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USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Friday Night Notes is a weekly high school football recruiting recap that looks at the latest news from around the country—from the Class of 2022 to ’23 and beyond.
Sometimes, Oregon Ducks fly south too…
Jurrion Dickey is headed to play his senior year of football at perennial SoCal and national powerhouse Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.).
The five-star’s move from Valley Christian (San Jose) to the Monarchs has created a new wave of buzz —that doesn’t hum “Arch Manning”—as the high school season nears. And it’s a massive grab for Mater Dei, as the Oregon Ducks commit instantly adds top-tier abilities to a receiving corps that lost the talented combo of C.J. Williams and Cooper Barkate to graduation.
It also places the 6-3 wideout in a market—and on a team—that can only increase his star power.
Speaking of moving on, here’s what else we’re emptying form the notebook this week….
Buckeyes miss out on top RB Justice Haynes
(Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch via USA TODAY NETWORK)
The Buckeyes will always be prime real estate for the top recruits in the land, but the grass was greener for Justice Haynes … in Alabama.
It’s not an overwhelming thanks-but-no-thanks, though a case could be made for Haynes’ decision stinging a bit more than usual for the Buckeyes— many thought the highly touted RB’s positive visit to Columbus would equate to a commit.
The Corey Raymond effect
(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
How much of a role coaches play in college football got an Example A boost (again) with Florida Gator’s cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond. The former LSU Tigers staffer is a legend in building secondary talent, with names like Tyrann Mathieu and, most recently, Derek Stingley Jr. on his resume of NFL players.
Now, Raymond is helping the Gators land top prospects like five-star safety Kamari Wilson (class of 2022) and possibly—possibly!—top-rated defensive player Cormani McClain from the 2023 class.
Arch Manning? Great. Arch NOT-MANNING? Meh.
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Arch Smith is no Arch Manning.
Arch Manning, the top QB in the class of 2023, has been a humongous focal point for well over a year, his every move dotted and dissected as many took guesses about where he’d land for his college career. (In case you missed it: Texas.)
But … is he really that good? Like five-star good?
Or is he simply getting the “star” boost because of his last name—the one he shares with his dad, grandpa, and those two uncles, who are memes and NFL stars and have hosted “Saturday Night Live”?
One scout saw it as the latter, pointing to Arch’s lack of progression from his freshman to senior year.
It’s an interesting point. And while the scouting business can be a challenging space, one full of opinions—whether disgruntled or merited—the questions raised were actually well-constructed and certainly not the typical SIZZLE TAKES! we see each cycle.
More recruiting news from around the USA TODAY Sports college wires
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Nittany Lions Wire