Presenting the NJ.com Top 50, Jan. 2024: N.J.’s premier list of high school football recruits (Full list)

Now that the dust from New Jersey’s 2023 high school football season has settled, we turn the page to recruiting, and the final standings for the 2024 recruiting cycle. NJ. com’s all-state and all-group teams were announced last month following a dramatic season on the gridiron, and many of the state’s top seniors have already settled into their college homes.

But, there is still business to tend to: naming New Jersey’s top postseason football recruit, which we will do this week. New Jersey’s 2025 class is as stacked as any class since 2016, forcing seniors to dig deep to retain to their spots on the list. Which school has the most honorees? Did any freshmen or sophomores make the list? Who climbed the list and who dropped ? Will Bergen Catholic wide receiver, and NJ.

com Offensive Player of the Year, Quincy Porter, just a junior, remain top dog, or will one of the state’s seniors supplant him? Learn all of that and more as we break things down from each angle, providing the recruiting fix you need with the offseason on deck. We will introduce 10 recruits per day, leading up to Friday’s full list, which we will follow-up on Monday with The Next 25 list of emerging recruits, along with trends and analytics brought to light. Let’s kick things off with an explosive defensive lineman, football junkie and high-academic, who swapped the Garden State for the West Coast following a productive career in Jersey City.

Joe Asiain (99) of St. Peter's Prep tackles Samaj Jones (2) of St. Joseph's Prep (PA) during the Rumble on the Raritan football game between No.

3 St. Peter’s Prep and St. Joseph’s Prep (PA) at SHI Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscatway, NJ on Saturday, September 3, 2022.

50. Joe Asiain (6-2, 275) 2024 DL | St. Peter’s Prep | Prior rank: 42 (-8) | 2024 class rank: 25 | Signed to Stanford on Dec.

20 It doesn’t get better than Stanford when it comes to a mix of academics and athletics, and the Cardinals are getting a player who excels at both. A third-team non-public defensive lineman, Asiain brings smarts, craftiness and a non-stop motor to a program which will find ways to utilize all of it. Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Wake Forest and West Virginia also offered the talented three-star recruit.

49. Davin Brewton (6-0, 220) 2024 LB | Red Bank Catholic | Prior rank: 50 (+1) | 2024 class rank: 24 | Signed to Pitt on Dec. 20 Few get after it like Brewton, who takes to ball carriers and slot receivers like a heat-seeking missile.

A first team-all-state selection and one of the state’s most recognizable defenders following four years with the Caseys, Brewton signed to Pitt last month, after committing on May 4, 2023, over Power Five offers from Maryland, Syracuse and West Virginia. Brewton accumulated 368 tackles, 41 tackles for a loss and nine sacks throughout his storied career. 48.

Michael Troutman (6-3, 270) 2025 OL | DePaul | Prior rank: Debut | 2025 class rank: 22 | Undecided Only a junior, Troutman was one of the Big North’s best linemen last fall, and has another year under coach Nick Campanile to grow in the weight room and improve. Eight Power Five schools, including Penn State, Texas A&M, Rutgers, and Syracuse have offered Troutman, who projects as an elite guard or center in college with high upside. His quick feet and burst make Troutman capable of playing defense, adding to his intrigue.

47. Fatim Diggs (6-3, 220) 2024 LB | Eastside | Prior rank: Re-enty | 2024 class rank: 23 | Signed to Syracuse on Dec. 20 A hard-hitting linebacker who can get downhill like nobody’s business, Diggs will join his older brother, Fadil, a defensive lineman who transferred from Texas A&M on Dec.

19, at Syracuse next fall, where coach Fran Brown is off to a fast start reviving the Orange via the transfer portal and the high school recruiting trail. Fatim Diggs (0) of Camden Eastside gets by Zahir Bryant (2) of Willingboro during a football game at Camden Eastside High School, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

46. John Forster (5-11, 185) 2025 RB | St. Joseph (Montvale) | Prior rank: 27 (-19) | 2025 class rank: 21 | Undecided Speed is the name of the game in this day and age of college football, and Forster, a four-star recruit, who can also play slot receiver, and who will enter his final year as a Green Knight next fall, has plenty of it.

With four-star Yasin Willis moving on to Syracuse, Forster has the stage to himself, and will showcase his full repertoire versus the most stacked defenses in the state next fall. 45. Jack Small (6-7, 285) 2024 OL | Northern Valley Regional-Old Tappan | Prior rank: 35 (-10) | 2024 class rank: 22 | Signed to Duke on Dec.

20 “Small,” the 6-foot-7, 285-pounder, will take his talents to the ACC where his quick feet and ability to finish blocks should eventually earn him playing, and help the Blue Devils grow from one of the league’s middling teams to one of its best. Small concluded one of the quietest, could have been more high-profile New Jersey recruitments of the past few years when he picked the Blue Devils over 20 other offers on June 20, including Vanderbilt, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia and a slew of Ivy League and Group of Five schools. Jack Small (77) of Old Tappan reacts with a ‘home run’ after a sack in the second half during the football game between Northern Highlands and Old Tappan at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ on Friday, September 8, 2023.

44. Elijah Kinsler (6-3, 270) 2024 DL | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 44 (No change)| 2024 class rank: 21 | Signed to West Virginia on Dec. 20 The heart and soul of the Crusaders’ defense, who outperformed his recruitment, Kinsler will get plenty of pass rush reps with the Mountaineers, who represent the most pass-happy conference in the country.

An all-non-public, first-team defender, Kinsler contributed 63 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 3. 5 sacks to the three-time consecutive state champs and NJ. com’s Team of the Year last fall.

43. Micah Ford (6-0, 215) 2024 ATH | Toms River North | Prior rank: 40 (-3) | 2024 class rank: 20 | Signed to Stanford on Dec. 20 What more is there to say about NJ.

com’s Player of the Year? Ford has meant everything to Toms River North throughout his stellar career, which included dazzling plays on the hardwood where Ford also excelled due to his standout athleticism, savvy and toughness. The state’s best player is headed to Stanford where he should quickly find his way on the field whether it be at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or in the Cardinals’ secondary, which could all utilize his toolbox. Micah Ford (1) of Toms River North takes in the scene after leading the Mariners to their second straight title during the NJSIAA Group 5 football final between No.

5 Toms River North and No. 7 Passaic Tech at SHI Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ on Monday, November 27, 2023. 42.

Naiim Parrish (5-11, 170) 2025 DB | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 49 (+7) | 2025 class rank: 20 | Undecided One of the state’s most versatile athletes and biggest competitors, Parrish capped the 2023 season with third-team all-non-public honors and a state title, partly due to his knack to disrupt passing lanes. Parrish also gets down on the hardwood where you can find the ball of energy converting steals to dunks and swishing three pointers. Twelve Power Five schools, including Penn State, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia Tech, have offered the rising senior whose best ball lies ahead of him.

41. Renick Dorilas (6-0, 170) 2025 DB | Union | Prior rank: 37 (-4) | 2025 class rank: 19 | Undecided Dorilas is heating up, reaching 12 offers (after earning one from West Virginia) this month. A long, athletic cornerback who can sit in a wide receiver’s hip pocket, Dorilas is entering his final season at Union, and despite his growing list of offers, plays with a chip on his shoulder.

One of North Jersey’s top public school players, Dorilas visited Rutgers for each of the team’s home games last fall, and could continue Union’s pipeline to Piscataway if Greg Schiano gets his way. We pick back up at No. 40 with a massive lineman and Boston College signee, who helped one of North Jersey’s top up-and-coming public schools to an 8-5 record and second place finish in the Super Football Conference National Red Division, from both sides of the football.

40. Judah Pruitt (6-5, 315) 2024 DL | Malcolm X Shabazz | Prior rank: 32 (-8) | 2024 class rank: 19 | Signed to Boston College on Dec. 20 There aren’t many players who stand 6-foot-5 and weigh 315 pounds yet move like Pruitt, the Eagles commit who flipped from Rutgers last June, does.

Pruitt began playing football as a freshman in high school, but got off to a slow recruiting start despite his size, upside and tools. Coach Nazier Oliver helped connect the dots when he became Pruitt’s head coach last offseason, and Pruitt never looked back. “Coach Naz has had a big impact on me,” Pruitt said.

“When he came to the program, he got everybody right in the weight room and on the field and the guys on the team began working even harder, and I really appreciate him and coach “Brick City” Nas(ir Gaines). Judah Pruitt (58) of Shabazz celebrates during the NJSIAA Group 1 state semifinal between Shabazz and Mountain Lakes in Mountain Lakes on Friday, November 17, 2023. 39.

Omari Gaines (6-2, 175) 2025 DB | Malcolm X Shabazz | Prior rank: 31 (-8) | 2025 class rank: 18 | Committed to Penn State on March 28 Speaking of Gaines, his son and Penn State pledge, Omari, is still growing into his frame and constantly improving while morphing into one of the Northeast’s more decorated DBs. Gaines boasts long arms, legs and the twitch required for him to recover if beat off the line, while encompassing the size and willingness to also impact the run game. 38.

Cam Richardson (6-2, 185) 2024 DB | Irvington | Prior rank: 36 (-2) | 2024 class rank: 18 | Signed to Stanford on Dec. 20 Richardson began to fill out before ending his illustrious career at Irvington after beginning it at St. Peter’s Prep, where he first showcased his range, causing the offers to roll in.

His 40 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two picks and one pick-six was part of the reason why now-retired coach Ashley Pierre’s defense was one of the stingiest units in North Jersey last year. 37. Jermaine Kinsler (6-7, 262) 2026 DL | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: Debut | 2026 class rank: 3 | Undecided Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 262 pounds, Kinsler has a leg up on most high school sophomore football players throughout the country.

But it’s not just his size at a young age, 16, which separates the blue-chip recruit from his peers. He’s big, can run, comes from a strong football pedigree, and is destined to be one of the premiere two-sport athletes in the Northeast. Despite his 19 college offers, New Jersey’s next big thing has barely scratched the surface of his recruitment.

Jermaine Kinsler (88) of Bergen Catholic draws a holding penalty against Christian Alvarez (66) of St. Joseph (Mont. ) as he tries to run down Patrick Grusser (8) during the football game between No.

1 Bergen Catholic and No. 2 St. Joseph (Mont.

) at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, NJ on Sunday, October 15, 2023. 36. Marquet Dorsey Jr.

(6-1, 180) 2025 DB | DePaul | Prior rank: Debut | 2025 class rank: 17 | Undecided A big cornerback who can cover smaller receivers and also set the edge, Dorsey has quickly morphed into one of the region’s top DBs, collecting offers from the University of Florida, Penn State, Stanford, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pitt, Maryland, Duke, Arizona State, Boston College, and others since injecting himself into New Jersey’s recruiting scene last May. A junior, Dorsey transferred from Don Bosco to DePaul midseason and will play out his career in Wayne as a Spartan under Nick Campanile and staff. 35.

Luke Wafle (6-4, 240) 2026 DL | The Hun School | Prior rank: The Next 25 | 2026 class rank: 2 | Undecided Luke, who has eight offers and is the brother of Michigan commit Owen Wafle, added offers from Penn State, Oklahoma, Pitt and Illinois last week, one from the Wolverines on Tuesday, and might be the top player from New Jersey in his class. Not only can he rush the passer and stop the run, but Luke can be seen carrying the ball behind the Hun’s massive offensive line, and blowing past defenders when teammates Kamar Archie and Chase Enlow — Division 1 running backs — get a blow. 34.

Braswell Thomas (6-2, 185) 2025 WR | Lower Cape May Regional | Prior rank: 28 (-6) | 2025 class rank: 16 | Undecided A man among boys on any field he sets foot on, Thomas is just bigger, faster and stronger than all of of his counterparts in South Jersey, and is better than his offer list, which features Georgia, Penn State, Tennessee, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt. Which says a lot about the big, agile, sure-handed pass catcher-slash-hard-hitting DB. 33.

Kole Briehler (6-3, 250) 2025 DL | The Hun School | Prior rank: 33 (No change) | 2025 class rank: 15 | Undecided Shades of upperclassman teammate and Notre Dame-turned-Michigan defensive line pledge Owen Wafle (who is ranked higher up this list), Briehler is twitchy, athletic and can dunk a basketball off of two feet minus a running start. He’s powerful and packs enough size to play in the Power Five trenches, leading to 20 offers for the rising senior, including USC, Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, Boston College, Pitt, and Syracuse, among others. 32.

Juan Minaya (6-6, 335) 2024 OL | Paramus Catholic | Prior rank: 29 (-3) | 2024 class rank: 17 | Signed to the University of Miami on Dec. 20 Minaya picked the Miami Hurricanes on April 18, 2023, four days after an unofficial visit which showed him what the school and famous city have to offer. Minaya, who also throws the discus and shot put during track and field season, kept his pledge despite taking official visits to Duke and Maryland before returning to Miami for his official visit on June 23.

Ole Miss, Florida, Penn State, Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, Boston College, Maryland, West Virginia, Syracuse and Pitt also offered the large developmental prospect with upside. 31. Ta’Ron Haile (6-1, 180) 2024 WR | Millville | Prior rank: 33 (+2) | 2024 class rank: 16 | Signed to Syracuse on Dec.

20 A second-team, All-Group-4 selection last month, Haile might be the most college-ready wide receiver from New Jersey’s outgoing senior class. He’s big, fast, sudden and plucks the ball out of the air with sure hands. Although quiet by nature, Haile let’s his play do the talking for him .

. . to the tune of 40 catches for 650 yards, five scores and a 10-2 record for the Thunderbolts, which beat rival Vineland, 65-0, at home during their annual Thanksgiving week game last fall.

The 30th-ranked recruit, born and raised in Canada yet blazing his trail on U. S. soil, will shift from one of the top preparatory high schools in the world to Badger land.

30. Raphael Dunn (6-4, 210) 2024 S | The Lawrenceville School | Prior rank: 23 (-7) | 2024 class rank: 15 | Signed to Wisconsin on Dec. 20 Dunn stands 6-4, 210 pounds and runs a 4.

7-second laser-timed 40-yard dash, leading to Power Five offers from Rutgers, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin, where he committed on June 11 following his official visit to Madison. Dunn began playing Canadian-style football as a youth, spending most downs at linebacker, honing his physicality. He transitioned to deep safety later in his career — “we call it striker here” — and seeks contact, making him a unique DB, true to his roots.

29. Ryan Ward (6-3, 240) 2024 TE | Rutherford | Prior rank: The Next 25 | 2024 class rank: 14 | Signed to UNC on Dec. 20 A large, playmaking pass-catcher, who picked the Tar Heels over offers from Alabama, West Virginia, Duke, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Georgia Tech, and Boston College last April, Ward is more than an extra blocker.

He’s a matchup nightmare and elite redzone threat who can also help teams convert third downs. 28. Jordan Thomas (6-0, 175) 2026 DB | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 34 (+6) | 2026 class rank: 1 | Undecided Crusaders coach Vito Campanile compares sophomore Jordan Thomas to Syracuse safety Jaeden Gould, who he also coached, due to his “professional approach to football,” and says that Thomas could be the best DB to don a Crusaders jersey by time he takes his last high school snap.

Thomas got busy proving his coach right last fall, despite being a sophomore, making key plays in Bergen’s biggest games and cementing himself as one the the state’s most clutch defenders. 27. Sah’nye Degraffenreidt (6-0, 185) 2025 WR | Atlantic City | Prior rank: Debut | 2025 class rank: 14 | Undecided Wide receiver or outside linebacker? Take your pick.

It doesn’t matter. Whatever role the junior from AC adopts that day will help him showcase why locals line up each week to watch him play. Degraffenreidt has good balance and power, can hang in the air, and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field, leading to 16 offers, including Georgia, Penn State, Michigan, South Carolina, West Virginia, Duke, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Pitt, Maryland and Rutgers, while closing in on two classmates and longtime heralded pass catchers.

26. Dez Jones (6-0, 175) 2025 WR | DePaul | Prior rank: 26 (No change) | 2025 class rank: 13 | Undecided Few are as natural pass catchers as Dez Jones who has been running routes and plucking the ball out of thin air since a young child, and who can catch passes with a blindfold covering his and his hands tied behind his back. No, not literally, but Jones is so good that anyone who has seen him run the numbers up in Wayne would believe that.

25. Michael Thomas III (6-1, 190) 2025 WR | Donovan Catholic | Prior rank: 25 (No change) | 2025 class rank: 12 | Undecided One of the hardest working high school receivers in N. J.

, Thomas has elite feet, track speed, strong hands, a deceptive frame, and crafty approach to pass catching which has earned him four-star ratings from ESPN, 247Sports and On3. He runs a 10. 76-second 100 and is an explosive long-jumper which helps him outrun and Moss DBs while added bulk has made him tough to bring down, or beat on 50-50 balls.

24. Lotzeir Brooks (5-8, 170) 2025 WR | Millville | Prior rank: 22 (-2) | 2025 class rank: 11 | Undecided Brooks has been making plays since he first stepped foot on the practice field in Millville heading into his freshman year. A 5-foot-8 wide receiver with blazing speed, ball skills and sticky hands, Brooks is impossible to cover one-on-one.

His quickness allows him to cook from the slot while he boasts the long speed to beat teams vertically, over the top. Penn State, Texas A&M, Georgia, Arkansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Kentucky, Rutgers, Boston College, Louisville and Syracuse have entered the Brooks sweepstakes as year four loads. 23.

DeShawn Stewart Jr. (6-2, 185) 2025 CB | DePaul | Prior rank: Debut | 2025 class rank: 10 | Undecided A big cornerback who can disrupt routes and strike zones with his long arms and sneaky timing, and neutralize opponents’ top pass catchers, Deshawn Stewart is a big deal with an offer list, including Ohio State, Penn State, Texas, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Syracuse and six other Power Five schools, to match. He projects inside at safety and at corner due to his range and elite man-to-man coverage.

Stewart made 56 tackles last fall while his 19 pass break-ups were easily a team best. Penn State recruit DeShawn Stewart visits before the 31-0 win over Iowa in the Whiteout on Sept. 23, 2023.

Joe Hermitt | jhermitt@pennlive. com 22. Jayden Elijah (6-7, 270) 2025 OL | Matawan Regional | Prior rank: 20 (-2) | 2025 class rank: 9 | Undecided Although his future burns brightest on the gridiron, where he spends his falls, Jayden Elijah is a part-time hooper who rebounds and blocks shots while his large frame is near-impossible to stop near the rim.

Georgia, Michigan, Texas A&M, Florida State, Penn State, Nebraska and Rutgers are some of the Power Five schools hoping to get Elijah around their trainers who would love nothing more than to mold an elite lump of clay into an all-conference-level tackle in college. 21. Aidan Lynch (6-7, 280) 2024 OL | Mount Olive | Prior rank: 17 (-4) | 2024 class rank: 13 | Signed to Virginia Tech on Dec.

20 A first-team, all-state selection as a senior last fall, who grew five inches between his sophomore and junior years, Lynch pledged to Virginia Tech on June 12, and stuck with the Hokies over late efforts from Vanderbilt and Georgia — the first Power Five program to offer the future right tackle. Ultimately, Lynch chose Blacksburg over 25 other college towns, including those surrounding the University of Georgia, Penn State, Michigan State, Boston College, Nebraska, Pitt, Stanford, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and over a dozen others. The Top 20 New Jersey’s top 20 high school football recruits are all being courted nationally and will be looked upon to help their college teams immediately, beginning with a bouncy, two-sport star, who has shown elite flashes on the field and hardwood throughout his diverse high school career.

20. Jaylan Hornsby (6-2, 195) 2024 WR | Winslow Township | Prior rank: 8 (-12) | 2024 class rank: 12 | Signed to Syracuse on Dec. 20 While “climbing the ladder and going to get the ball” are Hornsby’s greatest tools — which he honed on the hardwood — Hornsby has grown in other areas of the gridiron game.

“He’s somebody who can play inside in the slot, he can play outside,” said Winslow Township coach Bill Belton. “Your slant routes, your big-box fades, your post routes, he can do it all. His best days of playing football are ahead of him as he continues to develop, but he’s special.

Once you get your hands on him, you can mold him into what you need him to be. ” 19. Yasin Willis (6-0, 220) 2024 RB | St.

Joseph (Montvale) | Prior rank: 13 (-6) | 2024 class rank: 11 | Signed to Syracuse on Dec. 20 There is no tougher runner in New Jersey than Willis, the 19th-ranked player in the Top 50, who goes to war each weekend during the fall. Willis doesn’t care about his press clippings, number of offers, doing interviews or anything like that.

He loves to pound the rock and carry his team through his physical style of play, and with his leadership and fearlessness, leading to Power Five offers from Rutgers, Penn State, Pitt, Michigan, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, West Virginia and Syracuse, which gained his pledge after wooing the four-star and his family last month. Yasin Willis (6) of St. Joseph (Mont.

) after scoring a touchdown during the football game between No. 1 Bergen Catholic and No. 2 St.

Joseph (Mont. ) at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, NJ on Sunday, October 15, 2023. 18.

Cameron Miller (5-11, 170) 2025 WR | Winslow Township | Prior rank: 21 (+3) | 2025 class rank: 8 | Undecided In 2023, Miller proved to be one of the state’s all-time best wide receivers throughout a historical year which saw him set the record books on fire. Miller caught 57 passes for 1,334 yards and 15 touchdowns, setting single-season program records for yards and TD receptions with an extra year to put his career totals out of reach. Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia and Penn State are four of the 20-plus offers the four-star will choose from.

17. Owen Wafle (6-3, 290) 2024 DL | The Hun School | Prior rank: 14 (-3) | 2024 class rank: 10 | Signed to Michigan on Dec. 20 It feels like Wafle has occupied a spot in the Top 50 forever.

Well, that’s because he has. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder boasts freak strength and explosion that helps him dominate inside despite sometimes giving up size. Wafle flipped to the University of Michigan on July 11, less than two months after claiming the Irish on May 24.

Owen Wafle (32) of Hun chases down Merritt Fisher (7) of Peddie for a sack and caused a fumble during the football game between Peddie and Hun at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ on Saturday, October 28, 2023. 16. Gabriel Winowich (6-0, 215) 2024 RB | Notre Dame | Prior rank: 10 (-6) | 2024 class rank: 9 | Signed to Rutgers on Dec.

20 Winowich, and his balance, power and elite metrics, should bring a change of pace to Rutgers’ running back room considering the third-team all-state defender doesn’t shift to defense. The Rutgers commit ran for 1,161 yards and 15 touchdowns in just eight games (after missing the start of the season due to NJSIAA transfer rules) and was just as impactful on the edge. 15.

Darren Ikinnagbon (6-5, 225) 2025 DL | Hillside | Prior rank: Debut | 2025 class rank: 7 | Undecided Big, fast and strong, there is no shortage of suitors for Hillside’s blue chip edge with 20 offers that he didn’t begin fielding until October. Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Penn State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame are some of Ikinnagbon’s most notable offers heading into his final high school campaign. 14.

Jahmir Joseph (6-1, 180) 2025 DB | St. Joseph (Montvale) | Prior rank: 18 (+4) | 2025 class rank: 6 | Undecided A high-energy player with bounce on the hardwood, and a four-star recruit with a national offer list for football, Joseph is one of New Jersey’s top athletes, who holds offers from Georgia, Penn State, Rutgers, Duke, Syracuse and Boston College, among others. Joseph has good size and can outrun his peers.

He is instinctive and a ball hawk with good technique who projects as a big cornerback or safety in college. A rising senior, Joseph was named first-team, all-non-public on D, and is one of the region’s most highly-touted DBs. 13.

Jaelyne Matthews (6-6, 290) 2025 OL | Toms River North | Prior rank: 15 (+1) | 2025 class rank: 5 | Decommitted from PSU on Sept. 12 Matthews is the prototype: a tall, athletic four-star offensive tackle and All-American, who doubles as a defensive tackle for New Jersey’s defending Group 5 state champions. Matthews reopened his recruitment on Sept.

12 after committing to Penn State in January, and reengaged with over a dozen schools. Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and USF have offered since then, while Matthews dropped by the University of Georgia and Rutgers in September. 12.

Malachi Goodman (6-5, 315) 2025 OL | Paramus Catholic | Prior rank: 38 (+25) | 2025 class rank: 4 | Undecided There isn’t a hotter high recruit in New Jersey than Paramus Catholic junior offensive tackle Malachi Goodman, who jumped 25 spots since the last update, and who has been offered by Penn State, Duke, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Rutgers, South Carolina, Pitt, Georgia, West Virginia, USC, Florida, Illinois and Ohio State since Oct. 11. Rutgers faces the country’s top football factories and NIL leaders in competing for Goodman, who is raw but beams upside.

11. Nyier Daniels (6-8, 380) 2024 OL | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 6 (-6) | 2024 class rank: 8 | Signed to Georgia on Dec. 20 A U.

S. Army All-American, Daniels is a large developmental linemen with the tools required to mold into a starter in the SEC. A two-year starter and three-time state champion in Oradell, Daniels will join his fellow Bulldogs this year, where he will prep to play on Sundays.

The Top 10 10. D. J.

McClary (6-1, 210) 2025 LB | Henry Snyder | Prior rank: 16 (+6) | 2025 class rank: 3 | Committed to Penn State on Sept. 24 Few players in the state can run and hit like McClary, who has elite movement skills, a national offer list, and is a heat seeking missile when tracking the football. Oh, and he’s just as good on offense.

His options include Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech, Duke, Boston College, Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Syracuse and in-state Rutgers, but he settled on James Franklin and the Nittany Lions on Sept. 24. 9.

Kamar Archie (6-2, 230) 2025 LB | The Hun School | Prior rank: 3 (-6) | 2025 class rank: 2 | Undecided Heading into the offseason, Archie was already the most college-ready defender from New Jersey in his class. That was before the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder linebacker-slash-runner could squat 495 pounds three times, or broad jump 10-6, which he can do now. Running backs and QBs best have their heads on a swivel when Archie, who boasts a national offer list, maturity most kids his age don’t have, and a five-star skillset.

Kamar Archie (3) of Hun during the football game between Peddie and Hun at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ on Saturday, October 28, 2023. 8. Emanuel Ross (6-2, 3190) 2024 ATH | Red Bank Catholic | Prior rank: 11 (-6) | 2024 class rank: 7 | Signed to Syracuse from on Dec.

20 after flipping from Stanford Ross, who flipped from Stanford where he first pledged on June 7 to Syracuse on Dec. 13 during a trip to the school, caught 48 passes for 718 yards and 11 touchdowns, and finished his three-year varsity career with 92 grabs for 1,616 yards and 26 scores. Usually the best player on each field he set foot on, Ross improved each year, morphing into one of the region’s top two-way recruits.

His 20 offers include Florida State, Penn State, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Illinois, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and West Virginia. 7. A.

J. Surace (6-2, 210) 2024 QB | Notre Dame | Prior rank: 9 (+2) | 2024 class rank: 6 | Signed to Rutgers on Dec. 20 Surace was so good this year and had a good enough team around him that he didn’t have to go as deep in his bag as each week as he would if he didn’t.

Still, the Rutgers quarterback signee stacked great games on other great games, showcasing an added does of athleticism and a level of efficiency reserved for the country’s best quarterbacks. Greg Schiano is getting a good one. AJ Surace (1) of Notre Dame scores on his second long touchdown run of the fourth quarter during the football game between Nottingham and Notre Dame at Nottingham High School in Hamilton, NJ on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

6. Vaboue Toure (6-0, 195) 2024 DB | Irvington | Prior rank: 2 (-4) | 2024 class rank: 5 | Signed to Penn State on Dec. 20 Vaboue Toure could always look around the field and feel the cover of other older Power Five skill players around him — including his older brother, Famah, who is a rising sophomore at Rutgers — which provided him the comfort to stay within himself, play his role, and benefit from the attention those guys received to make plays.

Last fall, Toure became the undisputed leader of Irvington’s usually talent-rich team, but there was less to lean on. Hence, Toure took his game to a new level, including playing running back, to supplement what the Blue Knights needed, resulting in a U. S.

Army All-American selection. “He’s doing it all for us, right now,” said ex-Irvington football coach Ashley Pierre in September. “He’s playing on the backend as the leader at the safety position.

We’ve got some situations where he is playing the nickel or star position. We’ve got him in some offensive sets. As we start going down the journey of the season that will come into play even more.

” 5. Jaylen McClain (6-1, 185) 2024 S | Seton Hall Prep | Prior rank: 5 (No change) | 2024 class rank: 4 | Signed to Ohio State on Dec. 20 An Ohio State Buckeye, McClain is as solid a player as there is in-state.

A traffic director in the secondary and hard tackler who has long anchored the Pirates’ defense, McClain ends his Pirates career with a first-team all-state selection, after adding 126 tackles to his whopping career total. A first-time captain last fall and model of efficiency, McClain projects to play boundary cornerback, field corner, boundary safety and field cornerback, and is one of the country’s most heralded DBs. Jaylen McClain (8) of Seton Hall Prep drops back in coverage during the football game between No.

18 Seton Hall Prep and No. 1 Bergen Catholic at Brendan P. Tevlin Field at Kelly Athletic Complex in West Orange, NJ on Saturday, September 16, 2023.

4. Jordan Thomas (6-5, 325) 2024 DL | Don Bosco Prep | Prior rank: 7 (+3) | 2024 class rank: 3 | Signed to Georgia on Dec. 20 Some things you just can’t teach, like being 6-foot-5, weighing 325 pounds and being able to move like your hair is on fire.

Thomas is still raw, but improved throughout his time in Ramsey, and heads to Athens where the plan is to morph into one of the nation’s best three-techniques. Jordan Thomas (97) of Don Bosco Prep in action against Pope John during the football Non-Public A first round at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, NJ on Saturday, November 4 2024. 3.

Miles O’Neill (6-5, 225) 2024 QB | The Hun School | Prior rank: 19 (+16) | 2024 class rank: 2 | Signed to Texas A&M on Dec. 20 New Jersey’s 2024 Gatorade Player of the Year and MAPL Offensive Player of the Year after passing for 2,151 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 72 percent of his throws, O’Neill combined his prowess on the field with good deeds off of it — he’s youth basketball coach who works with the homeless and Special Olympics — making 2024 a productive year. He also led the Hun School to an 8-1 record and the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship before heading to Aggieland.

Hun head coach Todd Smith goes over the play call with Miles O'Neill (2) during the football game between Peddie and Hun at The Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ on Saturday, October 28, 2023. 2. Kaj Sanders (6-1, 180) 2024 ATH | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 4 (+2) | 2024 class rank: 1 | Signed to Rutgers on Dec.

20 A four-star recruit with over 20 scholarship offers, Kaj Sanders is as real as they come – a humble competitor and heart and soul of Bergen’s offense and defense, who displayed his full repertoire in 2023. Sanders, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in addition to being the deepest of the deep, almost singlehandedly took over against rival St. Joseph Regional and was the biggest reason for the win that day.

Then there was the Non-Public A championship game at MetLife Stadium versus Delbarton where the senior, originally from Matawan and now Colonia, closed the show. “It was like, ‘Enough is enough, give me the ball,” his father, LaQuan, said. “Then in the third quarter, they gave him the ball, we scored and went on to win the championship.

” Kaj Sanders (1) of Bergen Catholic leaps over Johnny Riley (7) of Delbarton as Tyler DaSilva (6) makes the tackle during the second half of the NJSIAA Non-Public A State Championship football game between Delbarton and Bergen Catholic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on 11/28/23. Bergen Catholic won, 24-14, its third striaght state championship. 1.

Quincy Porter (6-3, 195) 2025 WR | Bergen Catholic | Prior rank: 1 (No change) | 2025 class rank: 1 | Undecided Still a junior, Porter began the recruiting cycle as New Jersey’s top dog and he will end it the same way after earning NJ. com’s Offensive Player of the Year award due to an offensive outburst that would make Randy Moss proud — 53 receptions for 1,107 yards and 19 scores. On a national team versus top national competition each week, Porter dazzled on-lookers and befuddle opposing coaches who stacked resources to slow him down, helping Porter’s teammates shine.

The Crusaders, who lost one game in 2023 are won its third-straight sectional title, are New Jersey’s team of teams and Porter is your favorite recruit’s favorite recruit, due to his God-given gifts, humble nature and drive to continually improve. The Crusaders go one and two in this year’s Top 50, proving how big a talent gap the school has dug between itself and the rest of the Big Six. .

By Todderick Hunt | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
·
Filed 01.27.2024

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