Friday Night Notes: Top-remaining 2022 recruit Josh Conerly Jr. is headed to Oregon

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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 2022 to ’23 and beyond.

Five-star Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr. announced his commitment to the Oregon Ducks on Friday night, an interesting development to what many thought would be a USC nod.

The 6-foot-5, 283-pound Conerly Jr. had plenty of powerhouse options to choose from, too, with Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Washington in the running along with the Trojans and Ducks. And as the last highly coveted 2022 recruit on the board after Lebbeus Overton committed to Texas A&M on the first day of April, the focus officially shifts to the class of 2023.

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into Conerly Jr.’s recruitment and look at where some elite 2023 recruits are trending in this week’s edition of Friday Night Notes.

From the FNN drawer

Beyond Arch Manning? from 4/1

Recruiting notes from 3/25

Notes on the NIL from 3/18

What happened with USC—the heavy favorite to land Josh Conerly Jr.?

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Photo: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

There was a very good chance that Conerly Jr. would decide to play his college football relatively close to home and commit to USC on Friday night. The Trojans received Conerly Jr.’s final official visit on March 25. Lincoln Riley and his coaching staff seemingly knocked it out of the park with Conerly Jr. while he was on campus, placing themselves head and shoulders above the competition.


Oregon pulled off a stunner!

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Photo via Josh Conerly Jr./247Sports

Oregon wasn’t on Conerly Jr.’s mind until Dan Lanning took over as head coach. He took an official visit to Eugene in the middle of March and, according to 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman, quietly made a return trip for an unofficial visit over the weekend. If any program had a real chance of stunning USC to land Conerly Jr., it was Oregon.

Yep: Washington missed out on another elite local recruit

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Photo: 247Sports

Washington has been down this road with elite prospects from Seattle before. Just last year, the Huskies watched five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau commit to Ohio State instead of staying home in a recruitment that dragged on far longer than Conerly Jr.’s.

Washington was a legit factor in Conerly Jr.’s recruitment, too—probably third behind Oregon and USC—so the Huskies will be left wondering what could have been … had it been able to keep the top prospect in-state for a second straight recruiting cycle.

Arch Manning makes surprise visit

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via Isidore Newman School, courtesy of 247Sports

Arch Manning unexpectedly hit the road to check out the University of Virginia on Friday. Manning’s ties to the school are strong, as his sister is currently a student and his aunt is an alumnus. Peyton Manning almost committed to Virginia over Tennessee as well.

LSU makes a move on 4-star safety from Texas

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Photo: Brian Perroni, 247Sports

Four-star Denton Ryan safety Ryan Yaites might be taking his talents to the Bayou. Yaites recently received a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction to land at LSU, thrusting the Tigers into the mix along with Michigan State and Texas Tech. Joey McGuire had done an excellent job recruiting at Texas Tech since becoming the program’s new head coach and Yaites is arguably his top-remaining target. Michigan State, meanwhile, has been going after Yaites hard for a long time.

LSU’s involvement adds a wrinkle into what has been an action-packed recruitment. Can Brian Kelly pull this one off? It’s certainly possible

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