Before they take the field as college football players on Saturdays, some of the top recruits in the 2023 ESPN 300 are playing underneath the lights on weeknights.
This week we get highlights from the top three quarterbacks as they cement their rankings, a 98-yard run from a future Duck and, as always, multiple kick returns.
But, we'll get to that soon enough. Let's take a look at a few stats before we get to this week's fireworks.
Versatility was the name of the game as wide receiver Brandon Inniss (No. 34), an Ohio State commit, took a bubble screen to the end zone on offense for American Heritage High School (Florida) before forcing a fumble as a defensive back. Anthony Hill, the No. 7 overall recruit and Texas A&M commit, will head to College Station as an outside linebacker, but he ran for a 51-yard touchdown in a big win for Billy Ryan High School (Texas). Future Alabama cornerback Caleb Downs (No. 16) also added two rushing touchdowns on Friday.
Elsewhere, LSU commit Shelton Sampson Jr. caught nine passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 win for Catholic High School (Louisiana). Quarterback Avery Johnson (No. 97), a Kansas State recruit, threw for six touchdowns in a 49-0 win for Maize South (Kansas) and Texas recruit Johntay Cook II had 179 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions for DeSoto High School (Texas).
Enough with the numbers. Let's get to the highlights.
While USC is currently enjoying the new partnership between quarterback Caleb Williams and wideout Jordan Addision, the future looks bright for Lincoln Riley and the Trojan offense.
It was a big night for the Los Alamitos High School (California) duo of Malachi Nelson and Makai Lemon. Nelson, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class, found fellow USC commit Makai Lemon (No. 19) 12 times through the air for 184 yards and a touchdown in Los Alamitos' 69-49 win over Santa Margarita.
Malachi Nelson connects with Makai Lemon here for a 65 yard touchdown. pic.twitter.com/4kKD3JDHMz— bigWRguy (@bigWRguy) September 16, 2022
As if the passing numbers weren't enough, Nelson also found success in the return game.
Top 2023 WR and USC commit Makai Lemon with a kickoff return touchdown here. pic.twitter.com/zamIdtbrNP— bigWRguy (@bigWRguy) September 16, 2022
Nelson finished with 235 passing yards. The win pushed Los Alamitos to 3-2 this season.
It's assumed that Texas went all out to get No. 2 recruit Arch Manning for his passing skills. But, if Steve Sarkisian was wondering, Manning has a few other skills to bring to Austin next fall.
Trailing 32-14 at halftime, Manning helped Isidore Newman School (Louisiana) engineer a comeback that included passing, rushing and even pass receiving.
After trailing 34-12 at the half Arch Manning in 3rd Q:— Varsity Sports Now (@VSNLouisiana) September 17, 2022
-Amazing 35-yard TD run 🔥
-21-yard RECEPTION to the 1 sets up TD 👀
-2 more TD passes and just like that Newman leads Benton 40-39 still 5:39 left in 3rd Q 💪 pic.twitter.com/jDKoYIfXMw
In the end, Manning led the Greenies to a 54-52 win while throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another.
Not to be outdone, Oregon commit and No. 3 overall recruit Dante Moore once again put on a show for Martin Luther King High School (Michigan).
Moore exhibited his ability to elude pressure, extend plays and find receivers down field in King's 28-23 victory.
Detroit King 2023 QB Dante Moore (Oregon commit) scrambles on the last play of the half and finds a guy (#18 no roster) for a TD!— The D Zone (@TheD_Zone) September 17, 2022
What a play by Moore to scramble and make the throw. @dantemoore05 @DetKingFootball pic.twitter.com/MYw97JhD84
Ducks run together
Following in his future quarterback's footsteps, Dante Dowdell (No. 188), another Oregon commit, proved to be elusive on a 98-yard touchdown run.
@DanteDowdell with the 98yd touchdown @Locklyn33 @RivalsCole @SWiltfong247 @samspiegs @RivalsNick pic.twitter.com/vRPqYinnWD— Lawrence Hopkins (@LawrencHopkins) September 17, 2022
Joenel Aguero (No. 20) will be joining a loaded Georgia defense next season. But first, it's time to return kicks.
Joenel Aguero's 90 yard punt return @Joenel_33 @GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/TKDgQWx3nv— Alex Agrella (@AlexAgrellaRB) September 17, 2022