National recruiting analyst Nick Harris takes a look at the 2023 quarterback dominos midway through June, TCU‘s rise on the recruiting trail and USC‘s Texas ties playing into its favor early on in the Lincoln Riley era.
1. Where are top quarterbacks in 2023 leaning with dominos still to fall?
The last few weeks have seen multiple dominos in the 2023 and 2024 classes fall at the quarterback position with Dylan Raiola committing to Ohio State, Eli Holstein to Alabama, CJ Carr to Notre Dame and much more across the country.
However, some of the biggest names in the 2023 class still remain uncommitted with Arch Manning taking his last of three scheduled official visits this weekend, Jaden Rashada closing in on a decision and Dante Moore seeing buzz grow around his decision.
Manning will arrive in Austin on Friday as Texas looks to push itself firmly into the lead coming out of a visit swing to both Georgia and Alabama earlier this month. The buzz with the Bulldogs has never been higher going into Arch’s third weekend, but we will see if Texas can get that same post-visit high after his departure on Sunday.
Rasahda announced on Thursday that he would push back his decision eight days from Saturday to June 26. Buzz is all over the place on the four-star, as there is far from a clear front-runner going into the final stages. In talking to Rashada last weekend in Las Vegas, he praised the SEC West and the competition in that division specifically and that it would be a great environment to prepare him for the NFL. If playing in that division is as big of a deal as he leads it on to be, that would obviously favor Texas A&M and Ole Miss, with the latter also having the advantage of having his brother, Roman, now on the roster. However, Florida is the school that has created the most buzz in recent weeks following a big official visit weekend in Gainesville, while Miami could get him on campus for an official visit as soon as this weekend. The Rashada roller-coaster will have to go up-and-down over just a few more steep hills.
On the other hand, Moore’s name can’t seem to be detached from LSU as the Tigers have made a big impact in recent weeks. Michigan is also right at the top with its prized in-state prospect now that it’s a complete all-in approach with the five-star. Can one of those two programs seal the deal before the end of the summer? Or will this drag into the fall with the potential of other programs to make up ground?
2. Sonny Dykes’ transition class at TCU is filling up with high-upside potential.
TCU made a very tough decision midway through its 2021 season in firing longtime head coach Gary Patterson and bringing in Sonny Dykes to be the man in Fort Worth. While the on-field results have yet to be proven, the work on the recruiting trail has been worth noting as the summer powers on.
Last week saw the Horned Frogs land their highest ranked commit when Amarillo (Texas) Tascosa four-star defensive end Avion Carter made his pledge, re-joining his former high school teammate and 2022 signee Major Everhart in Funkytown.
While Carter headlines the class, there are names littered among their commit list that show real potential for rises and have shown offseason developments. Cordale Russell possesses the raw tools you want for a big-body receiver, TCU’s newest commit Javeon Wilcox shows adept coverage ability throughout the secondary, Trevor Goosby is now being courted by other major programs and Zachary Chapman is ready to show all of his elite tools after a mostly injury-ridden high school career to this point.
Not to mention, TCU had a straight-up win over Texas with Lafayette Kaiuway‘s pledge last month.
But what is the potential for this class? Can it compete for a top-three Big 12 class? Top-10 nationally?
The requirement would have to be adding a few more key pieces to the class, and it certainly is possible. Since Mikal Harrison-Pilot‘s decision to focus on his career at receiver, TCU has emerged as a possible fit. Rueben Owens II came in on an official visit earlier this month and has the Horned Frogs right there in the mix with his top contenders. Additionally, I continue to feel good about their chances with fellow in-state running back Cameron Cook.
The question on just how successful TCU can be probably won’t be answered until the fall, but the pieces are slowly starting to come together in Fort Worth.
3. Lincoln Riley continues to show his recruiting chops in Texas and Louisiana.
While Lincoln Riley may have a permanent ban at some fieldhouses in the state of Oklahoma, that hasn’t stopped the first-year USC head coach from tapping into familiar surrounding territory for some big wins so far in the 2023 class.
Of USC’s nine commitments as of June 17, three reside in the state of Texas as Braxton Myers chose the Trojans over LSU and others while A’Marion Peterson and Quinten Joyner both made sudden pledges after big visits to Los Angeles.
It doesn’t stop there though, as USC remains heavily in the mix for other Lone Star State prospects including Braylan Shelby, Jalen Hale, Markis Deal, Terrance Green and Warren Roberson, all of which whom have taken official visits or will this weekend.
But even in neighboring states including Oklahoma, USC has put itself squarely in the mix for Micah Tease and most notably Tackett Curtis who had some big things to say coming out of his recent official visit to Los Angeles.
USC has always had an appeal in the Mid-South region as kids gravitate towards the city and the program’s rich history. But now that those built-in advantages are paired with Lincoln Riley’s mass familiarity across the region, the potential for USC to pull out top talent is the highest its been in well over a decade.