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College football recruiting: Impact June commits, July visits | #schoolsaftey


Blake BaumgartnerESPN Staff WriterJul 1, 2023, 07:00 AM ET8 Minute Read

Steve Sarkisian and the Texas Longhorns landed a top-three running back for the second straight recruiting cycle when he secured a commitment from Jerrick Gibson, the No. 31 recruit in the 2024 class.John Rivera/Icon Sportswire

The college football recruiting calendar heated up June as 62 players in the 2024 ESPN 300 announced their commitments, including two five-star prospects.

Several teams skyrocketed up the class rankings by making big splashes. Two schools, USC and Stanford, combined to land 11 ESPN 300 prospects in June. As a result, both schools went from being unranked at the end of May to inside the top 12.

We break down the biggest commitments over the past month, the schools that are climbing the rankings and the impact recruits who are planning on announcing their decisions in July.

coverage:
2024 recruiting class rankings
Prospects on the rise
Scouting the elite 2024 QBs

Five-star Alabama commit named Elite 11 MVP

Quarterback Julian Sayin rose from No. 8 overall to No. 3 in this week’s ESPN 300 update thanks in part to winning MVP honors at the prestigious Elite 11 competition held in Los Angeles from June 14 to 16.

Sayin, the top dual-threat quarterback in the class, committed to Nick Saban and Alabama last November. He would be the first five-star signal-caller to sign with the Crimson Tide since Bryce Young (No. 5 overall) in 2020.

In 12 games for Carlsbad High School (California) last season, Sayin threw for 2,708 yards with 27 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while completing 67% of his passes.

Past Elite 11 MVPs include Jackson Arnold (2022), Cade Klubnik (2021), Caleb Williams (2020), C.J. Stroud (2019), Spencer Rattler (2018) and Justin Fields (2017).

Five-star quarterback Julian Sayin, who committed to Alabama, was named 2023 Elite 11 MVP.Student Sports

Cornerback Bryce West, ranked No. 29 overall, committed to Ohio State on June 24.

West, a 6-foot, 185-pound corner for Glenville High School (Ohio), was the 10th ESPN 300 commit this cycle for the Buckeyes, whose class ranks third overall, trailing only Georgia and Big Ten rival Michigan.

He will join a secondary that currently features no upperclassmen at cornerback.


Texas bolsters offense with No. 1 RB

Four-star Jerrick Gibson (No. 31) gave Steve Sarkisian and his staff a huge boost for the 2024 cycle when he committed June 24.

Gibson, a 5-11, 195-pound back for IMG Academy (Florida), is the third ESPN 300 prospect to commit to the Longhorns this cycle, joining wide receiver Freddie Dubose (No. 182) and guard Nate Kibble (No. 234).

The Longhorns’ running back room, seeking to fill the shoes of 2023 NFL draft picks Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, will also feature Cedric Baxter Jr., the No. 30 overall recruit and No. 3 running back in the 2023 class.

The Longhorns, who brought in five-star QB Arch Manning in the 2023 class, are also restocking their future quarterback room after they scored a commitment from Saraland High School (Alabama) quarterback K.J. Lacey, the No. 47 recruit in the 2025 ESPN 300.


USC vaults up the rankings

Lincoln Riley and the Trojans have had an active month on the trail, picking up commitments from eight ESPN 300 players in June and moving up to No. 11 in the most recent class rankings.

Five of those commitments came on defense, an area of need for USC. The Trojans landed three in-state secondary members in Junipero Serra cornerback Dakoda Fields (No. 75), St. John Bosco cornerback Marcelles Williams (No. 98) and Sierra Canyon safety Marquis Gallegos (No. 214), while pulling in defensive end Kameryn Fountain (No. 82) out of Atlanta and linebacker Elijah Newby (No. 245) from Connecticut.

Fields, Williams and Gallegos all could help defensive coordinator Alex Grinch moving forward as the program finished ninth in the Pac-12 last season in pass defense (266.5 YPG).

On offense, Caleb Williams’ likely successor, Malachi Nelson (No. 1 in 2023), will have some new targets to throw to in Hiram High School (Georgia) tight end Walter Matthews (No. 108), who committed June 13, and Millikan High School (California) wide receiver Ryan Pellum (No. 95), who announced for the Trojans on June 26.

Those two additions come on the heels of USC adding two five-star wide receivers, Zachariah Branch and Makai Lemon, in the 2023 class, which finished 11th overall.

USC also added the top-ranked center prospect, Jason Zandamela (No. 128), from Clearwater Academy (Florida), on June 20.


Stanford skyrockets into top 10

New coach Troy Taylor is picking up steam in Palo Alto, California, as his first full class went from unranked to No. 10 overall in the latest class rankings update.

Defensive end Dylan Stephenson (No. 200) became Taylor’s first ESPN 300 recruit when Stephenson committed June 13.

Five days later, Taylor landed commitments from in-state quarterback Elijah Brown (No. 246) and running back Chris Davis Jr. (No. 281), who was previously committed to in-state Ole Miss. On June 21, in-state ATH Emmett Mosley (No. 291), whose father played at Notre Dame in the 1990s, committed.

Stanford finished 50th in the recruiting rankings in the 2021 cycle, then 12th in the 2022 cycle and back down to 39th in 2023.

Elijah Brown is the first ESPN 300 quarterback to commit to Stanford since 2021.Student Sports

Clemson boosts 2024 and 2025 classes

Clemson landed three impact players over a two-day span in five-star linebacker Sammy Brown (No. 10) and a pair of four-star wide receivers, T.J. Moore (No. 220) and Bryant Wesco (No. 22).

Dabo Swinney wasn’t done there, as four-star running back Gideon Davidson, the No. 51 recruit in the 2025 class, became the Tigers’ first Junior 300 pledge June 14.

Clemson’s 2024 class jumped from 15th to ninth in the latest update, and the Tigers have since added Northside High School (Georgia) safety Ricardo Jones (No. 188).


Florida leaps into top five

Florida’s big month saw the Gators leap from 11th to fourth in the class rankings, highlighted by defensive end Jamonta Waller (No. 17) becoming the Gators’ second five-star recruit (QB D.J. Lagway, No. 18) in the 2024 class.

“I just felt like Florida was home,” Waller, who picked Florida over Auburn and Penn State on June 19, told ESPN.

Waller’s commitment came one day after coach Billy Napier added four players — including three ESPN 300 prospects: inside linebacker Aaron Chiles (No. 57), tight end Amir Jackson (No. 96), defensive end Amaris Williams (No. 251) and defensive tackle Nasir Johnson (three stars).

A fifth ESPN 300 prospect, IMG Academy wide receiver Jerrae Hawkins (No. 192), committed to the Gators on June 26.


Georgia strengthens hold on No. 1

Kirby Smart’s program isn’t relenting on the trail as the two-time defending national champions added to their top-ranked class by seeing defensive end Justin Greene (No. 147) commit June 5 while flipping running back Chauncey Bowens (No. 136) from Florida on June 10.

The Bulldogs’ 13 ESPN 300 pledges for 2024 lead the nation.


Penn State brings in multiple commits

James Franklin and his staff added to a top-10 class by shoring up their defense with three ESPN 300 commits.

Athlete Josiah Brown (No. 171), safety Vaboue Toure (No. 238) and athlete Dejuan Lane (No. 244), who plays safety at Gilman High School in Baltimore, will help a secondary that finished ninth in the Big Ten in pass defense (212.8 YPG) in 2022.

Wide receiver Tyseer Denmark, from Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School, decided to commit to the Nittany Lions after being committed to Oregon since last November.

In total, Penn State has 10 ESPN 300 recruits, tied for third with USC and Michigan.


Ole Miss making moves in 2023 and 2024

Lane Kiffin made a big move in convincing four-star quarterback Austin Simmons, the No. 77 recruit in the 2025 class, to decommit from SEC rival Florida. Simmons will be heading to the Grove two years early and reclassifying into the program’s 2023 class.

“[Kiffin] really understands quarterbacks and he actually knows how to coach with great quarterbacks as well,” Simmons, who also pitches on the baseball diamond, told ESPN. “He knows how to put them in the next level. He knows how to prepare them mentally and physically for the next level. … The offense and the way it’s been [productive], like the numbers it’s put up in the SEC — it’s one of the things that really stood out for me on my visit up there.”

Ole Miss’ quarterback room this year also features Oklahoma State transfer Spencer Sanders, LSU transfer Walker Howard and the returning Jaxson Dart, who transferred from USC prior to the 2022 season. In the 2024 class, Kiffin will bring in ESPN 300 quarterback Demond Williams Jr. (No. 219).

Also in the 2024 class, cornerback Travaris Banks (No. 139) became Ole Miss’ second-highest-ranked recruit when he pledged June 18. The Rebels went from 15th in the class rankings in April to unranked in mid-May to 17th in the most recent rankings update.


Five notable recruits taking official visits

Elias Rudolph, DE
2024 ESPN 300 ranking: 239

Rudolph, a four-star defensive end from Deerfield Beach High School (Florida), is committing Monday.

An Ohio native who previously attended Taft High School in Cincinnati, Rudolph is deciding between Michigan, Miami and Pittsburgh. He took official visits to all three programs in June.

Elijah Rushing, DE
2024 ESPN 300 ranking: 20

Rushing, a top-five defensive end from Salpointe Catholic High School (Arizona), will announce his decision Thursday.

The four-star recruit took official visits to Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee in June.

Aeryn Hampton, ATH
2024 ESPN 300 ranking: 145

Hampton, who had previously been committed to Texas before reopening his process last November, will be choosing between Texas and Alabama on July 7.

The Daingerfield High School (Texas) product took official visits to both schools in June.

Nick Marsh, WR
2024 ESPN 300 ranking: 167

Marsh, from River Rouge High School (Michigan), took official visits to Pittsburgh, Penn State, Kansas and Michigan State in June.

He initially committed to the Spartans on July 31, 2022, but decommitted and reopened his recruitment March 7. He’s picking a new destination July 7.

Davon Mitchell, TE
2025 ESPN 300 ranking: 15

Mitchell, who transferred to Los Alamitos High School (California) from Allen High School (Texas) earlier this year, is announcing his decision July 8. He recently took visits to Oklahoma, Alabama and Miami.

Mitchell, the top-ranked tight end in the 2025 ESPN Junior 300, recently told ESPN he plans to reclassify to 2024.



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