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Florida Rumor Mill: Sunshine State standouts close out June visits

Hylton Stubbs
Hylton Stubbs

The final official visit weekend of the busy month of June has come and gone and naturally, there were moves made and more clarity provided from the best in the state of Florida. National Recruiting Analyst John Garcia Jr. sorts through some of the biggest news in the state going into the dead period.

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RUMOR MILL: June visits end as major camps spin up

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Four official visits in a few short weeks are in the books for one of the most explosive recruits nationally and Brown tells Rivals he is going straight into evaluation mode. Miami, Florida, Florida State and Ohio State make up the top group for the Floridian, but the Gators and Seminoles getting the last two official visits feel relatively telling in this one. A source says it won't be easy pulling Brown out of the state and the buzz for Florida hit an apex after that visit. Before that point, it was potentially Florida State out in front by a small margin, so did Mike Norvell and company make up the ground over the weekend?

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A long list of programs had hosted Carter for official visits but there was something completely different at Miami, the program he calls "the best recruiting program" in the country. The weekend stop offered a down-shift of a visit compared to the jam-packed trips he had been on previously, seeing Florida, UCF, Ohio State and Penn State. It reemphasized how tough it may be to pull Carter out of the Sunshine State in the end with local Florida and Florida State also in pursuit. Carter has a commitment date set for July 18.

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Long down to local Miami and longtime contender Georgia, the Bulldogs got the final official visit of the process and reiterated why the program has long been in the thick of it for Ewald. Georgia presents the pinnacle of the sport and it's something he can see himself buying into, though that local pull from Miami has never been emphasized more closer to home. Ewald got more clarity over the weekend and should go public with his pick between the two on June 27.

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The news many in Tallahassee had been waiting for came through on Sunday, as Hilson said he is shutting things down and plans to stick with the Seminoles despite varied pushes from other programs. Following trips to Florida and especially Texas over the last several weeks, Hilson was admitting the race for his signature was more up in the air. Florida State got the last visit, over the weekend, and locked the No. 1 weakside defensive end after sitting him down and detailing the plan for him once he's on campus for good.

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The four-star linebacker has been flirting with several SEC programs -- Auburn, Ole Miss and Oklahoma -- and each trip to those parts of the country captured his attention to the point there was real worry about his longstanding Miami commitment. Coming out of spending the weekend in Coral Gables, however, changed the entire narrative and Melendez says he is "100 percent" a Hurricane and plans on sticking with the program, even staying in town on his own dime going into the week. Many programs have inquired about official visits during the fall, and Auburn was expecting a return trip in late July, so if he is truly done with visits elsewhere it will be bigger news for the Hurricanes as the season draws near.

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Penn State has been a sneaky contender for the speedy wideout, originally from Rhode Island, and it got the last official visit out of him over the weekend. Florida has been billed as somewhat of a heavy favorite going into the trip, so it was all about closing the gap for James Franklin's program. We hear it was a strong effort and Montgomery could slow the final step in making a decision in the coming weeks. If he does not, it would be a slight upset to see him pick a program outside of Gainesville.

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The big-bodied wide receiver from South Florida is closing in on a commitment, per a source, expected to go down this week between top contenders Miami, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. Trips were shuffled between the programs in the month of June and the Gators and Seminoles ended up with the final two stops on Moore's tour-- where each made a standout impression. Some local say he has long wanted to leave South Florida for his college football, so going into the decision it looks like the Gators and Seminoles are in the best shape to pick up one of the most intriguing pass catchers in the class.

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The top-ranked outside linebacker in the country is fresh off of several official visits, with Michigan hosting him over the weekend, and the Wolverines are a new player in this recruitment. Following the trip, Owusu-Boateng hinted publicly at some big news dropping soon, which is rarely bad news for the program having just hosted him on campus. The Notre Dame legacy has the Irish in the thick of it and he loved his trip out to USC, so if it's a list of top programs set to drop it won't be a long one.

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USC fans are holding their breath with their top defensive commitment, and for good reason. Stubbs continued his tour closer to home with a weekend stop at Miami and he reported a better time than expected in South Florida. The Hurricanes and longtime favorite Florida each boosted momentum following official visits and as of this writing it seems a bit more likely that Stubbs ends up staying in-state than sticking with Lincoln Riley's program in the end. This recruitment won't soon be over, either.

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Down to Clemson and in-state Florida State for weeks, Thomas was back in Tallahassee over the weekend and all indication is that the Seminoles did their part for the South Florida native. It was the original favorite program of his and one of the first offers on the table last fall, so Florida State has had the advantage of time over Clemson -- which began pushing this spring. As Thomas zeroes in on a June 30 pledge, he looks like an in-state win for Norvell's bunch.

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