Miami and Michigan are the top winners after a strong weekend
Miami and Michigan are the top winners after a strong weekend


It was another busy recruiting weekend, with a dozen Florida high school football players announcing their college decisions.

Michigan made a strong statement on Sunday by receiving commitments from two IMG players within a matter of hours – running back Donovan Johnson and offensive lineman Kaden Strayhorn.

Miami was able to maintain its momentum from the beginning of the week and signed safety Amari Wallace and linebacker Ezekiel Marcelin from Miami Central over the weekend.

LSU secured edge rusher LaJesse Harrold from Tampa Robinson, who has proven to be one of the state’s best recruits over the past six months. Harrold is the first player from Florida to join the Tigers this cycle, but it’s certainly a big win.

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Here’s a look at the weekend’s biggest winners.


The Wolverines pulled off the daily one-two punch with Johnson and Strayhorn on Sunday. In reality, we’re probably at the point where it would be more of a surprise if one or two IMG players don’t play for Michigan. The list is headlined by two NFL first-round draft picks: New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz and Minnesota Vikings quarterback JJ McCarthy. Johnson missed last season due to injury, but when healthy, he has the ideal blend of size and speed. Strayhorn has been one of the state’s most coveted interior defenders and can play any of the three interior positions. Add in the signing of Cocoa junior quarterback Brady Hart, and it was a strong week for the Wolverines.


Miami had four in-state players to sign in the past week, but signing two standout defensive linemen from nearby Miami Central is certainly the highlight. Wallace is a player who can cover a lot of ground and has a knack for making big plays in key moments. Marcelin is a three-star recruit simply because he’s 6-foot-1, not 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3. His production (team-best 109 tackles) and ability to make plays in the backfield (19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks) should translate well to the next level. It continues the pipeline from Central to Miami that includes current Hurricanes Rueben Bain Jr., Wesley Bissainthe and Armondo Blount. The Hurricanes also received more good news, as linebacker newcomer Elijah Melendez essentially said he was ending his recruitment after his weekend visit.


The Tigers made a big signing on Saturday with Harrold, the state’s second-best edge rusher in the USA Today Florida Network’s Top 100. He has typical size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and has offers from some of the biggest programs in the country. Harrold shows natural talent and production when used in a variety of roles on Robinson’s defensive line. He can still improve his technique, but the LSU coaching staff will be excited about all the skills he brings when he arrives on campus in 2025.


Luke Fickell did a great job recruiting Florida during his time in Cincinnati, and it appears he’ll try to replicate that success with the Badgers. The latest win came Saturday when Buchholz edge rusher Nicholas Clayton chose Wisconsin despite some heavy late pressure from Florida State. Buchholz used Clayton primarily as a defensive tackle last season because of a need on the interior, but now that he’s back on the edge, he should be in for a great senior season. Clayton’s commitment came just days after Monsignor Paces committed defensive tackle/edge rusher Wilnerson Telemaque. Add to that Tampa Bay Tech cornerback Rukeem Stroud, and Fickell should be happy with the Badgers’ momentum six months before the early signing period.

By Isla