Alabama’s 5-star QB, Desmond Ricks sets date, more

USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2023 to ’24 and beyond.

Alabama already has the lead in the recruiting race in 2023. They’re over 15 points ahead of second-ranked Georgia in those rankings, thanks largely to having five five-star recruits when no other team has more than three.

This week the rich got richer, as Alabama got a head-start on next year’s recruiting class by securing their first five-star prospect of the class of 2024 in quarterback Julian Sayin.

247 Sports

Sayin (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) is a Junior at Carlsbad (Calif.), where he’s led his team to a 9-1 record thus far this season. He’s completed 68.7% of his passes, totaled 2,032 yards, 25 touchdowns and just three interceptions. This follows an equally-strong Sophomore campaign that saw Sayin post a 71.5% completion rate, 2,769 yards, 34 touchdowns and four picks. A dual-threat QB, Sayin has also added 399 yards and four scores as a rusher.

According to 247 Sports, Sayin is ranked No. 2 at quarterback in his class behind Dylan Raiola of Chandler (Ariz.), who’s committed to Ohio State. Sayin is also the consensus top player overall in the state of California.

Sayin had also been considering Georgia and LSU. Here’s what he told Hank South of BamaOnLine on Wednesday following his decision.

“I would say Bama is the standard for college football. When you go on Saturdays and turn on the TV and see that crimson, you think of Alabama. Coach Saban, being the greatest coach of all time, how could you not want to play for a guy like that? And then just the ability to produce NFL talent they have there. Their track record for quarterbacks is second to none.”

Alabama is currently placed at No. 5 in the recruiting rankings for 2024. Notre Dame is still on top.

Desmond Ricks sets commitment date


Now that Lakeland (Fla.) star Cormani McClain has chosen Miami, the best remaining undecided defensive back in the class of 2023 is Desmond Ricks from IMG Academy (Fla.). Ricks (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) is a five-star corner ranked No. 2 at his position and No. 15 nationally.

Yesterday Ricks announced that his commitment date would be December 23, the last day of the Early Signing Period.

According to a report by Steve Wiltfong at 247 Sports, he has narrowed his options to three schools: Alabama, Florida and LSU. Ricks is visiting LSU this weekend for their game against Alabama.

Georgia, Miami, LSU all have big visits this weekend

Andrew Ivins, 247 Sports

Of course, Ricks to LSU is not the only big recruiting visit this weekend. Georgia and Miami will also be hosting multiple four and five-star prospects. Here is a quick review of who’s the most notable visits on tap, per Rivals.

Georgia: The Bulldogs still have one of the best defenses in college football and they’ll try to keep that momentum going by hosting a pair of elite edge defenders. Samuel M’Pemba and Damon Wilson will be on-hand to see Georgia take on second-ranked Tennessee. Running backs Justice Haynes and Jeremiah Cobb (who’s committed to Auburn) will also be visiting.

Miami: The Hurricanes are hoping to capitalize on their big McClain commitment last weekend. Now they’re bringing in Texas commit Cedric Baxter, who’s ranked No. 2 at running back in his class. Five-star Columbus outside linebacker TJ Capers and five-star Stranahan wide receiver Hykeem Williams will also be around for the big matchup with Florida State.

LSU: The Tigers got a huge win yesterday when they bagged versatile offensive lineman DJ Chester, raising their 2023 recruiting ranking by three spots. In addition to Ricks, they are also hosting Ridgeland WR Ayden Williams and Martin CB Javien Toviano.

More recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

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