Friday Night Notes: Florida lands 5-star DB, Malik Blocton names his top 10 schools and more

USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.

The Florida Gators earned themselves the biggest recruiting prize of the week on Thursday when they got a commitment from one of the top-ranked defensive backs in the recruiting class of 2024.

Here’s how McKinney (Texas) five-star safety Xavier Filsaime announced that he’s on his way to the swamp.

Filsaime had offers from 32 other programs, including Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Pitt.

Asked why he picked the Gators, he told Hayes Fawcett at On3 he feels close with Billy Napier’s staff and likes how they plan to use him.

“What really stood out is the vibe and chemistry I had with the coaches when I first met them in person… I’m close with a few guys… Coach CJ, Joe Hamilton, and coach Armstrong are the main guys I really talk to on a regular basis. But the way the plan on using me in their defense is not really much different from my high school coaches. Playing man, zone, and a lot more blitzing with me.”

Going by the composite rankings, Filsaime (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) is currently No. 2 among safeties in his class behind Buford (Ga.)’s uncommitted star, KJ Bolden. He’s also the No. 7 ranked recruit in the state of Texas and No. 36 overall in his class.

That makes seven hard commits for Florida’s class of 2024. Filsaime is the second-highest ranked prospect behind Willis (Texas) five-star quarterback DJ Lagway. This group ranks No. 6 in the nation.

For more Florida football news, follow USA TODAY’s Gators Wire.

Nebraska among schools pushing for Willis McGahee's son

Willis McGahee IV

Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Speaking of Florida, former running back Willis McGahee’s son is preparing for his own college career, now 10 years after the former Miami Hurricane retired from the NFL.

Willis McGahee IV plays linebacker at Columbus (Fla.). Going by the composite rankings, he is No. 44 among linebackers in his class, No. 69 overall in the state and No. 475 nationally.

According to 247Sports, McGahee has offers from 19 different programs, including Auburn, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee.

McGahee is currently on a recruiting tour, with recent stops at Florida, UCF, and Tennessee. Next up he’ll be going to the spring game at Nebraska – where coach Matt Rhule is attempting to build up his third college winner after successful stops at Temple and Baylor and a less-sucessful one with the Carolina Panthers.

For now, On3 is projecting UCF (30.8%), Auburn (26.9%), Nebraska (32.1%) and Tennessee (10.1%) as the leaders in a tight race to win his commitment.

You can read more at Cornhuskers Wire.

4-star DL Malik Blocton names top 10

Malik Blocton

Hale McGranahan, 247Sports

As a Junior, Pike Road (Ala.) four-star defensive lineman Malik Blocton helped lead his team to a Class 5A state championship, posting 54 tackles and six sacks.

Now he’s preparing to make the jump to college football, naming his top 10 schools: Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, OregonClemson, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Blocton has 33 offers all together, but according to On3’s prediction model, Auburn (where his brother plays) is the current favorite to get his commitment at 52.5%, followed by Alabama (13.6%) and Clemson (11.7%).

247Sports has Blocton (6-foot-2, 268 pounds) ranked No. 34 among DL in his class and No. 25 overall in Alabama.

You can read more at Roll Tide Wire.

Basketball recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

College football recruiting watchlist: USA TODAY Sports college wires weigh in on Class of 2023

(Ernst Peters/The Ledger)

See the USA TODAY Sports college wire editors’ picks here.

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