Friday Night Notes: Alabama adds 2 more blue chips, Georgia flips a 4-star WR and more

The latest football recruiting news from around the country.

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.

The rich tend to get richer. That’s the case in the broader economy and in the world of recruiting, where Alabama is crushing the competition. Already leading this year’s recruiting race, this week they added two more four-star prospects, one from this cycle and one for the next.

On Thursday, MCHS (Ala.) four-star Edge Sterling Dixon (class of 2024) announced his commitment to Alabama in a creative way. He shared a video on Twitter recreating an iconic scene from Friday with his friends.

Dixon (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) was an extremely popular recruit, earning offers from 30 different schools, including several SEC rivals. He’s ranked No. 16 at his position and No. 13 in the state.

Earlier this week, Nick Saban and company also got the commitment of four-star wide receiver Jaren Hamilton. Ranked No. 31 at his position and No. 50 overall in the state of Florida, Hamilton (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) adds another potential pro receiver to what has become an NFL factory in recent years.

Alabama still ranks first in the 2023 race, and thanks to Dixon, they’re No. 4 in the 2024 recruiting cycle, trailing only LSU, Notre Dame and Georgia.

RIP College Football Regular Season: 1869-2023

When ‘The Game’ between No.3 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State is made into just ‘a game’ then you’re doing something wrong.

College football has managed to have the best regular season in all of the sports for as long as it’s been around.  In no American sport does the regular season mean so much.  Literally, every Saturday counts as the championship favorite could be upset and fall out of contention at the snap of your fingers.

Friends, I hate to inform you but we only have one more season of that left.  It became official Thursday morning that the College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams starting in 2024.  That might mean an easier path to the playoff for your favorite team but it also means the thing that made college football the most unique is taking a massive hit.

Instead of “The Game” between Michigan and Ohio State deciding a playoff berth last week, that’s just a game to determine seeding in 2024.  That Alabama loss to LSU in overtime this year?  Yeah, the Tide are still rolling to the Playoff with it in 2024.  And if Utah beats USC this weekend in the Pac-12 championship game then guess what – USC is still in the playoff.

Had Notre Dame upset USC last week, should the Irish, who lost to Marshall and Stanford both, have had the chance to play for a championship?

TV and media folks have taken over the game and have done not what’s in the best interest of the sport but instead the best interest of their companies.  It might sound great on paper but expansion to this extent makes college football simply just NFL-light.  More playoff games just mean its easier for casual fans to know when to tune into important games.  The most passionate college football fans should consider this a sad day for the sport.

Unfortunately, the toothpaste is out of the tube and it’ll never be put back in.

See the full College Football Playoff Press Release by Clicking Ahead

Report: Ohio State team to beat for 2024 Washington, DC offensive lineman

Who wouldn’t want to block for Dylan?

With the 2023 recruiting cycle quickly coming to an end, many school have already started to recruit some 2024 prospects very hard. For the Buckeyes, they are off to a very good start, especially at quarterback with consensus number one overall player [autotag]Dylan Raiola[/autotag]. Indiana offensive lineman [autotag]Ian Moore[/autotag] and Ohio athlete [autotag]Garrett Stover[/autotag] round out the class and according to a report (insider) from 247Sports Steve Wiltfong, Ohio State is leading for Washington, DC offensive lineman Jordan Seaton.

The six-foot-five-inch and 287-pound interior lineman holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, LSU, Tennessee, USC and others. Seaton is fresh off a visit to Columbus this past weekend and Wiltfong has crystal balled him to eventually join the class.

It would be another recruiting win for [autotag]Ryan Day[/autotag] and offensive line coach [autotag]Justin Frye[/autotag] if Seaton were to commit. Time will tell is this report is correct but at the moment, things looks very good for Ohio State with Seaton.

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Alabama gets commitment from 4-star WR Jaren Hamilton

Jaren Hamilton, four-star WR from Florida commits to Alabama.

Alabama has become a factory for high-end NFL wide receivers in recent years, including Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper and Jameson Williams.

The Crimson Tide just picked up a commitment from another rising star at this spot: F.W. Bucholz (Fla.) wide receiver Jaren Hamilton. He announced his decision on social media on Monday evening.

Hamilton (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) is ranked No. 31 among 2023 wide receivers and No. 50 overall in Florida.

Asked about his decision, Hamilton told Bama Insider that Alabama feels like home.

“Really, just my relationship that I built with the coaches… Just talking with them, it all feels like family. It all feels like home there. It’s like a real family vibe out there. When I was there, you could see with the recruits that everybody knew each other. Everybody dapped each other up. It’s a real good feel out there.”

Hamilton had offers from 17 other schools, including Michigan, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC.

That makes 24 commits total for Alabama, still at No. 1 in the 2023 recruiting cycle rankings. They are now 18 points ahead of second-ranked Georgia.

More recruiting stories

Michigan and Utah pick up four-star OTs

Where each five-star recruit in 2023 signed

Auburn 2024 EDGE target set to announce commitment on Dec. 1

Sterling Dixon’s Twitter graphic showcased 32 teams, but experts have him pinned down to just two.

One of the first recruiting targets for Auburn under new head coach [autotag]Hugh Freeze[/autotag] will be committing very soon.

2024 edge rusher Sterling Dixon, a recruit out of Mobile, Alabama, announced on Twitter Wednesday that he plans to make his commitment on Dec. 1. Dixon is a four-star composite according to 247Sports.

Dixon released a very large graphic of 32 different teams in his announcement, but it would seem that he’s narrowed down his selection to just two of them — Auburn or Alabama. Which way he is leaning seems to depend, as 247Sports‘ Crystal Ball sees the Crimson Tide in his future but On3‘s RPM has the Tigers favored by 64 percent. Both seem to agree that, should Dixon surprise projections and not pick either of the two, the LSU Tigers seem to be the distant third in the running.

Dixon’s most recent interactions have been with the Crimson Tide, as he took two unofficial visits to Alabama in October and November. His most recent visit to the Plains was in July, and he’s since visited Alabama, Penn State and LSU.

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Social media reaction after Alabama being ranked ahead of Tennessee

A look at social media reaction after Alabama being ranked ahead of Tennessee in the latest College Football Playoff top 25.

Tennessee (10-2, 6-2 SEC) concluded its regular-season Nov. 26, defeating Vanderbilt 56-0.

Tennessee’s 2022 regular-season schedule featured home games against Ball State (W, 59-10), Akron (W, 63-6), Florida (W, 38-33), Alabama (W, 52-49), UT Martin (W, 65-24), Kentucky (W, 44-6) and Missouri (W, 66-24).

The Vols’ 2022 schedule featured road contests at Pittsburgh (W, 34-27 OT) in the second edition of the Johnny Majors ClassicLSU (W, 40-13), Georgia (L, 27-13), South Carolina (L, 63-38) and Vanderbilt (W, 56-0).

2022 Tennessee Vols’ football schedule: Vols Wire’s downloadable schedule wallpaper

The College Football Playoff released its latest top 25 rankings for the 2022 season Tuesday. Tennessee is ranked No. 7, one spot behind No. 6 Alabama despite defeating the Crimson Tide.

Following the latest College Football Playoff top 25 rankings being released, Vols Wire looks at social media reaction for Alabama being ahead of Tennessee.

College Football Playoff 2023: Everything is coming up USC in the fifth rankings

Welcome back to national prominence, USC.

For The Win is tracking the College Football Playoff rankings all season long. We’ll have updated title odds and notes on each contender every Tuesday the rankings are revealed. The firstsecond, third and fourth rankings can be found here.

In just two weeks USC has gone from the fringes of the playoff race to smack dab in the middle of the action with the likely Heisman Trophy-winner leading the offense.

Things happen quickly in college football. Of course, it helps when a team like LSU suffers a total meltdown against Texas A&M just hours after Michigan rocks Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home turf.

So the Trojans jumped from No. 8 in second CFP rankings all the way up to No. 4 this week.

Equally as important: Ohio State remains in the playoff picture at No. 5 with Alabama hanging around right behind at No. 6.

It’s Conference Championship Week across the sport. That’s good news for some teams and even better news for others. Here are this week’s rankings and updated title odds to help us sort through it all.

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Notre Dame’s all-time records against SEC programs

A preview of programs the Irish could be playing in the distant future.

In case you haven’t heard, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge is going away after this week. It will be replaced with the ACC-SEC Challenge beginning in 2023. Notre Dame will get a preview of the yearly meeting with the conference when it faces Georgia on Dec. 18 in Atlanta. That will be it for the two sides this season unless they cross paths again in the postseason.

With this new event, it only makes sense to see how the Irish have stacked up against the SEC. Against current members, they have an all-time record of 47-66. That does not include the following programs that they never have played: Auburn, Florida and Mississippi State. Here’s how the Irish have done when facing everyone else, including future conference members Texas and Oklahoma:

Houston Texans WRs to wear cleats to honor John Metchie III

John Metchie III honored by Texans teammates

In what has been one of the saddest storylines in the NFL this season, Houston Texans wide receiver, John Metchie III, has missed his rookie season due to a battle with leukemia. Metchie was diagnosed on July 24, just a few months after the Texans spent their second-round pick, No. 44 overall, on him.

The former Crimson Tide star took it in stride and is eagerly anticipating a return to the field, whenever that may be. In the meantime, the Texans organization has been incredibly classy in how they have treated Metchie throughout the entire process.

To celebrate Metchie, the Texans receiving core will be wearing cleats honoring him as part of the NFL’s MyCauseMyCleats movement. It is clear the impact that he has had on the entire organization in less than a year.

I speak for everyone when I say I hope he can return to the field as soon as possible.

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247Sports’ updated 2023 recruiting class rankings

Here’s a look at the top 10 recruiting classes in the country at this time.

The 2023 recruiting class rankings are expected to finalize over the coming months. Continue reading “247Sports’ updated 2023 recruiting class rankings”