Friday Night Notes: Colorado climbing, Florida frees Jaden Rashada, transfer rankings and 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.

Deion Sanders started at the bottom when he took over as head coach at Colorado. The Buffaloes were coming off a 1-11 season and only a handful of Power 5 teams were ranked lower in the 2023 recruiting race.

Over the last six weeks, Coach Prime has scaled the rocky mountains of the recruiting game and planted his flag at an altitude far higher than where it was when he took the position. Yesterday Sanders scored his biggest recruiting win yet – and if Boulder wasn’t already the hottest spot in college football, it certainly is now.

On Thursday night, Colorado got Lakeland (Fla.) five-star cornerback and the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2023 class, Cormani McClain to flip his commitment from Miami.

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If nothing else, this means the Buffaloes are famously loaded at cornerback. McClain joins Jackson State transfer Travis Hunter, who was the No. 1 recruit in the nation last year and also plays corner. Together, they might soon form the best cornerback duo in college football under one of the greatest athletes ever to play the position.

Hunter and McClain are the prize jewels of Coach Prime’s recruiting work so far, but he’s gotten several other highly-ranked prospects to come on board, as well. Here are all of the blue-chip recruits who have either committed or transferred to Colorado since Sanders was hired.

4-star iOL Yousef Mugharbil (2021)
4-star QB Shedeur Sanders (2021)
4-star TE Seydou Traore (2021)
5-star CB Travis Hunter (2022)
5-star CB Cormani McClain (2023)
4-star RB Dylan Edwards (2023)
4-star WR Omarion Miller (2023)
4-star WR Adam Hopkins (2023)
4-star DL Omar White (2024)
5-star WR Winston Watkins Jr. (2025)

After ranking as low as No. 61, Colorado’s 2023 class is now No. 19 in the country.

2023 Transfer class rankings

(Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)

Prime’s team got a serious assist from the transfer portal, which closed yesterday and won’t open again until May 1. That ends what was easily the most chaotic transfer period in modern history. Let’s see which schools came out on top after all the unprecedented player movement.

Here are the top 10 teams in total value for their transfers, according to 247 Sports’ rankings.

1. LSU: 11 transfers, 76.07 points

2. Florida State: 9 transfers, 74.01 points

3. Auburn: 13 transfers, 72.07 points

4. Colorado: 23 transfers, 71.66 points

5. USC: 11 transfers, 71.23 points

6. SMU: 16 transfers, 66.07 points

7. UCLA: 11 transfers, 65.27 points

8. Wisconsin: 13 transfers, 59.43 points

9. Michigan: 7 transfers, 58.37 points

10. Oklahoma: 12 transfers, 57.19 points

Florida releases QB Jaden Rashada

Jaden Rashada
Jaden Rashada

Andrew Ivins, 247 Sports

The Jaden Rashada drama in Florida is over… for now.

Earlier this week, Rashada officially filed for a release from his National Letter of Intent to play at Florida, who granted his request on Thursday.

The split was the result of an NIL deal with Gator Collective falling apart – reported to be worth over $13 million for four years.

While Rashada is now free to open up his recruitment, we have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear about this story. NCAA investigations, lawsuits and changes to Florida’s recruiting process may all be coming down the line as a result of this situation.

For what it’s worth, On3’s prediction model has Rashada going back to Miami – where he committed last summer before signing with Florida. Rivals and 247 Sports are also projecting that Rashada will wind up back with the Hurricanes.

Then again, there’s a rumor that Rashada will be visiting Colorado soon…

Football recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Longhorns Wire:

Social media reacts to Arch Manning’s first days on campus

Gators Wire:

Florida hosting former Alabama OL on official visit

Nittany Lions Wire:

Rising Florida athlete announces scholarship offer from Penn State

Fighting Irish Wire:

Notre Dame’s biggest 2024 target lands massive offer

Sooners Wire:

Oklahoma lands Rivals Futurecast for 2024 4-Star QB

Buckeyes Wire:

Ohio State active on recruiting trail, offer Alabama QB commit

UGA Wire:

Georgia football offers elite RB DeZephen Walker

Roll Tide Wire:

Alabama extends offer to 2024 RB Nathaniel Frazier

Wolverines Wire:

Jim Harbaugh visits nation’s No. 1 2024 recruit

Vols Wire:

2024 wide receiver Tawaski Abrams announces top-eight schools

Aggies Wire:

2024 4-Star QB Davi Belfort places Texas A&M in his Top 3 schools

Auburn Wire:

Auburn offers brother of former Tigers player

LSU Tigers Wire:

LSU offers 4-star North Carolina defensive tackle

Cornhuskers Wire:

2023 ATH from Texas will visit Nebraska this weekend

Basketball recruiting news from college wires

Bronny James
Bronny James

Katie Goodale / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ducks Wire:

Kwame Evans encouraging Bronny James to visit Oregon

Bronny James puts Oregon Ducks among top three schools

Buckeyes Wire:

Bronny James releases his top three schools. About Ohio State …

Tar Heels Wire:

UNC signee ‘flashed greatness’ at HoopHall Classic

Hubert Davis watches five-star target ahead of decision

Story originally appeared on High School Sports