Friday night notes: Florida Gators climb, top 24-year-old recruit makes his case, plus more

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

Last week in the recruiting landscape, the biggest increase was Texaswhich saw the commitment of two top recruits, Cedric Baxter Jr. This week, the biggest beneficiaries of the news cycle were the Florida Gators, who had a very strong recruiting run.

Over the past few days, Florida’s defense has picked up commitments from three of ESPN’s top 300 recruits.

The newest addition to the group is Woodward Academy (Ga.) linebacker Myles Graham, who is the son of former Florida and NFL running back Ernest Graham. Graham (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) is a four-star recruit who is the combined No. 2 defensive end and No. 52 overall prospect in the nation.

Florida also received commitments from two high-profile quarterbacks in the 2023 class: Kelby Collins of Gardendale (Ala.) and Will Norman of IMG Academy (Fla.). Collins posted 16 sacks last season and is their highest-ranked rookie among the seniors.

Together, these two recruits helped the Gators move up three spots from No. 13 to No. 10 in the 247Sports composite team rankings.

Billy Napier might also be able to snag another top 2024 recruit who just changed his mind about his college commitment…

Notre Dame loses DE commitment Keon Keeley

Andrew Ivins, 247 Sports

“Nothing is a line. Everything everywhere is always moving forever.

So said the patriarch of the Roy Logan family the latest season from HBO’s Inheritance. Notre Dame can certainly attest to that truth when it comes to the turbulent world of recruiting right now.

The Fighting Irish received a commitment from defensive end Keon Keeley out of Berkeley (Fla.) Prep in June 2021, only to see him change course and decommit in a message he shared on social media on Wednesday.

Keeley (6-foot-6, 242 pounds) is the top EDGE recruit in the 2023 class and is ranked No. 24 overall.

Although he hasn’t publicly made his next move, Keely visited Alabama in July and now they are favorites to catch him. State of Florida, Arizona and Florida may also be in the mix for Keeley.


Mike Matthews makes his case

Steve Wiltfong, 247 Sports

The new football season is off to a hot start for the top recruit in the Class of 2024. Lilburn (GA) tight end Mike Matthews is one of the best two-way players in the country, and he proved it Wednesday night, making an impact at wide receiver and safety — of Andrew Ivins at 247Sports.

“Matthews finished the night with six catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns on offense. That included a 57-yard gain early in the second quarter. The junior also caught a pass in the pouring rain while working over the top as a safety for the Panthers.”

Matthews (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) is ranked No. 21 nationally as well as the third-tallest athlete.

There is stiff competition brewing to land his commitment and Matthews already has 28 offers on the table. Clemson, Georgia and Notre Dame are reported to be among the schools with the most interest.


More recruiting news from USA TODAY Sports college wires

Monica D. Spencer/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Sooners Wire

DeMarco Murray chases ’24 running back with an offer to Torey Blaylock

Longhorns Wire

Spartans Wire

Buckeyes Wire



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