Every cycle, there are late risers that captivate the attention of fans, analysts and Power Five programs alike. The 2023 cycle is no different in both the Midwest and Tennessee, as prospects on both sides of the ball are starting to see some late action in their respective recruitments. Here are five recruits that are benefitting the most from big senior seasons.
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Only a handful of recruits see their stock rise like Arion Carter has in recent months. The one-time Memphis commit backed off of his pledge following an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. The Buckeye’s have made Carter a priority recruit, but they will face stiff competition for the standout from Smyrna, Tenn. with Tennessee and Alabama also making moves for his signature on Dec. 21.
The one time Georgia Tech commit enjoyed a highlight packed senior season and the offers started pouring in as a result. Cornist backed off his pledge to Georgia Tech on Oct. 25 with Power Five offers from Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas State and Louisville coming in the following weeks.
Cornist took an official visit to Kentucky over the weekend and will visit Michigan State this upcoming weekend. Ohio State could also be a school to watch after they lost a commitment from Mark Fletcher who was their lone running back commit in the 2023 class.
Much like fellow Tennessee native Arion Carter, Fitzgerald has seen an epic run of offers during his senior year. The Nolensville, Tenn. receiver received his first Power Five scholarship offer from Kentucky during December of his sophomore year, and although a number of FCS and Group of Five offers followed, it wasn’t until Oct. 11 of this year that a flood of Power Five offers started rolling in with Virginia Tech kicking it off. Minnesota offered the same day he has since gone on to receive double digit Power Five offers since.
Fitzgerald released a top 12 of Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Auburn, Houston, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Kansas State, Minnesota and Pitt which is scheduled to receive an official visit this upcoming weekend. This may not be the end of Fitzgerald’s offer run and his recruitment could potential go all of the way into signing day.
Roderick “Trey” Pierce committed to Wisconsin May of his junior year which was enough to hold off additional schools for a while, but impressive senior film combined with uncertainty in Madison led to a new group of major schools entering the mix for his pledge.
Michigan was the first school to extend a post-commitment scholarship offer with Michigan State, Auburn and Texas following suit shortly after. Pierce will take an official visit to Michigan this upcoming weekend and his recruitment is another that could go all of the way to signing day.
Taylor Wein’s recruitment picked up shortly after that of teammate Chance Fitzgerald, and following an epic run of offers, Wein has now become one of the hottest 2023 recruits in the nation. The senior defensive end is big, athletic, plays with violent hands and has a motor to boot.
He began receiving FCS and Group of Five offers during his junior year, but was absent of Power Five offer until Nov. 9 of his senior season when Oklahoma became the first major team to throw their hat in the ring. USC, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Oklahoma State followed with offers in the coming weeks and a number of additional schools appear to be following closely. This may only be the beginning for Wein as defensive lineman are always a hot commodity as signing day approaches.