Ranking the 10 States with the Most Talent in the 2023 Recruiting Class

Morgan MoriartyFeatured Columnist IMarch 2, 2022

Ranking the 10 States with the Most Talent in the 2023 Recruiting Class

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    High school recruiting is a vital part of the success of a college football program. But simply because of where their schools are located, some high school coaching staffs have it better than others.

    As we've seen for several years, a good chunk of the best talent hails from the likes of Florida, California, Georgia and Texas. Several top players from the 2023 recruiting class also come from these areas.

    But what about the rest of the nation? Let's run through which states have the most talent in the class of 2023.

    Using rankings in the 247Sports Composite, we'll rank the states by the total number of blue-chip recruits—4- and 5-star players—as well as players inside the 247Sports top 200.

    For the most part, the states that have the most total number of blue-chip recruits, followed by the number of 5- and 4-stars and top-200 players will be higher in the rankings. Towards the bottom of the rankings, a state may be valued higher if it has a 5-star prospect while another state does not, even if it has fewer blue-chip guys.

10. Michigan

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    Blue-chip recruits:
    4-stars: 6
    Top-200 players: 2

    No. 10 was a tough one to pick, but Michigan has a 5-star recruit, unlike Tennessee (eight blue-chip recruits), Maryland and Ohio (seven each).

    As things stand now, some of the top prospects in the state look like they might end up at Michigan or Michigan State. The state's No. 1 overall prospect, 5-star QB Dante Moore, is the No. 3 ranked signal-caller in the 2023 class.

    4-star defensive lineman Jalen Thompson out of Detroit, Michigan, is a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction for Michigan State. 4-star Amir Herring, the nation's No. 9 ranked interior offensive lineman, is a Crystal Ball prediction for Michigan.

    Michigan also has a verbal commitment from the state's No. 4 prospect, 4-star running back Cole Cabana, out of Dexter, Michigan. Meanwhile, Cabana's high school teammate and the state's No. 6 ranked prospect, 4-star tight end Brennan Parachek, has verbally committed to rival Michigan State.

    It'll be interesting to see where the rest of the state's prospects will end up and whether or not a program like Ohio State can make headway in the state.

9. Pennsylvania

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    Blue-chip recruits: 9
    Top-200 players: 4

    A big reason why Penn State has been so successful in recent years is how well Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin recruits Pennsylvania.

    In 2023, he'll have another opportunity to capitalize, as the state has a total of nine blue-chip recruits, including four guys ranked inside the 247Sports top 200.

    So far, Franklin and Penn State have already landed a verbal commitment from the state's No. 2 overall prospect, 4-star offensive tackle J'ven Williams and the state's No. 9 ranked prospect, cornerback Lamont Payne.

    4-star edge-rusher Ta'Mere Robinson and 4-star linebacker Phil Picciotti are Crystal Ball predictions to Penn State as well.

    The state's No. 1 recruit is 4-star athlete Rodney Gallagher out of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Gallagher, who plays for Laurel Highlands, is the No. 9 ranked prospect for his position.

    Penn State's 2023 recruiting class currently ranks first inside the Big Ten and is fourth nationally. Franklin already getting two of the top recruits in the state to committ is a big reason for that. 

8. Missouri

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    Blue-chip recruits:
    4-stars: 6
    Top-200 players: 2

    Missouri has a number of talented prospects in the class of 2023, and it looks like some of the top ones in the state might go to college out-of-state.

    The state's No. 1 ranked prospect is 4-star edge rusher Chandavian Bradley out of Platte County, Missouri. 247Sports has Bradley at a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction to go to USC.

    4-star offensive tackle Cayden Green, the No. 2 ranked prospect in the state, is predicted by 247Sports to land at Oklahoma. 247Sports also predicts 4-star prospect and the No. 5 ranked tight end Mac Markway to choose Florida and 4-star cornerback Christian Gray to attend Notre Dame.

    Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz did manage to land the No. 5 prospect in the state and 4-star tight end Brett Norfleet. The Tigers are also a Crystal Ball prediction for 4-star safety Marvin Burks Jr., as well.

    Missouri doesn't have a 5-star prospect or too many top-200 players, but 10 blue chips give the state the No. 8 spot.

7. North Carolina

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    Blue-chip recruits:
    4-stars: 6
    Top-200 players: 2

    While North Carolina doesn't have a 5-star recruit or many top-200 players for the class of 2023, 11 4-star guys make the state worthy of this list. Most of the state's blue-chip recruits remain uncommitted, too.

    The No. 1 recruit out of the state is 4-star receiver Noah Rogers out of Rolesville, North Carolina. Rogers, the No. 10 wideout prospect from the class of 2023, is a Crystal Ball prediction to end up at NC State.

    The other big 4-star recruits from the state include receiver Christian Hamilton from Harrisburg, North Carolina, and the No. 14 ranked defensive end prospect Rico Walker.

    One of the only 4-star prospects from the state that is verbally committed is quarterback Tad Hudson. The nation's No. 15 quarterback recruit committed to UNC in August of 2021. 247Sports has 4-star offensive tackle Sullivan Absher as a 50-50 Crystal Ball prediction split between UNC and Notre Dame.

    We'll see how many of the uncommitted blue-chips UNC head coach Mack Brown can land in 2023.

6. Louisiana

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    Blue-chip recruits:
    4-stars: 6
    Top-200 players: 2

    Although Louisiana has fewer blue-chip recruits than Alabama and California for 2022, there's no question that the state has plenty of talent. New LSU head coach Brian Kelly will have to recruit the state well if he wants to succeed in Baton Rouge.

    The biggest name in the 2023 class and Louisiana is 5-star quarterback Arch Manning. Arch, the son of Cooper Manning—the eldest brother of Peyton and Eli—is the top-ranked signal-caller in the country and the No. 1 ranked prospect in the 2023 class.

    Ole Miss would be an obvious fit for the QB, given that Arch's father, grandfather Archie and uncle Eli all played for the Rebels. But according to a recent report from Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, Manning has added Florida and LSU to his list of schools he's considering, thanks to new head coaching staffs at both schools. Per the report, Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas are still in the running.

    The other 5-star prospect out of Louisiana is wide receiver Shelton Sampson Jr., a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction for LSU.

    4-star safety Derek Williams out of Westgate High School in New Iberia, Louisiana, is also a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction to LSU. There are some 4-stars that have already committed to schools, as well. LSU has a verbal commitment from 4-star receiver Omarion Miller, the No. 7 prospect out of Louisiana.

    4-star quarterback Eli Holstein is committed to Texas A&M, and 4-star quarterback Rickie Collins is committed to Purdue.

5. Alabama

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    Blue-chip recruits:
    4-stars: 6
    Top-200 players: 2

    The number of total blue-chip guys and top-200 recruits aren't too high, so Alabama checks in at fifth. Still, the state has several talented prospects that both the University of Alabama and Auburn will be going after.

    The biggest name out of the state is 5-star defensive lineman James Smith out of Montgomery, Alabama. The No. 1 ranked prospect in the state and No. 2 defensive lineman in the class of 2023 is currently uncommitted, but he's being recruited by many schools, Alabama and Auburn included.

    5-star cornerback Tony Mitchell, the No. 14 ranked player in the class of 2023, is a 77 percent Crystal Ball prediction to Alabama. 5-star cornerback AJ Harris from Phenix City, Alabama, is an 80 percent Crystal Ball prediction for Georgia and 20 percent to Clemson. Alabama has a verbal commit from 5-star cornerback Jahlil Hurley out of Florence, Alabama.

    Most of the state's 4-star prospects are uncommitted, but there are some big names still available. 4-star Christopher Vizzina out of Briarwood Christian in Birmingham, Alabama is the No. 7 ranked signal-caller in the class of 2023.

    Edge rusher Jaquavious Russaw is the No. 5 defensive end prospect from the class, and defensive lineman Kelby Collins is Alabama's No. 8 ranked prospect. Auburn does have a commitment from 4-star offensive lineman Bradyn Joiner.

4. California

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    Total blue-chips: 24
    5-stars: 5
    4-stars: 19
    Top-200 players: 15

    California barely edges out Alabama since it has more blue-chip recruits and top-200 players. One of the most interesting storylines to watch for California's class of 2023 is new USC head coach Lincoln Riley now recruiting in the state.

    Luckily for the Trojans, USC has a couple of the state's biggest stars verbally committed already, including two of its 5-stars. Quarterback Malachi Nelson, the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the class of 2023 and top-ranked California prospect, was committed to Riley and Oklahoma until the head coach pivoted to USC.

    Riley also flipped Nelson's high school teammate and 5-star athlete Makai Lemon from Oklahoma to USC. Lemon is the No. 26 overall prospect from the class of 2023.

    The other 5-star quarterback out of the state, Nicholaus Iamaleava, is a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction to Oregon. 5-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei, the younger brother of Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, is still uncommitted, as is 5-star quarterback Jaden Rashada out of Pittsburg, California.

    As for the state's 19 4-star prospects, a few of them have already verbally committed. 4-star quarterback Pierce Clarkson out of Bellflower, California, is committed to Louisville's 2023 class. The No. 11 ranked tight end prospect, Cooper Flanagan, is committed to Notre Dame, and 4-star safety R.J. Jones is committed to Cal.

    We'll see how many in-state prospects end up going to USC.

3. Georgia

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    Total blue-chips: 32
    4-stars: 30
    Top-200 players: 20

    Georgia has emerged as a state that's produced a lot of talent in recent years, and that holds true for the class of 2023. That's good news for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs, who will be defending their national title in 2022, many thanks to the in-state recruiting success they've had recently.

    The two biggest names from the state are 5-star safety Caleb Downs, who is the No. 1 safety prospect and top-ranked recruit in Georgia, and defensive lineman Vic Burley out of Warner Robins, Georgia. Both guys are currently uncommitted, but Burley is a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction for Clemson.

    But Smart and the Dawgs have already done a good job landing some of the bigger 4-stars in the 2023 class. Georgia already has verbal commits from 4-star cornerback Marcus Washington, the No. 7 cornerback in the 2023 class, and offensive tackle Bo Hughley, the No. 6 player at his position in the nation.

    4-star running back Justice Haynes and 4-star cornerback Kayin Lee are also a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction for the Dawgs.

    Some of the other 4-stars in the Peach State that are already committed include Tennessee commit and 2023's No. 8 tight end prospect Ethan Davis, Georgia tight end commit Lawson Luckie and Florida commit Aaron Gates.

2. Texas

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    Total blue-chips: 52
    5-stars: 5
    4-stars: 47
    Top-200 players: 36

    One of the states that annually produce the most recruiting talent is near the top of this once again. Schools like Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma battle for the state's top recruits each year.

    The state's No. 1 ranked prospect is 5-star defensive lineman David Hicks out of Allen, Texas. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound prospect is a 100 percent Crystal Ball prediction for Texas A&M.

    5-star running back Rueben Owens out of El Campo, Texas, is a 92 percent Crystal Ball prediction to Texas, and 5-star cornerback Javien Toviano is a Crystal Ball prediction to land with the Longhorns as well.

    Several big-name 4-star guys are already verbally committed. The nation's No. 6 quarterback in the class of 2023, Jackson Arnold, is verbally committed to Oklahoma. The No. 4 overall safety, Peyton Bowen, is committed to Notre Dame. Defensive linemen Anthony James and Johnny Bowens are both committed to Texas A&M.

    The nation's No. 9 ranked safety Jamel Johnson is committed to Texas, and 4-star defensive end Isaiah Crawford has verbally committed to Texas Tech.

1. Florida

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    Andrew Ivins/247Sports

    Total blue-chips: 67
    4-stars: 58
    Top-200 players: 38

    Florida has the most blue-chips of any other state (and the most 5-stars) by far in 2023, so it's No. 1 on this list. Although in-state programs like Florida, Florida State and Miami have struggled in recent years, the talent level in the Sunshine State remains high.

    Florida's No. 1 overall player in the class of 2023 is 5-star cornerback Cormani McClain out of Lakeland, Florida. The 6'1½", 165-pound corner is also the No. 1 overall cornerback in next year's class. McClain has 50 percent Crystal Ball predictions to both Florida and Alabama.

    Some of the other 5-star prospects include offensive tackle Francis Mauigoa and athlete Samuel M'Pemba both out of IMG Academy and receiver Brandon Inniss from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    While it's still early in the recruiting cycle, none of the state's in-state schools have landed verbal commitments from Florida's 5-star prospects. However, M'Pemba and receivers Jalen Brown and Hykeem Williams are 100 percent Crystal Ball predictions to Miami. Meanwhile, 5-star edge rusher Keon Keeley is committed to Notre Dame.

    There are a lot of 4-star prospects in the state, too. Some of the bigger-name committed guys include Michigan commit and 4-star linebacker Raylen Wilson, Georgia tight end commit Pearce Spurlin and fellow Dawgs commit receiver Raymond Cottrell. One of the few 4-star recruits committed to a Florida school? Edge rusher Lamont Green Jr., who is committed to FSU.

    We'll see if new head coaches in Florida's Billy Napier and Miami's Mario Cristobal can make some progres getting in-state prospects to stay closer to home.


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