Friday night notes: Dual WR intrigue, Oklahoma State stocking up on star power and more

USA TODAY high school sportsFriday Night Notes is a weekly roundup of high school recruiting that looks at the latest news from around the country – from the class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.

We start in Columbus, where Ohio State has already lost one elite recruit in the 2024 cycle. The No. 1 overall player and top-ranked quarterback Dylan Raiola decommitted by the Buckeyes in December and appears to decide between two-time defending champion Georgia and Nebraska, where there are family ties.

On the bright side, Ryan Day and company still have the No. 1 wide receiver in the class in Jeremiah Smith. Signing time is a long way off, though, and Smith is weighing his options. According to Ryan Wright on Rivals, Smith has taken official visits to Florida and Miami. He also looked at both Georgia and Florida.

Smith (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) is not only the best wide receiver in his class, he placed second overall behind Raiola. Needless to say, losing both would be devastating to the Buckeyes’ recruiting prospects for 2024 and beyond.

Then again, even if they end up losing Smith’s commitment, it’s not the end of the road. If drafting 2023 cornerback Cormani McClain and quarterback Jaden Rashada taught us anything, this new NIL/drafting game is more fluid than ever. McClain originally committed to Florida, then turned to Miami, then finally settled on signs with Colorado. Meanwhile, Rashada committed to Miami, signed with Florida and finished with Arizona State.

In other words, don’t expect this to be a settled issue anytime soon. The competition for Smith could end up being even fiercer than it was for those two. According to On3Smith has 41 different program offerings to choose from.

Jason Robinson

Brian Peroni, 247 Sports

While Smith is on the field but remains committed for the time being, another highly rated 2024 wideout has officially renewed his recruitment.

Long Beach Poly (Calif.) four-star receiver Jason Robinson initially committed to USC in 2021 However, after a recent visit to Boulder, he backtracked on that promise.

When the news broke, Robinson told 247Sports that his visit to Colorado was an eye-opener, especially his conversations with head coach Deion Sanders.

“I really enjoyed it there, I had no idea it was going to be like this… It was great talking to coach Prime, he was imparting so much knowledge. I felt like everything he said was a gem and the energy that he and the rest of the staff have is amazing.”

Robinson also admitted that Notre Dame is “going hard at him,” but there are plenty of other suitors involved. On3 says all together 21 different schools have extended offers. His stock may not have peaked either.

According to Maxpreps, he has totaled 1,678 yards over the past two seasons and 17 touchdowns in just 23 games. A productive senior year could put him among the most prized receivers in his class. For now, Robinson is ranked No. 33 at his position and number 23 overall in California.

Will Smith Cocteau

Cody Nagel, 247 Sports

They probably didn’t plan it that way, but Oklahoma State recently picked up commitments from a pair of 2024 recruits who have one thing in common: they both share names with super-famous celebrities.

One week ago today the school I have an arrangement from Longview (Texas) three-star defensive back Willie Nelson. (No, not that Will Nelson.) According to 247Sports, Nelson (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) is ranked No. 39 among safeties and No. 79 overall in Texas.

OSU’s next recruit came yesterday when Choctaw (Ok.) three-star Will Smith (no, not that Will Smith) also announced his commitment. On3 ranks him No. 40 at his position and No. 5 in the state.

The Pokes’ 2024 class has two other members: Stillwater (Ok.) tight end Josh Ford and Southeastern (Ok.) running back Rodney Fields. It’s still too early in the cycle for it to matter, but this group right now ranks number 36 nationally.

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