The Early Signing Period is the rearview, but the 2023 recruiting cycle is still in full swing as some of the top high school football players around the country are announcing their respective college decisions.
During the week from January 7 through January 13, there were 13 players who committed to a Power Five college football program, including seven prospects in the 2023 class and six underclassmen. Five of the players who committed this week are rated as four-star prospects.
The list of Power Five schools that secured at least one commitment this week includes (in alphabetical order): Arizona (2), Auburn (2), Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Texas (2) and Texas Tech.
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With that in mind, scroll down to take a look at the prospects who committed to a Power Five program over the past week, starting with the 2023 prospects and concluding with the underclassmen.
Committed to: Texas
247Sports rank: 4-star | 95 rating | No. 97 Overall | No. 5 ATH
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-2, 197-pound athlete out of Connally High School in Waco, Texas, McDonald committed to the Longhorns over fellow finalists Oklahoma State and TCU. He was previously committed to the Cowboys for nearly four months before reopening his recruitment on Oct. 25. He holds eight reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Texas was co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Jeff Choate. He is the 24th commitment for the Longhorns in the 2023 recruiting cycle. The two-way standout is listed as an athlete and plays quarterback for his high school team, but he was recruited by Texas to play on the defensive side of the ball. In 10 games as a senior, he completed 33 of 72 passes for 707 yards and 13 touchdowns and logged 77 carries for 852 yards and nine touchdowns on offense while recording 25 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, one pass breakup and one interception on defense, per MaxPreps.
Scouting report: Tall and long with immense frame potential relative to multiple possible position projections. Functional athleticism of a defensive back with physical tools of a modern off-ball linebacker or big wideout. Extensive snaps at quarterback with proven big-play ability as a runner. Also has played receiver and provided ample snaps at multiple spots on defense for valuable two-way experience. Produced encouraging corner reps vs. elite competition during 2023 All-American Bowl week. Displayed promising fluidity in short-area situations, as well as coverage instincts. Playmaker with the ball in his hands. Flashes impressive move-stringing ability in the open field. Slippery strong and a long-striding speed builder when loose downfield. Ball skills should translate regardless of long-term role. Owns an excellent athletic profile that includes terrific basketball context, plus Texas 4A championship-level track and field prowess. Dynamic open-floor finisher on the hardwood. State champion as a junior in the 4A triple jump (48-2) and regional qualifier in the long jump. Explosive athleticism also proven in testing environment. Will need time to acclimate to a full-time role in the defensive back seven, whether safety, corner, nickel, or some hybrid variety. Good field speed but may need to reach an extra gear to match burners in man coverage. Plays with above average strength relative to build but will need to hone tackling technique and provide more consistent get-to-the-ground pop. Fluidity was apparent in All-American Bowl exposure and multiple capacities on tape, but increasing redirecting suddenness will enhance reactive quickness and playmaking ability. Could provide immediate snaps on special teams thanks to physical tools and football instincts. May require developmental patience, but possesses immense long-term potential, regardless of positional home. Projects as an eventual impact starter who could become an NFL Draft early-round candidate. – 247Sports Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks
NFL Draft projection: 2-3 Round (Day 2)
Committed to: Illinois
247Sports rank: 3-star | 89 rating | No. 55 WR
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-2, 204-pound wide receiver out of Simeon High School in Chicago, Ill., Elzy committed to the Fighting Illini over fellow finalists Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. He holds 28 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Illinois was wide receivers coach George McDonald, while director of player personnel Nate McNeal also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 22nd commitment for the Fighting Illini in the 2023 recruiting cycle. In 13 games as a senior, he hauled in 45 receptions for 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns, per MaxPreps.
Scouting report: Big receiver, not just height, but is going to enter college at around 200 pounds. Well developed lower body. Uses his size and strength well to make contested catches. Out-bodies defenders and then does a nice job of high-pointing the ball. Strong and tough to re-route at the line of scrimmage. No verified top end speed time. Not a speed demon, but is has some stop-start suddenness as a a route-runner. Projects as a red-zone threat and outside split end in college but can also play in the slot. – 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu
Projection: Power-5 Starter
Player comparison: Bryan Edwards | WR | Kansas City Chiefs
Committed to: Florida
247Sports rank: 3-star | 88 rating | No. 38 OT
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-8, 325-pound offensive tackle out of De La Salle High School in New Orleans, La., Jones committed to the Gators over fellow finalists Houston and Texas A&M. He holds 26 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Florida was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Rob Sale, while running backs coach Jabbar Juluke also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 21st commitment for the Gators in the 2023 recruiting cycle.
Scouting report: Great frame with elite height and big reach. Owns ready-to-play mass with space to add more functional strength. Wears mass well. Noticeable improvement in play demeanor and conviction in junior season. Flashed some nasty on occasion and looked for extra work when available. Above average functional strength with ability to steer and drive block. Good in-space athlete when asked to pull or climb to second level. Able to reach targets in space and effectively engage. Displays punch in those scenarios at times. Wingspan and frame in general aid in swallowing up edge rushers in pass protection. Plays high and leans more than bends at this stage. Sometimes more catcher than puncher in pass pro. Gaining strength and flexibility will raise ceiling across the board. Possesses physical tools that provide ample developmental potential. Projects to the Power Five level with the traits to become a quality multi-year starter on the outside with a long-term ceiling beyond college. – 247Sports Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks
Committed to: Auburn
247Sports rank: 3-star | 88 rating | No. 52 CB
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback out of Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Ga., Scott committed to the Tigers over fellow finalists Alabama, Texas and USC. He was previously committed to Arkansas State for more than three months before reopening his recruitment on Oct. 2. He holds 39 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Auburn was safeties coach Zac Etheridge, while cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 20th commitment for the Tigers in the 2023 recruiting cycle.
Scouting report: A bigger cornerback prospect that came on late in the recruiting process and went from a Group of Five commit to a priority target for Power Five programs around the country. Pushing 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds according to verified measurements from the All-American Bowl. The type of perimeter defender that isn’t afraid to mix it up and get a little physical. Flashes impressive power when asked to press at the line of scrimmage and has shown that he can move wide receivers backwards. Should only get more powerful once in a development weightlifting program, which will allow him to make more of a difference in man coverage. Has continued to refine his technique over the years and is pretty clean in his backpedal as he weaves his way in reverse while gaining depth. Competitive at the catch point and will fight through hands to make a pass breakup. Scrappy as a tackler and seems to always be trying to sweep a ball carrier’s legs in hopes of getting them to the ground. Could probably be deployed as a safety on Saturdays and was being recruited by at least one school to work over the top, but size and the way he moves is likely to keep him on the outside. Top-end speed remains a bit of a question mark, but has tools to work with and could blossom into a multi-year contributor in the SEC. – 247Sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins
Projection: Power-5 Starter
Committed to: Arizona
247Sports rank (JUCO): 2-star | 78 rating | No. 104 Overall | No. 3 ATH
Recruiting summary: A 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete out of Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., Yates committed to the Wildcats over offers from Kansas, Nevada and Lamar. He holds four reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Arizona was defensive ends and outside linebackers coach Jason Kaufusi, while defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 23rd commitment for the Wildcats in the 2023 recruiting cycle. Though he is listed as an athlete, he was recruited by Arizona as a defensive back. In 10 games this season at Pierce, he recorded 25 tackles, one tackle for loss, two pass breakups and one forced fumble on defense while catching 17 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown and rushing for 131 yards on offense. He will have three years to play two at Arizona.
Committed to: Auburn
247Sports rank: 3-star | 87 rating | No. 76 S
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-3, 193-pound safety out of Paetow High School in Katy, Texas, Johnson committed to the Tigers over offers from Boston College, Louisville, Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and Washington State, among others. He holds 24 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Auburn was cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff, while safeties coach Zac Etheridge also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 21st commitment for the Tigers in the 2023 recruiting cycle. In eight games as a senior, he recorded 50 tackles and two tackles for loss, per MaxPreps.
Committed to: Kentucky
247Sports rank: 3-star | 86 rating | No. 79 RB
Recruiting summary: A 5-foot-7, 195-pound running back out of South Paulding High School in Douglasville, Ga., Wilcox committed to the Wildcats over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Indiana, Louisville, Mississippi State, NC State, Ohio State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, among others. He holds 28 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Kentucky was defensive line coach Anwar Stewart, while former running backs coach John Settle also assisted in his recruitment. He is the 17th commitment for the Wildcats in the 2023 recruiting cycle. In 11 games as a senior, he rushed for 2,059 yards and 29 touchdowns on 229 carries and hauled in 18 receptions for 287 yards and one touchdown, per MaxPreps.
Committed to: Louisville
247Sports rank: 4-star | 94 rating | No. 21 Overall | No. 2 EDGE
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-2, 230-pound edge defender out of Columbus High School in Miami, Fla., Capers committed to the Cardinals over fellow finalists Colorado, Georgia, Miami and USC. He holds 23 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Louisville was recruiting coordinator John Herron. He is the second commitment for the Cardinals in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In 11 games as a junior, he recorded 40 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five sacks, five quarterback hurries, five pass breakups, one forced fumble and a fumble return for a touchdown, per MaxPreps.
Scouting report: A front-seven defender that can do a little bit of everything. Already looks college ready with a hulking frame that’s a verified 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. Has tested reasonably well for someone his size with a 4.6 in the 40 and a 4.5 short shuttle on record. A thumper that likes to run and hit. Excels in chase mode on Friday nights as he will hawk down ball carries or quarterbacks of all different sizes and drag them to the ground. Spent sophomore year working as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 front before getting more and more snaps as a Mike. Looks more than comfortable dropping back into space and has shown on the camp circuit that he’s rather serviceable in man-to-man situations as he will hand check and fight for positioning at the catch point. Can sniff out run plays and understands how to stack and shed better than most his age. Could probably be deployed as an off-ball ‘backer on Saturdays, but might also grow into a full-time pass rusher depending on how his body fills out over the next few years. Should be viewed as one of the top defensive prospects in the country for the 2024 cycle given what he has put on tape in one of the Sunshine State’s highest classification. Will need to keep progressing, but has some of the required traits to be a multi-year starter at the Power Five level and possibly an early-round NFL Draft pick one day. – 247Sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins
NFL Draft projection: 2-3 Round (Day 2)
Player comparison: Quay Walker | LB | Green Bay Packers
Committed to: Georgia
247Sports rank: 4-star | 92 rating | No. 46 Overall | No. 4 S
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-2, 188-pound safety out of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif., Woodyard committed to the Bulldogs over fellow finalists Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas and USC. He holds 32 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Georgia was defensive backs coach Fran Brown. He is the seventh commitment for the Bulldogs in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In 13 games as a junior, he tallied 53 tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups on defense while adding a punt return touchdown on special teams, per MaxPreps.
Scouting report: Natural safety who does everything well. Plays in a defense where he’s asked to cover and play run support and does both very well. Shows good range and covers a lot of ground on the back end. He’s a plus athlete who runs well and makes plays sideline to sideline. He’s a solid tackler and will fly off the hash in run support and does a nice job wrapping up and rarely misses in a one on one situation. Natural leader and well respected by his peers. Tremendous off the field work ethic and a future captain at the next level. Also plays baseball but will focus on football in college. – 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins
NFL Draft projection: 2-3 Round (Day 2)
Committed to: Texas
247Sports rank: 3-star | 88 rating | No. 28 QB
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback out of Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, Owens committed to the Longhorns over offers from Baylor, Houston, Texas Tech, Washington State, SMU, Tulsa and UTSA, among others. He holds 11 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Texas was quarterbacks coach AJ Milwee. He is the third commitment for the Longhorns in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In 11 games as a junior, he completed 179 of 266 passes (67.3%) for 2,840 yards with 34 touchdowns against six interceptions while rushing for one additional score, per MaxPreps.
Committed to: Arizona
247Sports rank: 4-star | 90 rating | No. 180 Overall | No. 13 RB
Recruiting summary: A 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back out of Jordan High School in Long Beach, Calif., Jordan committed to the Wildcats over offers from Oregon, Washington State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii and San Jose State. He holds seven reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Arizona was running backs coach Scottie Graham. He is the second commitment for the Wildcats in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In 10 games as a junior, he rushed for 1,388 yards and 17 touchdowns on 103 carries and hauled in 14 receptions for 168 yards and one touchdown, per MaxPreps.
Committed to: Texas Tech
247Sports rank: 3-star | 88 rating | No. 25 RB
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-0, 215-pound running back out of St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas, Cardenas committed to the Red Raiders over offers from Colorado, Colorado State, SMU and UTSA. He holds five reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Texas Tech was special teams coordinator and running backs coach Kenny Perry, while offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Zach Kittley also assisted in his recruitment. He is the seventh commitment for the Red Raiders in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In seven games as a junior, he rushed for 1,041 yards and 13 touchdowns on 108 carries and caught 20 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns, per MaxPreps.
Committed to: Clemson
247Sports rank: 4-star | 90 rating | No. 150 Overall | No. 8 TE
Recruiting summary: A 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end out of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Ill., Bentancur committed to the Tigers over fellow finalists Ohio State and Oregon. He holds 38 reported offers overall. His primary recruiter at Clemson was passing game coordinator and tight ends coach Kyle Richardson. He is the third commitment for the Tigers in the 2024 recruiting cycle. In two varsity seasons, he has hauled in 106 receptions for 2,105 yards and 22 touchdowns on offense while recording 45 tackles, seven sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown on defense.
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