The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Thummel’s five top players of the 2024 college football recruiting class

College football’s future
WSU football stretches on the field pregame vs. the Oregon Ducks, Oct. 21, in Eugene, Oregon.
  1. Justin Williams

My pick for the top recruit in the nation is linebacker Justin Williams from Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas. 

According to the 2024 247Sports Composite, Williams is the number one linebacker in the 2024 class, the number two player in the state of Texas, and the ninth-ranked player in the nation.

Williams signed with Georgia, electing to play for a school known for its long line of talented linebackers, such as current Baltimore Raven, Roquan Smith.

Listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 210 pounds, Williams has an ideal frame coming in as a freshman but should look to add some size during his time in Athens.

Williams runs a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, an 11.01-second 100-yard dash, a 320-pound bench press and a 450-pound squat, according to his Hudl profile,

These are superb marks for any position, let alone a middle linebacker and these lifts should only increase in the strength and condition program at Georgia.

While Williams is not ranked as the top prospect in this class by major recruiting outlets like 247 Sports, I believe he is the most ready-to-play recruit in this year’s class as he’s an elite athlete with a well-developed football IQ. 

Williams is a tremendous run-stopper who plays with rare, special tackling leverage.

He has adequate pass coverage skills, but he has the potential to be top-tier in the coverage department and the Georgia coaching staff has a great track record with maximizing athleticism, especially at his position. 

My favorite highlight from Williams came from his senior highlights.

At about the one-minute mark, Williams makes a huge 4th down stop in which the opposing team ran what looked like a quarterback blast to the left after two pre-snap shifts.

Williams shot the B-gap and tackled the quarterback for a loss after a set of unique pre-snap shifts that may have confused other linebackers.

Williams should be on the field very quickly for the Bulldogs and he should be everything he is hyped up to be in Athens and beyond.

Pro comparison: Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers. 

  1. Jeremiah Smith

Coming in at the number two spot is Jeremiah Smith out of Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Opa Locka, Florida. 

Listed at 6 foot 3 inches and 214 pounds, Smith has an NFL-ready build with room for overall athletic improvement. 

Smith is a physically imposing wideout who is well-suited for the jump ball game but doesn’t lack in the speed or fluidity department.

According to the 2024 247Sports Composite, Smith is the number one overall player in the country for the 2024 class, the number one wideout in the country, and the number one player in the state of Florida. 

The Florida baller has a background in track and field, qualifying for the Florida state meet three times in a variety of hurdles events.

In Smith’s highlight tape on his Hudl profile, he displays an ability to run a full route tree, with an explosive get-off and unique timing while the ball is in the air. 

Smith also displays a unique jumping ability.

My favorite highlight from Smith came from his junior highlights.

At about the 25-second mark, Smith makes an insane one-hand catch over a defender for a touchdown, similar to the infamous catch made by Odell Becham Jr.

He signed with Ohio State, which is known for its wide receiver production both in college and the NFL.

Smith is primed to come to Columbus and make an impact immediately, and the Buckeyes will need the help next season as they are set to lose star wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. to the NFL and they have a giant question mark at the quarterback position as former QB Kyle McCord is off to Syracuse. 

Pro comparison: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

  1. Dylan Raiola

At the number three spot is Dylan Raiola from Buford High School in Buford, Georgia. 

Raiola signed with Nebraska after previously committing to Georgia. 

Raiola is the No. 6 overall prospect in the country, the No. 2 QB in the country, and the No. 1 player from the state of Georgia, according to the 2024 247Sports Composite

Raiola has an absolute cannon for an arm, with a fluid, natural release. 

He has a baseball background and according to 247Sports, threw an 89-mile-an-hour fastball as a freshman in high school. 

Listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 230 pounds, Raiola has more than adequate size for the next level and has the rare trait of NFL-ready size straight out of high school. 

Raiola can move extremely well in the pocket, often dodging defenders for a better throwing angle. 

Raiola’s highlight tape on his Hudl profile displays an extremely high-IQ high school quarterback, with unwavering arm talent, completing 60-yard passes with a flick of the wrist. 

My favorite highlight from Raiola came from his senior highlights

At about the 17-second mark, Raiola rolls to his right and fires a near 60-yard bomb with pressure in his face and it hits his wideout directly in the hands.

The starting job should be Raiola’s to lose at Nebraska next season and it will be interesting to see if Raiola can help rebuild the former powerhouse program. 

Pro Comparison: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

  1. Jordan Seaton

The fourth-ranked prospect is Jordan Seaton from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Seaton signed with Colorado and will suit up for Deion Sanders next season in the Big 12. 

According to the 2024 247Sports composite, Seaton is the No. 11 ranked player nationally, the first-ranked offensive tackle, and the fourth-ranked player in the state of Florida. 

Seaton is listed at 6 feet 5 inches and 290 pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan.

Seaton has more than the ideal size for an incoming freshman and a decent size for a next-level player in general.

He has exceptional arm length, and he can move efficiently for a man his size, clocking a 5.03-second 40-yard dash.

Seaton’s highlights on his Hudl profile show an intelligent lineman who possesses a complete game with the ability to block efficiently in a variety of schemes. 

My favorite highlight from Seaton came from his mid-senior highlights.

At about the one-minute 30-second mark, Seaton makes an absolute wall, moving the opposing defensive lineman with ease and helping create ample room for the pulling guard and tackle, resulting in a huge hole for the running back.

He has the potential to make an impact immediately for Deion Sanders as Colorado struggled with their offensive line as a whole this last season. 

Pro comparison: Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

  1. Ellis Robinson IV

Coming in at the final spot for my rankings is Ellis Robinson IV from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida (same as Seaton).

According to the 247Sports Composite, Robinson IV is the third-ranked player overall, the No. 1 cornerback, and the No. 2-ranked player in the state of Florida. 

Robinson signed with Georgia and will play alongside Justin Williams (mentioned above).

He is listed at 6 feet 1 inch and 185 pounds, bringing ideal size and length with the potential to expand upon his frame. He brings a 4.5-second 40-yard dash to the table, as well as a 36-inch vertical jump. 

Robinson’s highlight tape on his Hudl profile shows a rangy corner who has incredible cover skills and who is physical at the line of scrimmage with route runners. 

Robinson can tackle well but will need to become stronger to elevate his level of play to SEC caliber. 

My favorite highlight from Robinson IV is from his senior film.

At about the two-minute 7-second mark, Robinson IV makes a sharp decision to break on the ball making a huge pass deflection for his team, showing off his incredible arm length.

Seaton has real potential with Georgia and should be developed into a well-rounded player, but it could take him a bit to get going initially due to his lack of size. 

Pro comparison: Jamel Dean, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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About the Contributors
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.