashada have taught us anything, it’s that this new-look NIL/drafting game is more fluid than ever. McClain first committed to Florida, then went to Miami, then finally settled signing with Colorado. Meanwhile, Rashada committed to Miami, signed with Florida and ended with Arizona State.
In other words, don’t expect this to be resolved anytime soon. The competition for Smith could end up being even fiercer than it was for those two. According to On3Smith has 41 different programs to choose from.
While Smith is playing the field but staying committed for now, another highly rated 2024 wideout has officially reopened his recruitment.
Long Beach Poly (Calif.) four-star wide receiver Jason Robinson at first committed to USC as early as 2021. However, after a recent visit to Boulder, he backtracked on that promise.
When the news spread, Robinson told 247Sports that his visit to Colorado was eye-opening, especially his conversations with head coach Deion Sanders.
“I really enjoyed it, I had no idea it was going to be like this… It was great talking to Coach Prime, he dropped so much knowledge on me. It felt like everything he said was a gem and the energy he and the rest of the crew have is incredible.”
Robinson also acknowledged that Notre Dame is “hard to approach,” but that there are plenty of other suitors. On3 says all together 21 different schools have extended offers. His stock may not have peaked yet either.
He has totaled 1,678 yards over the last two seasons, according to Maxpreps and 17 touchdowns in just 23 games. A productive senior year could put him among the top-rated receivers in his class. Robinson is currently ranked 33rd at his position and number 23 overall in California.
They probably didn’t plan it that way, but Oklahoma State recently landed commitments from a pair of 2024 recruits who share a common denominator.
School a week ago today received a commitment From Willie Nelson, a three-star linebacker from Longview, Texas. (No, not that Will Nelson.) According to 247Sports, Nelson (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) is ranked as the No. 39 safety and No. 79 overall prospect in Texas.
OSU’s next recruit came yesterday when Choctaw (Okla.) three-star Will Smith (no, not will smith) also announced his commitment. 3, he ranks 40th at his position and 5th in the state.
The Pokes’ 2024 class has two more members in Stillwater (Okla.) Josh Ford and Southeastern (Okla.) running back Rodney Fields. It’s still too early in the cycle to be significant, but this group currently ranks number 36 nationally.