College football‘s 2024 recruiting cycle is beginning to take shape.
Over the past month, 10 recruits in the 2024 ESPN Junior 300 have committed, bringing the total number of ranked committed prospects to 90. Those 10 players pledged to nine different schools.
We break down what has happened in March, which prospects are ready to commit soon and which recruits are taking visits.
Last 2023 ESPN 300 prospect finally commits
Duce Robinson, the final uncommitted prospect in the 2023 ESPN 300, committed to Lincoln Riley and USC on Thursday.
Robinson, the No. 40 overall recruit and No. 1 tight end in the 2023 class, is a 6-foot-6, 235-pound football standout who doubles as a baseball star, ranked No. 84 among ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel’s top 100 MLB draft prospects.
He picked the Trojans over Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Oregon. Robinson had 84 receptions for 1,614 yards and 14 touchdowns last season for Pinnacle High School (Arizona).
With Robinson’s commitment, USC jumped from 13th to 10th in the 2023 recruiting class rankings.
Ole Miss lands pair of 2024 ESPN 300 commits
Lane Kiffin’s Rebels were the only program to secure two 2024 ESPN 300 commitments this month.
Athlete Chris Davis Jr. (No. 241 overall) and defensive end Jeffery Rush (No. 126) from Pascagoula High School (Mississippi) committed in the span of three days.
Davis, who attends Picayune Memorial High School (Mississippi), told ESPN in February he was being recruited as a running back. Rush would be the program’s first ESPN 300 defensive end since Demon Clowney in 2020.
Five teams that landed notable commits
Virginia Tech: Quarterback Davi Belfort (No. 259), a product of Gulliver Prep High School (Florida), gives Brent Pry a tremendous building block in the 2024 class. The 5-11, 190-pound Belfort is the Hokies’ first ESPN 300 signal-caller since Joshua Jackson in 2016.
Auburn: Running back J’Marion Burnette (No. 123), from Andalusia High School (Alabama), decided to stay in state by committing to Hugh Freeze’s Tigers over Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Florida State and Arkansas. Burnette, who is 6-1, 210 pounds, ran for 1,473 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs landed their fifth ESPN 300 quarterback since 2019 when Josh Flowers (No. 226) announced on March 8. The 6-3, 210-pound Flowers threw for 1,453 yards and 10 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,367 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2022 for Baker High School (Alabama).
Tennessee: The Volunteers landed four-star quarterback Jake Merklinger (No. 90) on Thursday. Merklinger, who threw for 1,987 yards and 32 touchdowns for Calvary Baptist Day School (Georgia) in 2022, picked the Vols over Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan State, giving coach Josh Heupel his second ESPN 300 quarterback in as many years (Nicholaus Iamaleava, No. 23 in 2023).
Michigan: Jordan Marshall, a member of Ohio powerhouse Moeller High School in Cincinnati, chose the Wolverines over the in-state Buckeyes. Marshall would be the fourth ESPN 300 running back to sign with Michigan since 2020, joining Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards and Cole Cabana.
Three recruits with upcoming commitment dates
Aaron Flowers, CB
2024 ESPN Jr. 300 ranking: 227
Flowers, a four-star cornerback for Forney High School (Texas), is expected to announce his commitment on April 7.
He is considering Alabama, Oregon, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Washington, USC, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Louisville and Baylor. He has taken visits to the Ducks, Trojans and Crimson Tide over the last few weeks.
Michael Hawkins, QB
2024 ESPN Jr. 300 ranking: 238
Hawkins will decide between Oklahoma, TCU and Penn State on April 8.
Hawkins is the son of former NFL cornerback Mike Hawkins, who was the Green Bay Packers‘ fifth-round draft pick in 2005 out of Oklahoma. The 6-1, 190-pound Hawkins threw for 2,007 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior for Allen High School (Texas).
Asked about what advice his father imparted on him, Hawkins said he told him, “Don’t worry about what other people have to say about your play or how hard you work. Just stay focused on the main course and you won’t have to worry about anything, and everything else will fall in place.”
Josiah Thompson, OT
2024 ESPN Jr. 300 ranking: 72
The 6-7, 290-pound Thompson is a four-star tackle for Dillon High School (South Carolina). He will decide between Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Miami and Alabama on April 14.
If Thompson commits to the in-state Gamecocks, he’d be the second ESPN 300 offensive lineman to join Shane Beamer’s group, along with Kam Pringle (No. 32), who pledged in January.
Two schools making moves in 2025
Oklahoma: After coach Brent Venables brought in five-star quarterback Jackson Arnold (No. 3) in the 2023 class, he added another future signal-caller in Kevin Sperry on March 13. The 6-2, 200-pound Sperry threw for 1,527 yards and nine touchdowns last season as a sophomore for Rock Hill High School (Texas).
Penn State: Omari Gaines, a 6-2, 180-pound cornerback from Malcolm X Shabazz High School (New Jersey), became the second member of the Nittany Lions’ 2025 class when he committed on Tuesday. “Their guys are aggressive, like up front on the line of scrimmage, and I feel like that’s really me,” said Gaines, who recorded 14 tackles with an interception as a sophomore for St. Peter’s Prep (New Jersey).