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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Big visits continue across the country

Brandon Inniss
Brandon Inniss (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It was another busy weekend of visits across the country, which means the Recruiting Rumor Mill has once again been kicked into high gear. Here’s all the latest.

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The rumor is Alabama is the team to beat for the Windsor (Conn.) Loomis Chafee who is originally from Finland especially after a weekend visit to Tuscaloosa that went well. Alinen wouldn’t go as far to say the Crimson Tide are the front-runners but the four-star said there is “high interest.” From the culture on and off the field to the intensity of the practice, Alinen is definitely high on Alabama.

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An offer from USC came Saturday and it moved the Trojans way up the list for the 2024 offensive lineman from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, a program that usually has a lot of players go play for the Trojans. The word is USC and Oregon are now at the top of Baker’s list and this could be a Pac-12 battle until the end for the 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle.

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Georgia has been the early leader for the 2024 four-star receiver from Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County but a visit to Michigan has Carr thinking. He loved “everything” about his trip to Ann Arbor especially how excited and energetic the entire offensive staff was to see him. The Bulldogs still have an edge but as Carr sees more schools he could widen his view as Michigan will be among his top five.

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No leaders have emerged yet for the three-star athlete from Culver (Ind.) Culver Academies especially since he’s been busy landing offers and taking visits but LSU certainly has his attention after a weekend visit. Carver loves that the new coaching staff in Baton Rouge has developed tight ends for the NFL, he loved the intensity of practice and thought the team culture was already strong. On and off the field, Carver was impressed although with about two dozen offers now there’s a whole lot more to consider.

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Conyer and his family got to spend quality time with coach Mark Stoops and assistants Vince Marrow and Chris Collins as he clearly feels like a top priority for the Wildcats. The Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren four-star athlete loves the culture in Lexington and Conyer plans to drop his top four soon. The word is Kentucky will definitely be on that list.

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Fletcher’s recruitment has felt like a battle between Miami and Penn State for a while along with others in the mix but now Michigan has made a serious move after his recent visit. The big four-star back from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage loved “every single part” of his trip to Ann Arbor from the town to the people and the coaches as he is already planning another trip there before making his decision.

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Florida and Miami were the two front-runners for the 2024 four-star athlete from Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard but he said he was looking forward to trips to Florida State and Alabama. He was in Tallahassee over the weekend and now the Seminoles absolutely join that top group as well. What stood out most to Gaskin was the interactions of the coaches and players and how much fun they were having while getting things accomplished. FSU is now one of the top teams for him.

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Oklahoma remains “still pretty strong” for the high four-star offensive tackle from Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Lee’s Summit North after he was back in Norman over the weekend to watch spring practice. He loved the intensity of the workout and the focus on perfection in everything the Sooners did. Oklahoma is right there with Michigan and others but the feeling is right now the Sooners have a slight edge.

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Florida State has felt like it has an edge for the four-star defensive tackle from Jacksonville (Fla.) Westwide and Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and others remain firmly in the mix but a new offer from Alabama changes everything. Alabama has been the dream program for him and it was really the team that made him want to be so dominant at playing football so the Crimson Tide are squarely right in the middle of things now.

“Seeing Bama be Bama made me want to play,” Hall said.

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A visit to Georgia over the weekend was Houston’s first unofficial trip and the word is that the Bulldogs set the standard “extremely high.” The 2024 high four-star defensive end from Buford, Ga., loved “everything” about the visit but especially seeing the facility and how the coaches ran practice. It’s very early and every national power should come after Houston but Georgia has the edge.

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The 2025 receiver from Pensacola (Fla.) Pensacola Catholic loved watch Georgia’s spring practice and he especially liked how the coaches operated throughout the workout as he watched closely since the Bulldogs have already offered. Howard also liked that the message was for him to consider Georgia because it needs more receivers. The word is that Tennessee still might have an edge in his early recruitment though.

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Miami coach Mario Cristobal is going to recruit the wheels off local prospects and the five-star receiver from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage got that distinct impression during his weekend trip. The message from Cristobal to Inniss was he’s trying to build Miami to what it once was and that he could be a huge addition. Even though the word is Alabama, Ohio State and USC might have an edge the Hurricanes are battling.

“I loved it,” Inniss said. “I can really see what coach Cristobal is trying to do.”

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Georgia and North Carolina are battling it out at the top with Auburn, LSU and Clemson hanging on for the Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley who is an easy four-star candidate during the next rankings release and his visit to Athens this weekend went extraordinarily well. Jarrett spent two days there and every second was useful as he got to spend time with the coaching staff and player, sit in the defensive line room, spend time with the players and do film study with them and Jarrett was appreciative that they treated him like he was already on the team. The Bulldogs have set the bar really, really high.

“Oh my God,” Jarrett said. “I loved it there.

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From coach Shane Beamer on down, Johnson was impressed by the coaching staff at South Carolina and the culture that’s being set within the program. The McDonough (Ga.) Eagle’s Landing Christian three-star cornerback also loved watching spring practice as the Gamecocks have emerged as a serious contender along with Florida, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Rutgers and LSU to name a few in his recruitment.

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The coaching staff at Michigan State stood out a ton to the 2024 three-star quarterback from Bellevue (Neb.) West and he loved how genuine and personable they were during his weekend visit. He also liked the unity among that group, got a chance to see how position coach Jay Johnson calls plays and sees a bright future in East Lansing. Michigan State, Minnesota and Missouri stand out most with trips to Minnesota, Georgia and Vanderbilt coming up and Clemson is poking around as well.

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The 2024 four-star quarterback from Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood was at Florida this weekend and loved seeing the new facility and everything the Gators have to offer under first-year coach Billy Napier and his staff. As for favorites, it’s the Gators, Stanford, South Carolina, Ohio State and Georgia Tech battling it out right now. Trips to Alabama, Ohio State and South Carolina are coming up but the Gators did make a move this weekend.

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Over the last two weekends, the four-star cornerback from Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson has visited Georgia and Florida and those two SEC programs along with Texas A&M have emerged as the main contender. At Georgia, Mitchell met with new position coach Fran Brown and that went really well. This past weekend at Florida, the four-star loved “everything” from the coaching staff to practice to the meetings. An SEC battle is in the works.

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The four-star cornerback from Waxahachie, Texas who’s been committed to Texas Tech since November is looking to visit for a practice at Texas A&M, TCU and with the Red Raiders soon. He remains a pledge but might be looking at some other programs especially with new offers from LSU and Stanford as well.

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Feeling the love and hospitality at Michigan, the 2024 four-star tight end from Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County now counts the Wolverines and Georgia as the two teams standing out most in his recruitment. The former Florida State commit loves how they envision using him in the offense and refining his skills to make him an even better player.

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The 2024 four-star defensive end from La Grange (Ill.) Lyons Township loved the openness and honesty of the players and coaches at Wisconsin and added a new offer from the Badgers over the weekend. Wisconsin could join Iowa and Michigan among the front-runners if Tuerk continues to build his relationship with coach Paul Chryst and position coach Ross Kolodziej which will be an important next step. With campus only two hours away, Wisconsin could continue to emerge as a serious contender here with other Big Ten programs.

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Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and USC are other programs that stand out to the high four-star receiver but his visit to Georgia this weekend might have set the Bulldogs apart - until he can get back on the road to see other schools. The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan prospect loved Athens and there was nothing that didn’t stand out.

“Everything,” Williams said. “It was just amazing.”

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