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Where things stand with the five-stars in the 2023 class


The new 2023 class rankings are out and recruiting has reached a fever pace through visits and camps across the country. Here is the latest on every five-star in the class and where things stand in their recruitment:

The battle for the No. 1 prospects continues to be one between Georgia and Texas although Alabama absolutely cannot be counted out even after the commitment of four-star Eli Holstein recently. Manning will still visit Tuscaloosa this weekend after throwing at a 7-on-7 tournament in Baton Rouge. His visit to Georgia last weekend could not have gone any better and he visits Texas in a couple weeks.

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Early in his recruitment, it looked like Florida was trailing many other schools in his recruitment but in recent months – and with a new coaching staff making him a priority – the Gators have definitely moved right to the top of his list. Florida and Alabama are the favorites here and it looks like one of those two SEC teams will get the five-star cornerback who recently transferred from Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson over to Lakeland.

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There is still a lot of fluidity in M’Pemba’s recruitment as visits will be crucial with trips coming up to Notre Dame and Oregon. The feeling is that the Irish are in very strong shape for the St. Louis native and that Georgia has intrigued him the most out of the SEC. That new staff at Oregon could be playing a big factor but in the end this looks like it could be Notre Dame vs. Georgia for one of the best-looking prospects in the class.

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The five-star quarterback committed to USC in late November shortly after coach Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma, where Nelson had previously been committed. His pledge remains rock solid and he’s recruiting top targets to join him in the class.

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Tennessee has surged in a major way for Tate and could be considered the leader, if not co-leader, with Ohio State at this point. Notre Dame is for sure still a major contender and if Dante Moore goes to South Bend then that could help Tate, who is originally from Chicago, and then LSU remains as a serious player as well. In the end, this could come down to a decision between the Buckeyes and Vols.

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Inniss was back in Los Angeles last weekend for the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat and loves it there so USC remains a major contender in his recruitment especially since he was committed to Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. But wrapping his family’s head around the distance from South Florida is the only hold-up. Ohio State is the other main player right now and he loves position coach Brian Hartline and the development in Columbus. A visit to Alabama last weekend went well and others will be involved but it could be USC or Ohio State until the end.

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There is little clarity in Harbor’s recruitment and right now any prediction would be a guess. Staying home at Maryland is a possibility. USC, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State and everybody else is making him a priority as well since he’s such a freak athlete and track star. It feels far too early to know what Harbor is going to do or which direction his recruitment is going.

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The new quarterback at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly committed to Tennessee in late March and since that time has returned to Knoxville often. He’s also knee-deep in recruiting for the Vols with five-star receiver Carnell Tate and high four-star OL Francis Mauigoa as two of his main targets.

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The longer Moore’s recruitment goes the more interesting it gets. Notre Dame is still in a very strong position to land the Detroit Martin Luther King standout but LSU is seriously pushing now and a previous relationship with coach Brian Kelly does not hurt. A visit to Oregon made things a little murkier and then Texas A&M is in the ballgame now as well. It still feels like the Irish or Tigers with a little edge to Notre Dame.

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The prevailing thinking over the last few months was that Shanahan, who is originally from the Orlando area but now plays at Austin (Texas) Westlake, would end up somewhere in the state of Texas with the Longhorns and Aggies as the clear front-runners. The feeling was that Texas A&M had the edge. But LSU is making a run at him and national recruiting analyst Nick Harris just put in a FutureCast for Shanahan to Georgia, a school that has been recruiting him for years. Shanahan has said he’s leaning toward playing in the SEC so a battle is brewing.

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Not much has changed for Hill in a significant amount of time as Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas are the three front-runners and it feels like the Aggies have the edge here. The new coaching staff – with head coach Brent Venables being a defensive-focused coach – could alter Hill’s thinking but the Aggies could be tough to beat.

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Another Texas-sized battle is brewing for Hicks, who is not officially down to but has Texas A&M and Oklahoma battling it out for him as well. The former Allen, Texas standout has moved to Katy (Texas) Paetow for his senior season which means he’s much closer to College Station now but it might be negligible how much that matters. The Aggies signed an historic 2022 recruiting class along the defensive line but Hicks doesn’t seem deterred by that although he has loved every visit he’s taken to Norman as well.

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The Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln five-star defensive end has been intrigued by SEC programs throughout his recruitment with Georgia leading the way and then Alabama and LSU very much in the mix as well. A recent visit to Oregon also piqued his interest as he got to talk with coach Dan Lanning, defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi and others about where they see him fitting in plus it’s much closer to home. Those will be serious factors – playing in the SEC vs. staying in the Pacific Northwest – as Wayne gets close to a decision. A visit to Michigan State over the weekend went well as the five-star really likes coach Mel Tucker and his staff. Miami cannot be counted out, either.

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Arkansas State, Alabama, Penn State, Oregon and Michigan are expected to be the five official visits for the five-star offensive lineman for the Pleasant Hill (Iowa) Southeast Polk standout but that could be a little diversion from the school that might be leading his recruitment: Iowa. The Hawkeyes have been involved with Proctor for a long time, they just signed his five-star high school teammate Xavier Nwankpa and they could still be the team to beat.

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Oregon, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Miami and Michigan State are the top nine for Okunlola but from there it becomes conjecture because the new five-star offensive tackle doesn’t talk about his recruitment much at all. The Braintree (Mass.) Thayer Academy star will be in East Lansing this weekend and the Spartans could be a sneaky pick because he likes the coaching staff a lot but it’s still hard to know. There is a feeling Okunlola prefers teams in the North.

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Texas A&M remains in a very strong position for the new five-star receiver from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan with Pitt, Georgia, Alabama and Florida State battling as well. Official visits to Pitt (where he has a great relationship with position coach Tiquan Underwood) and Georgia are coming up and another unofficial to College Station should happen soon. A summer decision is not expected.

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On Christmas Eve, the new five-star receiver from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman committed to the Trojans over many other national programs. He’s locked in and his brother, Zion, signed in USC’s 2022 recruiting class.

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Despite aggressive pushes by Alabama, Florida and other programs, Keeley has stood by his commitment to Notre Dame that he made nearly a year ago – last June 28.

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Texas A&M, Texas, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon and Alabama made the cut for Toviano, but it seems like the Aggies have the edge right although Georgia and Texas are still very much involved. Things could get more interesting the longer Toviano’s recruitment goes especially with the in-state schools battling it out but if a pick needed to be made today it would be to Texas A&M.



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