<
>

Best plays, highlights by top college football recruits this week

Before they take the field as college football players on Saturdays, some of the top recruits in the 2023 and 2024 ESPN 300 are playing underneath the lights on weeknights.

Los Alamitos High School (California) quarterback and USC commit Malachi Nelson exploded on Thursday during a seventh straight victory for the California prep power.

Nelson, the No. 1 overall player in the 2023 ESPN 300, accounted for six touchdowns (five passing) in a 68-0 shutout of Fountain Valley High School (California).

Dante Moore (No. 3 overall in 2023, No. 3 QB-PP), headed to Oregon, tossed three touchdowns during Martin Luther King High School's (Michigan) 41-28 victory over River Rouge High School (Michigan) on Friday.

Here's how some other of the nation's top recruits looked this week.


No shoe, no problem

Hykeem Williams didn't allow the fact he lost his left shoe deter him on the way to taking this catch-and-run reception 80 yards to the house on Friday night for Stranahan High School (Florida) against Cardinal Gibbons High School (Florida).

The Florida State-bound Williams is 24th overall in the 2023 ESPN 300 and the third-best receiver in this cycle.


Simmons strikes

Colin Simmons (No. 8 overall in 2024, No. 1 DE) is an emerging force on the defensive line.

The Duncanville High School (Texas) defensive end wreaked havoc in the red zone in the first quarter against DeSoto High School (Texas) on Friday.

The junior has offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan and Ohio State, and he visited TCU on Oct. 15 for its game with Oklahoma State.


Trader triumphs

Joshisa Trader is one of two highly regarded junior wide receivers for Chaminade-Madonna Prep School (Florida).

Trader (No. 2 overall in 2024) is the top receiver in the junior class and owns offers from Miami, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Georgia, among 30 offers.

He made his only catch count on Thursday against St. John Paul II Academy (Florida) during a 63-0 victory.

For the year, Trader has 24 receptions for 424 yards and four touchdowns.


Smith speed

Jeremiah Smith is a very skilled wide receiver in his own right, with 40 offers (Miami, Ohio State, Alabama, USC).

Between him and Trader, Chaminade-Madonna Prep opponents have a lot to be concerned with on the outside and in the slot.

Smith (No. 12 overall in 2024, No. 2 WR) caught three passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in a 63-0 victory over St. John Paul Academy on Thursday.

Smith, who plans to visit Auburn in November, has 31 catches for 608 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.


Williams Jr. puts them in the spin cycle

Basha High School quarterback (Arizona) Demond Williams Jr. made multiple tacklers from Chandler High School (Arizona) miss during this long jaunt down the field Friday night.

Williams (No. 169 overall in 2024, No. 7 QB-PP) went to Ole Miss on an unofficial visit Oct. 15, and he owns offers from Ole Miss, UCLA, Oregon, Michigan State and Auburn.

In seven games, he has thrown for 1,384 yards and 16 touchdowns with just one interception while running for 305 yards and two scores.


Pair of four-star juniors recap Penn State visits

St. Louis wide receiver Ryan Wingo (No. 23 overall in 2024, No. 4 WR) and Youngstown, Ohio, defensive end Brian Robinson (No. 51 overall in 2024) were among the recruits who saw Penn State beat Minnesota last week.

"The white out was like something I've never seen," Robinson wrote in a text to ESPN. "And I love Coach [James] Franklin's family values."

Robinson will also be in attendance for the Ohio State-Penn State game on Saturday.

Wingo echoed some of Robinson's same sentiment about the Penn State experience.

"The fans there were crazy," he said in a text to ESPN.

Both Wingo (35 receptions for 670 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games) and Robinson (58 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 15 TFLs in eight games) will be in Ann Arbor for the Michigan-Michigan State game.


Four-star junior defensive tackle gets Alabama offer, preps for Michigan visit

Justin Scott (No. 34 overall in 2024, No. 2 DT) received an offer from Alabama on Oct. 21 -- his 25th.

On the heels of visits to Ohio State (Oct. 1) and Miami (Oct. 8), the St. Ignatius College Prep (Illinois) junior will be in Ann Arbor Saturday. The Wolverines offered Scott back in March, and he's welcoming the opportunity to see what Jim Harbaugh's program is all about.

"Seeing the campus for the first time and getting to meet coaching staff," Scott texted ESPN.


Four-star junior safety cuts list

Jaylen Heyward of Rockledge High School (Florida) is the second-best safety in the junior class, according to ESPN's rankings.

Heyward (No. 44 overall in 2024), who has 25 tackles and three interceptions in seven games, trimmed his list to a final six on Friday: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan.

After taking in Florida's victory over Utah on Sept. 3, he recently took unofficial visits to Ohio State (Oct. 1) and Georgia (Oct. 8).