Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2024 CFB Recruiting Class

David KenyonFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 3, 2023

Ranking the Top 25 Players in the 2024 CFB Recruiting Class

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    QB Julian Sayin
    QB Julian SayinAndrew Ivins, 247Sports

    Ask every college football coach about recruiting, and the responses are similar: It never stops.

    The first Wednesday in February marks the beginning of the traditional signing period. Because of December's signing window, however, February is more a changing of the guard in the recruiting world.

    So long, 2023 class. Hello for real, 2024.

    While the order of the upcoming cycle's top prospects is subjective, consider it more of an early "who's who" of prospects. Everything from personal opinions to the industry consensus and team evaluations are destined to change.

25-21. Stone to Lagway

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    25. David Stone, DL

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 270 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: One of many coveted prospects from IMG Academy in Florida, Stone is from Oklahoma. Along with OU, Michigan State is a key program to watch in the early stages for Stone.

    24. Kam Pringle, OT

    Height/Weight: 6'7", 338 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: South Carolina picked up 2023 5-star edge-rusher Nyckoles Harbor at the beginning of February's signing period. A week-and-a-half prior, the Gamecocks landed Pringle. Since he's currently rated as the No. 1 prospect from the state in 247Sports' composite rankings, Pringle has additional value for South Carolina.

    23. Nigel Smith II, DL

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 260 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Save for Oregon, Smith's recruitment is heavily focused on the traditional Big 12 footprint. The asterisk is that Texas A&M and future SEC schools Oklahoma and Texas are among the notable suitors.

    22. Cam Williams, WR

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 185 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: The first of two Notre Dame pledges on this list, Williams is a high-priority target for the program. Wide receiver is a position of immense need in South Bend, so Notre Dame will be especially vigilant in holding the Chicago-area receiver's commitment.

    21. DJ Lagway, QB

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 225 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Lagway became particularly important for Florida recently. Because of a failed name, image and likeness deal, 2023 signee Jaden Rashada requested and received a release from his letter of intent. The departure cleared the path for Lagway to become the Gators' quarterback of the future, but they need to keep him.

20-16. Wingo to Scott

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    20. Ryan Wingo, WR

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 205 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Wingo is the next in line of a powerhouse football family. Ryan's brothers Ronnie Jr. and Raymond played for Arkansas and Missouri, respectively, and his father, Ronnie Sr., won a state championship in high school.

    19. Jordan Seaton, OL

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 287 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: The recruiting process is heating up for Seaton, who's connected to plenty of schools. Along with recent trips to Virginia Tech and Georgia, he has mentioned Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Maryland and Ohio State as programs of interest, per Brian Dohn of 247Sports.

    18. Charles Lester III, CB

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 171 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Lester announced his five finalists on New Year's Day. The programs still in the running for the Tampa-area cornerback are Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Ohio State.

    17. CJ Carr, QB

    Height/Weight: 6'2 ½", 195 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: If you've followed college football since the 2000s or know your history, Carr's grandfather is a household name. Lloyd Carr amassed a 122-40 record in 13 years at Michigan from 1995-2007, winning one split national championship in 1997.

    16. Justin Scott, DL

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 310 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Initially expected to reveal his college pick in late January, Scott delayed his decision. He told Tom Loy of 247Sports that a commitment felt rushed and he wanted to visit more schools.

15-11. Davis to Rushing

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    15. Kameron Davis, RB

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 200 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Strange things happen in recruiting, but Davis is as close to a stone-cold lock as possible. Since committing to Florida State in February 2021, he's visited nearby Tallahassee for nine unofficial trips, two camps and the program's Junior Day.

    14. Peyton Woodyard, S

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 188 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Woodyard was the first of two 4-star safeties to commit to Georgia in January. Six days after Woodyard chose the Dawgs over Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee, Jaylen Heyward followed suit and joined UGA's top-ranked class.

    13. KJ Bolden, S

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 185 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Bolden plays for a star-filled high school defense—more on that shortly—and is a Georgia state champion in both football and track. He helped Buford High School win a 4x100 relay in 2021.

    12. Julian Sayin, QB

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 195 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Shortly after making an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa in late October, Sayin committed to the Crimson Tide. Alabama is hoping he'll follow in the footsteps of 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who also left Southern California in favor of the Southeast.

    11. Elijah Rushing, Edge

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 235 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Rushing has notched consecutive 70-tackle seasons, and he had 11.5 sacks and forced four fumbles in 2022. While any list is subject to change, Rushing released a top-12 group that spans the country from Miami and Washington to Arizona and Michigan State.

10-6. Capers to Matthews

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    10. TJ Capers, Edge

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 230 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: First-year Louisville coach Jeff Brohm picked up a massive commitment within his first 30 days on the job. UL plucked Capers from the recruiting gauntlet of South Florida, which is easily one of the most prolific talent-producing areas in the nation.

    9. Eddrick Houston, DL

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 225 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Filed under the "pretty freaking unfair" category, Buford High School boasts a trio of blue-chip defenders. Along with Houston and 5-star safety KJ Bolden, the program has 4-star defensive back Tyshun White.

    8. Jerrick Gibson, RB

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 200 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Although he committed to Florida in July 2021, Gibson reopened his recruitment in February 2022. Florida remains in the hunt, but the Gators are only one of Gibson's final 12 contenders.

    7. Joshisa Trader, ATH

    Height/Weight: 6'1 ½", 170 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Similar to Buford High's defense, Chaminade-Madonna College Prep has a ridiculous level of talent in its receiving corps. "Jojo" Trader and Jeremiah Smith are both 5-star recruits.

    6. Mike Matthews, ATH

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 180 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Matthews had a regular presence at Georgia throughout the 2022 season, with three visits to watch the national champions, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. Matthews has also checked out Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee and USC.

5-1. Robinson to Raiola

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    5. Ellis Robinson IV, CB

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 175 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Wednesday's action on signing day primarily focused on 2023 prospects, but Robinson made headlines for the 2024 cycle. He picked Georgia over Alabama, Colorado, LSU and Miami.

    4. Micah Hudson, WR

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 195 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: During the 2022 season, Hudson made a handful of notable unofficial visits to Texas A&M, Ohio State and Tennessee. Since then, he has headed to Texas and TCU. Expect the wideout to be well-traveled before he enrolls early, per Mike Roach of 247Sports.

    3. Colin Simmons, Edge

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 225 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Simmons wrecked a whole lot of backfields in 2022, racking up 33 tackles for loss with 22.5 sacks. He totaled 79 stops and helped Duncanville (Texas) win a state title.

    2. Jeremiah Smith, WR

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 185 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Ohio State has a trio of verbal pledges, but Smith is the headliner. If both his ranking and commitment hold up, Smith would give the Buckeyes—led by star recruiter Brian Hartline, the receivers coach and new offensive coordinator—at least their sixth 5-star wideout in the last six cycles.

    1. Dylan Raiola, QB

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 200 lbs

    1 Thing to Know: Raiola, who committed to Ohio State in May 2022 but backed off the pledge in December, may be familiar because of his father. Dominic Raiola was an All-American center at Nebraska before spending 14 seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions from 2001-14.