Best plays, highlights by top college football recruits this week

Before taking the field as college football players on Saturdays, some of the top recruits from the 2023 and 2024 ESPN 300 play under the lights on weekdays.

The USC Trojans’ highly decorated duo, quarterback Malachi Nelson (No. 1 overall, No. 1 QB-PP) and wide receiver Makai Lemon (No. 19 overall, No. 2 WR), left Los Alamitos High with injuries 49: School’s (California) 14 win over Corona Del Mar High School (California) on Thursday.

But Nelson threw that Touchdown pass before exiting the game in the third quarter.

Here’s what some of the nation’s other top recruits looked like this week.

Aggie’s ambush

Despite his team’s loss Thursday, Paetow High School (Texas) defensive tackle David Hicks Jr. showed some of the power he will bring to College Station for Texas A&M next fall.

Hicks, the 17th best prospect in the Class of 2023 and the third-best defensive tackle in ESPN rankings, had 26 tackles (eight solo), four sacks and eight TFLs in his first four games for Paetow High School.

A year after placing first in ESPN’s team standings, Texas A&M’s Class of 2023 currently sits 17th.

Baxter breaks free

Running back Cedric Baxter Jr. is one of the offensive crown jewels of the 2023 Texas recruit class, which ranks fourth in ESPN’s rankings.

Baxter (No. 58 overall, No. 4 RB) faltered repeatedly in Edgewater High School (Fl.)’s 40-0 win over Timber Creek High School on Thursday.

He has rushed for 1,066 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games for Edgewater High School.

Holstein hype

As one of two ESPN 300 quarterbacks in Alabama’s top flight, Eli Holstein will be a household name in a relatively short period of time.

The 13th best prospect and fourth best pocket passer of the 2023 cycle did not disappoint in Zachary High School (Louisiana)’s 33-6 win over Woodlawn High School (Louisiana) on Thursday.

In his four games this season, he has completed 67% of his passes for 697 yards and nine touchdowns.

Hudson hums

Micah Hudson put his elusive ability to good use with this 69-yard touchdown reception during Friday’s Lake Belton High School (Texas) vs. Killeen High School (Texas) game.

Hudson (No. 15, No. 3 WR) is a desirable 2024 Playmaker of the Year at the Lone Star State and has offers from several top-tier programs – Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee , among other things.

His last offer came from Auburn on September 5, and he made two unofficial visits to College Station on July 30 and September 17.

In his first five games in 2022 for Lake Belton High School, Hudson has 29 receptions for 575 yards and nine touchdowns.

Graham exits

New Haven High School, Indiana’s Mylan Graham showed himself moving in the open field and proving he’s not afraid to show off when given the opportunity. The 2024 prospect could be one to watch on the trail after his 51-yard touchdown reception Friday put his team on the board against East Noble High School (Indiana).

He caught seven passes for 148 yards and three points in the 37:14 victory.

Graham (No. 155 overall, No. 19 WR) has offers from Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame, among others. Auburn was the last school to make him an offer, on August 29.

In his first seven games, Graham had 36 catches for 874 yards and eight touchdowns for New Haven High School.

Full house for Texas A&M-Alabama

It didn’t take long for Alabama to rise to the top of the ESPN class leaderboard for the 2023 cycle.

Four Alabama commits — 2023 quarterback Dylan Lonergan (#23 overall, #5 QB-PP), 2023 offensive tackle Miles McVay (#135 overall), 2023 tight end Ty Lockwood (#136 overall), and 2024 cornerback Jaylen Mbakwe (No. 5 overall, No. 2 CB) highlights a decorated group who will be in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

A large number of non-binding interested parties from the classes 2023 and 2024 will also be present.

This list includes 2023 defensive end Keon Keeley (#24 overall, #1 DE), 2023 tight end Duce Robinson (#51 overall, #1 TE), 2024 athlete KJ Bolden (#6 overall, #1 ). ATH), 2024 cornerback Ellis Robinson IV (#7 overall, #3 CB), 2024 safety Mike Matthews (#10 overall, #1 S), 2024 defensive end KingJoseph Edwards (#16 overall, #3 DE), 2024 tight end Kylan Fox (No. 208 overall) and 2024 offensive tackle Daniel Calhoun (No. 103).

2024 four-star defensive tackle visits Ohio State

Justin Scott visited the Horseshoe for the first time last weekend.

And the 34th-best prospect in the 2024 Junior 300 was impressed after taking the Buckeyes’ 49-10 win over Rutgers.

“Atmosphere definitely,” he told ESPN of what stood out in Columbus. “How packed the stadium was and just the energy.”

According to the ESPN rankings, Scott — of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago — is the second-ranked defensive tackle in the class.

He will be in Miami this weekend.

The Class of 2024 four-star defensive end sums up the USC visit

A day after he first stepped onto the field for Los Alamitos High School following his transfer from Georgia, highly regarded 2024 defensive end TA Cunningham attended USC’s game against Arizona State.

Joined by 2023 defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei (No. 62, No. 7 DE), 2025 quarterback Bekkem Kritza, 2026 defensive end Dutch Horisk and his younger brother, defensive end TK Cunningham (2027), TA said he felt an immediate connection with Lincoln Riley connected and the trojans.

“I felt like the energy in the Coliseum was crazy,” TA told ESPN. “I felt really good knowing they’re right in my backyard.”

TA (No. 33, No. 8 DE) recovered from a fumble in Los Alamitos’ 49-14 win over Corona Del Mar on Thursday.

Second-place dual-threat QB in 2024 goes to Baton Rouge

Quarterback Julian Sayin, No. 35 overall on the 2024 Junior 300, visited LSU the weekend of September 23-25 ​​when the Tigers hosted New Mexico.

“Loved the atmosphere and the staff is definitely a special group,” he told ESPN. “I really love the people there and had a great experience.”

Sayin attends Carlsbad High School, California, and is the second-best dual threat quarterback of the 2024 cycle according to ESPN rankings.

In five games, he has thrown for 1,330 yards with 14 touchdowns and two interceptions.

The four-star defensive end of 2024 looks forward to GameDay in Lawrence

With College GameDay in town to see undefeated Kansas host undefeated TCU on Saturday, many eyes will be on the reigning national basketball champion’s campus.

But Lance Leipold’s Jayhawks made a statement on the football field in the first half of the season, and prospects want to see for themselves.

Defensive end Williams Nwaneri, No. 62 overall in the 2024 Junior 300, is among them.

“Really see the culture shift and get a feel for the place on game day,” he told ESPN.

Nwaneri of Lee’s Summit North High School (Missouri) has 16 tackles (11 solo) with five sacks and four tackles for losses in his first five games this season. Best plays, highlights by top college football recruits this week

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