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Recruiting Spotlight: Nos. 41-60 in the 2023 Rivals250


There is still so much time for the 2023 class, but many prospects have already made their commitments and all of the recruitments are starting to take shape. In the second installment of a weekly series we take a look at what’s happening for the prospects rated 41-60 in the class.

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41. PETER WOODS 

Alabama is definitely a frontrunner for the Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson four-star defensive end whose teammate, Jeremiah Alexander, is already committed to the Crimson Tide. Clemson is another school to watch, with Auburn, Georgia, Florida and others very much involved, too.

42.

TACKETT CURTIS

The four-star linebacker from Many, La., has toured the country this season, taking in games and experiencing game-day environments, so his recruitment is still very much in flux. LSU is going to be a school that’s considered, so the new coaching hire there will be very important. But there’s also a sense that some Big Ten schools that have churned out linebackers could also be in the running. It’s still just too early to tell.

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43. GABRIEL HARRIS

From February to June, Harris was committed to Florida State but he backed off that pledge to investigate other options. The Seminoles remain a very strong contender in Harris’ recruitment, but some other schools to watch include LSU, Auburn, Florida and Ohio State. It would be no shock at all if Harris ended up back in the 2023 FSU class.

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44.

CORMANI MCCLAIN

Alabama, BYU, Florida, Miami and Ohio State made the recent top five for the four-star cornerback from Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson, but the Gators could have the edge here. Of course, any sort of coaching change in Gainesville could make things more interesting in McClain’s recruitment. This could come down to an Alabama/Florida battle and it was surprising FSU didn’t make the cut, since teammate Sam McCall is committed there.

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45.

RYAN YAITES

Notre Dame is definitely going to be a school that makes a serious run at Yaites as he loved his visit to South Bend and said the Irish are definitely one of his top schools. Texas and TCU are also being closely watched, and LSU and Ole Miss round out some of his early frontrunners. Watch the Irish here, though, because that trip to Notre Dame stood out a lot.

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46.

DEREK WILLIAMS

The four-star safety from New Iberia (La.) Westgate could easily end up at LSU like so many elite prospects in the state of Louisiana. That would be no surprise at all. But there are others under serious consideration and the fall has been busy with interest pouring in from Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Texas, Florida, Miami, Michigan State and many others.

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47.

JUSTYN RHETT

On Tuesday evening, the four-star cornerback from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman released a top five of Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee. It’s believed that the Irish have an edge in the recruitment of Rhett, but he’s also been very interested in SEC schools, in particular Alabama and Georgia, early in his recruitment.

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48.

NICO IAMALEAVA

USC is going to be a school to watch especially as a new coaching staff comes in and the Trojans are right down the road. UCLA has been involved for a longer time with Iamaleava. He recently visited Westwood again and playing in coach Chip Kelly’s offense is intriguing. Oregon was a childhood favorite, so the Ducks will have some pull. And then there are the national programs with Alabama, Ohio State, Ole Miss and others involved. There are a lot of moving pieces as Iamaleava tries to figure out his best spot.

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49.

DAKAARI NELSON

Tennessee, Oklahoma, Penn State, Michigan, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Arkansas are all getting more involved with the four-star safety from Selma, Ala., and Nelson’s list is constantly changing because more offers are coming in all the time. It’s still early on for Nelson, so things could still change a good deal.

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50.

ELI HOLSTEIN

The Texas A&M coaching staff targeted Holstein as its top quarterback, and the four-star from Zachary, La., committed to the Aggies in late June. A whole host of other SEC powers and national programs were interested in Holstein, who put together an impressive junior year.

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51.

JOENEL AGUERO

A top 10 of Boston College, Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Miami is in focus for Aguero, who has left Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and is now at Danvers (Mass.) St. John’s Prep to be closer to family.

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52.

HYKEEM WILLIAMS

Florida State, Rutgers, Georgia Tech and Miami are some of the schools Williams visited this season, and it feels like the Seminoles and the Hurricanes could be making it a two-team race for him at this point, but many others will stay involved.

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53.

JALEN BROWN

Florida State and Miami are the main two in-state schools that are contending for the four-star receiver, but others will receive consideration. Notre Dame has impressed the Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep standout, as have Michigan and Florida. Brown also seems open to other programs this early in the process.

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54.

TREY HOLLY

LSU is going to be one of the top schools throughout Holly’s recruitment, so the coaching search there is of special interest to the Farmerville (La.) Union Parish four-star running back. He also recently visited Oklahoma State. Mississippi State, Michigan State, Miami, Baylor, Tennessee, Missouri and others have all been reaching out.

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55. MAKAI LEMON

Lemon committed to Oklahoma over USC and many others in early August. Los Alamitos, Calif., teammates five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson and four-star receiver Deandre Moore are also committed to the Sooners.

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56.

ALEX BIRCHMEIER

Birchmeier approached his recruitment like everything else – all business. The Ashburn (Va.) Broad Run four-star offensive guard committed to Penn State over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and others in July – and he’s not looked back.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH PENN STATE FANS AT NITTANY NATION

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57.

TAUSILI AKANA

Originally from Hawaii, Akana is now playing at Lehi (Utah) Skyridge and he’s seen his recruitment get even busier. Penn State and Baylor are two of his latest offers, and Oklahoma is going to play a big role in Akana’s recruitment, as will many others. It’s still too early to figure out frontrunners for Akana, who could have a top list of schools soon.

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58.

MADDEN SANKER

Georgia is going to remain a frontrunner for Sanker, and it could be very difficult to beat the Bulldogs for the four-star offensive guard from Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding. But Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Oregon and others have also piqued his interest, so there should be some competition in his recruitment.

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59.

TA’MERE ROBINSON

Penn State, Ohio State and Pittsburgh are the three main programs involved with the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Brashear four-star linebacker. Michigan, Notre Dame and Clemson are also in the mix, but we will see if those programs continue to pursue Robinson after his knee injury.

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60.

JOHNATHAN HUGHLEY

In September, Hughley committed to Georgia over Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Miami and others. It was really no surprise as the Bulldogs were always considered a frontrunner and he had developed an excellent relationship with the coaching staff.

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