Best highlights by top college football recruits this week

ByBlake Baumgartner ESPN logo
Saturday, September 9, 2023

Before they take the field as college football players on Saturdays, several of the top recruits in the 2024 ESPN 300 are playing underneath the lights on weeknights.

We compiled weekend highlights from recruits committed to Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama, each of whom had stellar performances. The Sooners also got a commitment from Melissa High School (Texas) defensive end Nigel Smith II (No. 101 overall) on Friday night. He becomes the ninth ESPN 300 recruit for Brent Venables and OU.

Here's how some other of the nation's top recruits fared this week:

DT David Stone (committed to Oklahoma)

An Oklahoma City native who plays at IMG Academy in Florida, Stone (No. 6 overall in 2024) stayed true to his roots when he committed to the Sooners on Aug. 26.

With plays like this 94-yard pick-six against Ben Davis High School (Indiana) on Friday, the dominant defensive tackle figures to make a smooth transition to college next year:

Stone is the top-ranked defensive lineman in the ESPN 300. The Sooners have the No. 16 class in the country, according toESPN's latest rankings update, which was done before Stone committed.

WR Micah Hudson (uncommitted)

Hudson, a five-star wide receiver, is the highest-ranked prospect in the 2024 ESPN 300 yet to commit (No. 13 overall).

He's the fourth-ranked wide receiver in the cycle, behind Cameron Coleman (No. 8; committed to Texas A&M), Jeremiah Smith (No. 9; Ohio State) and Joshisa Trader (No. 11; Miami), who have all made their decisions.

In Lake Belton High School's (Texas) game against Red Oak High School (Texas) on Thursday, the 6-foot-1 195-pound Hudson showed why he's so sought after, hauling in three passes for 149 yards and a TD:

He owns offers from Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, among the 35 scholarships he has to sift through.

Red Oak won in overtime with 2025 wide receiver Taz Williams (No. 186 overall in 2025) catching a touchdown pass to send the game into the extra session.

WR Jeremiah Smith (Ohio State)

Smith is one of two ESPN 300 receivers (Mylan Graham; No. 37 overall) in Ohio State's 2024 class. ESPN has the Buckeyes' group, which features 14 ESPN 300 pledges, ranked second, behind only Georgia.

Smith continues to be a force to be reckoned with for Florida power Chaminade-Madonna Prep, with this score against Bergen Catholic High School (New Jersey) on Friday:

With Smith's help, Chaminade-Madonna improved to 3-0 on the year with a victory over the Crusaders. He entered Friday night with 10 catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions. As a junior, he caught 58 balls for 1,073 yards and 20 scores.

QB C.J. Carr (Notre Dame)

Carr, the grandson of former Michigan head Lloyd Carr, wanted to forge his own path when he committed to Notre Dame instead of to the Wolverines.

The Saline High School (Michigan) product is a linchpin for Marcus Freeman's class, which sits 14th in ESPN's latest team rankings.

He threw three touchdown passes while running for another in the first half in Saline's victory over Ann Arbor High School (Michigan) on Friday.

CBJaylen Mbakwe (Alabama)

Mbakwe is the No. 4 overall prospect in the 2024 cycle and the second-best cornerback in the class.

He plays both ways, however, and showed off his legs at quarterback, resulting in a long score, in Clay-Chalkville High School's (Alabama)'s game against Pell City High School (Alabama) on Friday.

Earlier in the game, Mbakwe found another ESPN 300 member, Mario Craver (No. 272 overall, for a score. Craver is uncommitted.

Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide currently have the fifth-best class in the country.

WR Mylan Graham (Ohio State)

Graham (No. 37 overall in 2024) starred for New Haven High School (Indiana) against Leo High School (Indiana) on Friday.

Through three games, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Graham had caught 19 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Last season he had 48 receptions for 1,148 yards and 13 TDs.

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