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.
This week we will look ahead to the recruiting class of 2024, beginning with some of the top quarterback prospects. One of them is Derek Lagway Jr. (DJ) from Willis (Texas), who is currently ranked No. 6 at his position and 44th nationally by 247Sports.
Even though he’s only entering his junior high school season, Lagway has no shortage of suitors. So far, he has 32 offers on deck – including one from Texas A&M, where he’ll make his first official fall visit this weekend.
Lagway (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) is coming off a breakout 2021 campaign, showcasing his dual-threat ability. He totaled 17 passing touchdowns plus six more as a rusher.
He got the new season off to a strong start, going 21-28 for 343 yards and six touchdowns in last week’s game.
The Aggies will open their 2022 football season tomorrow at home against Sam Houston State. Texas Tech and Oklahoma are among the other contenders to secure his commitment.
Some analysts are calling Lagway the best QB in the country…
Ohio State commit Dylan Raiola rated No. 1 prospect
There’s a lot of competition for that title, though, and Lagway’s name is not at the top of most QB prospect rankings. At the moment, the best class of 2024 quarterback in the nation, according to four major recruiting services, is Dylan Raiola from Chandler (Ariz.).
“Advanced arm talent with the ability to make a wide variety of high-level throws as a high school underclassman. Looks like the top quarterback prospect and overall arm talent in the 2024 cycle early on…. Has a natural, loose throwing motion with unique arm dexterity to deliver off-platform and from multiple arm slots. Already has a deep catalog of throws as a rising junior in high school. Easily drives the ball to all levels of the field.
That arm has earned him a very lofty comparison to Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, arguably the most-talented passer the sport has ever seen.
— Andrew Nemec (@AndrewNemec) August 30, 2022
Raiola has already committed to playing at Ohio State, where he’ll be in line to replace current starter C.J. Stroud, who is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2023 NFL draft.
Florida has seven of top 12 prospects in 2024
The vast majority of top-end high school talent in the country comes from three states: California, Texas and Florida. On some levels, that’s just about population density, but the culture that’s developed in all three states at this level puts them head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
That dominance is apparent for the class of 2024, which has a disproportionate number of players from Florida. In ESPN’s ranking of the top 300 players in the class, seven of the top 12 recruits are from schools in Florida.
IMG Academy in particular has an outlandish number of talents in this class – with cornerback Desmond Ricks, running back Jerrick Gibson, cornerback Ellis Robinson IV and athlete Jonathan Echols all making the top eight.
More recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires