football Edit

Gorney's Takeaways: 24K 7-on-7

ORLANDO, Fla. - Wearing a burnt orange Texas windbreaker and throwing in unusually chilly weather even for this time of year in central Florida, KJ Lacey was having fun Saturday night at the 24K 7-on-7 workout.

The 2025 high four-star quarterback from Saraland, Ala., committed to the Longhorns in June during his second visit to Austin and he could be the future signal-caller in Austin for coach Steve Sarkisian who must be salivating at the ways he could use Lacey in that offense.



UNDER ARMOUR GAME WEEK: Rumor Mill | Myles Graham is Florida 'through and through' | Oregon's persistence, stability won out for Jeremiah McClellan | Ellis Robinson reading to work | Recruits weigh in on impact of transfer portal | Prospects share weirdest recruiting pitches | Media day interviews | All-Lobby Team | Players discuss the good and bad about recruiting | Storylines to follow | DJ Lagway talks Florida | Bussey recruitment still wide open | Cam Coleman on his Auburn flip | Ryan Williams is down to three


Coming off a junior season where he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,448 yards with 42 touchdowns and eight picks and ran for five more scores, Lacey was impressive at the 24K event throwing the deep ball accurately, throwing for different arm angles and showing an incredible ease at the position.

The ball pops off his hand in a Bryce Young kind of way. Young had incredible timing and seemed to magical anticipation on the field so while Lacey might not be there yet, it’s pretty close and that comparison is not hyperbolic. The difference is that Lacey is a little taller and might get the ball out even a little faster.

Texas is getting a really good one in Lacey, who said the idea is for the Longhorns to go from Quinn Ewers, to Arch Manning, to him. That’s quite the trio if things play out that way as Lacey looks locked in with his commitment.

But others are coming.

Alabama has told Lacey that it will not go down easily and it won’t let an in-state player of his talent leave home without a fight. Five-star receiver and Saraland teammate Ryan Williams is committed in this class to the Crimson Tide although Auburn and Texas are trying to flip him.

Lacey is also being heavily pursued by Auburn but that seems like a longer shot. Oregon is making a newer push for the 2025 four-star quarterback so that could be something to monitor as well among others.

For Lacey’s part, he’s saying the multiple trips to Alabama and Auburn this season were because he wanted to see good games, join some friends and be a kid who only gets the recruiting process once.

Can anyone - especially Alabama - flip him? Seems unlikely right now but those teams are certainly not going to stop trying.




Daylyn Upshaw
Daylyn Upshaw (

... Tennessee is the team in the lead for Dillon Alfred as the 2025 four-star receiver from Saraland loves the offense under coach Josh Heupel and he also has a very strong relationship with position coach Kelsey Pope. The Volunteers have been out in front for a while and while it’s early that could be too much to overcome. But Missouri should definitely be watched here. Alfred said the Tigers are definitely moving up in his recruitment and they have the best shot of unseating Tennessee at the top especially after their impressive season. A visit to Columbia is expected in January.

... The Auburn sweatshirt was noticeable and it’s no secret the Tigers are considered one of the early front-runners for Daylyn Upshaw. The 2025 receiver from Phenix City (Ala.) Central was a teammate of five-star Auburn receiver signee Cam Coleman so reuniting less than an hour up the road could be something to watch. Florida State, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Cincinnati are others to watch.

... Jaelen Waters has eight offers now but the 2026 cornerback from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood is going to have a whole lot more. The 6-foot-2 cornerback was excellent in coverage during the 1-on-1 session of Saturday’s workout and it’s clear he will have many high-end SEC programs knocking down his door in the coming years. Penn State position coach Terry Smith has jumped out early making an impression with Waters but there will be real competition here.