2023 college football recruiting class rankings: Texas skyrockets into top 10 after landing Arch ManningESPN PLUS $ MATERIAL
More than half of the top college football recruits in the ESPN 300 remain undeclared, but several highly touted prospects are starting to come off the board and impact the class rankings.
The No. 1 overall prospect Arch Manning gave coach Steve Sarkisian and Texas a huge boost with his commitment to the Longhorns shortly after concluding a trio of official visits, also making trips to Georgia and Alabama. Texas has struggled through inconsistency and misevaluations over the past decade at QB but in Manning gain a player who could bring stability and impact play to the position and help return Texas to national title contention.
A grandson of Archie Manning and nephew of Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli, Arch brings a strong background at the position and blends a bit of all the strengths of his relatives, including Peyton's strong instincts, Eli's arm strength and poise, and Archie's mobility. His addition, along with that of three-star TE William Randle, who should provide a familiar target because they're high school teammates, help thrust Texas into the top 10.
But Texas still has a ways to go to catch the teams in the top five. A consistent presence near the top of the class rankings in recent cycles, Ohio State is again contending for the No. 1 class. The Buckeyes made a big move to keep their wide receiver unit a strength, landing three ESPN 300 WRs in as many days: No. 4 WR Brandon Inniss, No. 12 WR Noah Rogers and No. 19 WR Carnell Tate.
Independent rank: 1
Top offensive commit: WR Braylon James (No. 46)
Top defensive commit: DE Keon Keeley (No. 23)
The Fighting Irish have inked two consecutive top-10 classes and are not only off to a strong start to extend that streak, but also contending for the nation's top class. New coach Marcus Freeman has his fingerprints all over this class with multiple key additions on the defensive side of the ball. Keeley is a lengthy edge defender who can be a disruptive pass-rushing presence. LB Drayk Bowen was a big in-state pickup as the top-rated player in Indiana. The Irish have two ESPN 300 defensive back commits in Peyton Bowen out of Texas and Adon Shuler out of New Jersey. There is also some promising offensive talent on board, led by ESPN 300 WR James, a lengthy vertical threat who posted a laser 4.47 40 this spring on the camp circuit.
Big Ten rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: WR Brandon Inniss (No. 25)
Top defensive commit: CB Dijon Johnson (No. 113)
A staple near the top of the recruiting rankings, the Buckeyes are recruiting at a high level once again. The Buckeyes made a statement at WR, picking up three ESPN 300 WRs in as many days in Inniss, Noah Rogers and Carnell Tate. Tate and Rogers are nice-sized targets at roughly 6-foot-2, and Inniss is an explosive target with good hands. ESPN 300 offensive linemen Luke Montgomery and Joshua Padilla, along with high three-star Austin Siereveld, were key in-state keeps in the trenches. Ty Lockwood is a tight end with the tools to be a well-rounded player at the position. They pulled strong secondary talent out of Florida in No. 12 cornerback Johnson and Cedrick Hawkins, who projects to that unit and can be an excellent player with his great feet and physical style of play.
3. Georgia BulldogsESPN 300 commits: 9 | Previous ranking: 2
SEC rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: OT Bo Hughley (No. 100)
Top defensive commit: CB A.J. Harris (No. 20)
The defending national champions are contenders to sign a seventh straight top-three class. Located in a talent-rich state, the Bulldogs are doing well at home with commitments thus far from three of the top 10 prospects in Georgia, including Hughley. They pulled WR Raymond Cottrell, a 6-3, 205-pound prospect with quick, strong hands out of Florida. During their title run, the Bulldogs got great production from freshman TE Brock Bowers, and they are now adding more young talent to that position with commitments from ESPN 300 TEs Pearce Spurlin and Lawson Luckie. Their championship defense was popular during the NFL draft, with five members selected in the first round, and the Dawgs are now working to restock that unit with talent. They're off to a good start in doing so with commitments from a trio of top-10 CBs in Harris, Justyn Rhett and Marcus Washington.
Big Ten rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: OG J'ven Williams (No. 45)
Top defensive commit: DE Jameial Lyons (four stars) DE Tomarrion Parker (No. 112)
The Nittany Lions spent most of the 2022 cycle near the top of the class rankings, and early in the 2023 cycle, they're back near the top. They are doing a nice job in the offensive trenches with several talented OL pickups led by Williams, the top-rated player in the state and a mobile and physical blocker. They continue to find success in the Washington, D.C., area with multiple commits out of Virginia, including Alex Birchmeier, a flexible and aggressive blocker. TE Andrew Rappleyea was a nice flip from Michigan, as he is a productive receiving target with good hands and body control.
5. Clemson TigersESPN 300 commits: 4 | Previous ranking: 10
ACC rank: 1 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Christopher Vizzina (No. 79)
Top defensive commit: DT Vic Burley (No. 61)
Trevor Lawrence set a high bar, and replacing him is not easy, but the Tigers continue to add talented options under center. They signed the No. 2 overall quarterback in the 2022 cycle in Cade Klubnik and now landed ESPN 300 signal-caller Vizzina, a strong-armed, accurate and poised passer. Four-star WR Noble Johnson is a nice-sized target that is capable of creating problems with good explosiveness and the ability to break tackles after the catch. In the trenches defensively, the Tigers have secured some very good talent. David Ojiegbe is a powerful player that can be tough versus the run and Burley was a big win on the recruiting trail as he is a multisport athlete in high school with good explosiveness and upside. At linebacker, Jamal Anderson is a rangy defender that can be a sideline-to-sideline presence.
Big 12 rank: 1 of 10
Top offensive commit: QB Jake Strong (four stars)
Top defensive commit: S Brenden Jordan (No. 186)
New coach Joey McGuire has been known as a strong recruiter and brings a high-energy style to the Red Raiders. Now with a full cycle to work, this is a team to watch in recruiting. The foundation of the class is built on in-state talent, including quarterback Strong, a passer who has continued to improve throughout his high school career and has good arm strength and accuracy. Jordan can be a sound tackler in the secondary, and four-star cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt is a smooth mover who can also be physical in run support. Edge defender Isaiah Crawford is a lengthy prospect with nice upside.
ACC rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: WR DeAndre Moore Jr. (No. 17)
Top defensive commit: CB Aaron Williams (No. 143)
The Cardinals' 2022 class took a bit to come together, as they finished near the bottom of the ACC, but they are off to a much stronger start for 2023. QB Pierce Clarkson is a passer with a strong arm and background at the position, as he's the son of longtime quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. Receiver Jahlil McClain should have good synergy with Clarkson, as the two are high school teammates at St. John Bosco in California. Moore was another big-time pull out of California, as the No. 2 WR is a speedy and sudden playmaker with the tools to quickly become a dangerous offensive weapon. DE Adonijah Green is a pickup with a high ceiling for development. He is a lean but lengthy player with good initial quickness and was among the top performers at a loaded Under Armour Camp in Atlanta this spring.
SEC rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: TE Luke Hasz (No. 64)
Top defensive commit: DE Kaleb James (four stars)
The Razorbacks are stacking up talent at tight end with three ESPN 300 commits. Hasz comes out of a winning program in Oklahoma and, as a receiving target, runs good routes and has sure hands. Shamar Easter was a home-state keep and is a lengthy target with a big catch radius and good hands. Jaden Hamm runs well and can be an aggressive blocker. LB Carson Dean is a name to watch in this class, as he is an active presence with good range and agility and could develop into a highly productive player in the mold of Arkansas LB Bumper Pool.
9. USC TrojansESPN 300 commits: 4 | Previous ranking: 11
Pac-12 rank: 1 of 12
Top offensive commit: QB Malachi Nelson (No. 2)
Top defensive commit: CB Braxton Myers (No. 116)
Lincoln Riley has assembled a small but talented offensive class so far. Two key in-state pickups who were planning to join Riley at Oklahoma flipped to their hometown school when Riley made the change. Nelson is the No. 2 QB in the class with a smooth release and the ability to make tough throws on the move. Makai Lemon is a high school teammate of Nelson and has good hands and quickness. WR Zachariah Branch, out of Las Vegas, is one the fastest players in this class and can be an electrifying playmaker with the ball in his hands. The Trojans also added some defensive talent, namely Myers, a well-rounded and tough cornerback.
10. Texas LonghornsESPN 300 commits: 5 | Previous ranking: 16
Big 12 rank: 2 of 10
Top offensive commit: QB Arch Manning (No. 1)
Top defensive commit: CB Jamel Johnson (No. 110)
Steve Sarkisian secured a huge win for Texas' recruiting, beating Georgia and Alabama for No. 1 overall player Manning. The five-star QB is a polished player at the position with good arm strength and competitive toughness -- all of which would be expected from a Manning -- but he will also bring good mobility to keep plays alive and be able to pick up yards with his legs. Manning was a key out-of-state pickup, but Texas also landed some top in-state defensive prospects, led by Johnson, a defensive back with good ball skills and the size and toughness to support the run. Along the defensive line, ESPN 300 prospect Dylan Spencer gives the Longhorns an explosive player with a good motor in the trenches. ATH Ryan Niblett was a key in-state addition on offense, as he can be a big-play threat with his outstanding speed.