Friday Night Notes: Oklahoma QB commit dazzles, 2 top recruits joined at hip, more

Friday Night Notes: Oklahoma QB commit dazzles, 2 top recruits joined at hip, more

Friday Night Notes

Friday Night Notes: Oklahoma QB commit dazzles, 2 top recruits joined at hip, more

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

We begin in Denton, Texas, where one of the top quarterback recruits of the class of 2023 put on a show Thursday night in his season debut. Denton Guyer starting quarterback Jackson Arnold has committed to playing his college ball at Oklahoma, and Sooners fans should be salivating at what he put on tape last night.

Photo: Elite11

In a 47-14 win over Rockwell-Heath (Texas), the five-star recruit posted some Sportscenter-worthy highlight plays.

Arnold threw three touchdown passes, including this 63-yard bomb.

Later on, Arnold also ran for a 64-yard touchdown.

Arnold is ranked No. 14 in the country and he’s the No. 5 quarterback in his class. More performances like this will have him moving up those rankings soon…

Two top recruits set on playing together

Jason Caldwell, 247Sports

Like it or not, we live in a new age of athlete empowerment. At the top of the mountain, aging but still effective superstars like LeBron James and Tom Brady serve as de-facto GMs, recruiting the top ring-chasing talents to their respective teams in the NBA and the NFL.

At the college level, the transfer portal has enabled student-athletes to control their situation more than at any previous point in history. 

Meanwhile, NIL deals are now also filtering down to the high school level.

The next stage in this evolution may already be underway. Two of the top defensive high school players in the nation are planning on being recruited together to the same college. That would be James Smith and Qua Russaw of Carver (Ala.), who are presenting themselves as a package deal to potential recruiters.

Smith is a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle who’s the top-ranked player in the state and second among defensive linemen in the country. Meanwhile, Russaw (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) is the nation’s fourth-ranked EDGE recruit. According to Sports Illustrated, they’re insisting on going to the same school, and there appears to be no Plan B.

The duo has released a list of the same six programs they’re interested in—Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida and Alabama State.

Florida has the lead on this 4-star safety

Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Looking ahead, Florida continues to build one of the strongest recruiting classes of 2024. One of their top targets appears to be Lakeland (Fla.) safety Brayshon Williams.

Williams (5-foot-11, 173 pounds) is ranked No. 16 at his position nationally and No. 148 overall. So far, he has 24 offers, including ones from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida Atlantic and Florida State.

He has not made an official visit as of yet. However, he plans on attending the Gators’ season opener against Utah next Saturday. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine gives Florida the lead with a 40.9% chance of getting Williams to commit.

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