Watch highlights by top college football recruits: Week 8

ByBlake Baumgartner ESPN logo
Saturday, October 21, 2023

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

Myles Graham, a four-star recruit ranked No. 57 overall in the class, is going to be asked to help pilot Billy Napier's defense at Florida.But before the fourth-best outside linebacker heads to Gainesville to ply his defensive trade, he keeps on demonstrating the versatility that should have all Gators fans looking forward to seeing what he does.

Graham ran for three more touchdowns as Buchholz High School (Florida) easily earned a 43-7 triumph over Bartram Trail High School (Florida) on Thursday.

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

WR Mike Matthews (committed to Tennessee)

Matthews, a five-star prospect ranked No. 9 overall in the ESPN 300, is the headliner of the class Josh Heupel and the Volunteers are building, which resides eighth overall in ESPN's latest rankings.

Matthews' dynamic skills and ability to create havoc after the catch were on full display Friday for Parkview High School (Georgia) against Newton High School (Georgia). He will add to a Tennessee offense that took the country by storm in 2022.

Through seven games this season, he has 23 receptions for 488 yards and six touchdowns.

QB Elijah Brown (Stanford)

Mater Dei High School (California) rebounded successfully from last week's shutout against St. John Bosco High School (California) -- the program's first such defeat since 2011 -- by taking its frustrations out on Orange Lutheran High School (California) on Thursday night.

Brown, the first ESPN 300 quarterback Stanford has gotten a commitment from since Ari Patu in 2021, is the Cardinal's top-rated offensive player in a class. He is ranked 24th overall, and is No. 231 in ESPN's recruit rankings.

Brown threw four touchdown passes in the Monarchs' 55-13 triumph and has 29 total touchdown passes this season.

WR Bryant Wesco (Clemson)

Wesco, the No. 24 overall prospect in the ESPN 300, and Midlothian High School (Texas) dueled with fellow top wide receiver Micah Hudson (No. 12 overall) and Lake Belton High School (Texas) on Friday in a classic Texas shootout.

Wesco and the Texas Tech-bound Hudson didn't disappoint as the Panthers and Broncos went back-and-forth for much of the night.

Wesco (two receiving TDs) and Midlothian came out on top over Hudson (two receiving TDs) and Lake Belton, 49-28.

DE L.J. McCray (Florida)

McCray, the No. 23 overall prospect in the 2024 class, is hours away from coming off the board, with the sixth-best defensive end in the cycle planning to announce his commitment Saturday afternoon.

With Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Miami and Auburn all in play for McCray's commitment, he helped Mainland High School's (Florida) 22-0 win against Osceola High School (Florida) on Thursday. Led by McCray, the Buccaneers' defense hasn't been scored upon since Sept. 22 as the team has pitched three straight shutouts.

In six games this season, he has 36 tackles (24 solo) with 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Update: McCray committed to Florida on Saturday.

DE Jamonta Waller (Florida)

If Billy Napier gets Florida back to competing for SEC titles, its defense might have to carry the weight. And Waller,one of two five-stars prospects in the Gators' third-ranked class, along with QB DJ Lagway(Willis, Texas), will be a force to be dealt with by opposing offensive linemen.

The Picayune Memorial High School (Mississippi) defensive end demonstrated why in a 42-7 win over Long Beach High School (Mississippi) on Friday.

Waller, who's ranked No. 18 overall in the ESPN 300, had 39 tackles (23 solo) with 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks in the seven games he had played coming into the weekend.