Recruiting Rumor Mill: Chatter from the OT7 Phoenix regional
MESA, Ariz. - Many of the top prospects and 7-on-7 teams converged here for the OT7 Phoenix regional and there was a tremendous amount of recruiting news coming out of the event as well. Here’s the latest on what we’re hearing from the event.
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The four-star linebacker from Belleville, Mich., will be at Michigan on Tuesday and the Wolverines definitely look strong in his recruitment since he loves the defense, loves how their linebackers play and he talks with the staff there three or four times per week.
Michigan State is also very high on the list even after a struggle this past season because Beasley saw what coach Mel Tucker did in Year 1 and he likes that staff a lot.
Illinois is another program to watch as he is very high on that program especially after the year the Illini just finished.
It’s still early for the 2025 four-star quarterback from Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon so Becker won’t rush any decisions but a Midwest swing could be coming soon as he wants to see Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan.
Becker is also looking at trips to Oregon, Stanford and Washington soon. Arizona State and TCU are two other programs to watch early on because both coaching staffs have been coming hard after him.
Recent visits to Florida State and LSU went really well for the current three-star receiver from Phenix City (Ala.) Central as FSU coach Mike Norvell and Tigers position coach Cortez Hankton paid particular attention to him.
Those two programs along with Penn State have made big impressions on Coleman but a big return visit to Auburn is coming up. Coleman has not been there yet to meet the new coaching staff but he’s going soon. With campus less than an hour from his house – and the new staff so pass-friendly – the Tigers could be the team to watch.
His brother, Tre’Quon, already plays at Alabama and a recent visit back to Tuscaloosa for Fegans went really well as the Crimson Tide are one of the early front-runners. But LSU is pushing hard as well and that trip was great, too. What the 2025 four-star safety from Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson loves about Alabama is that he knows he’s surrounded by champions when he’s there and that has significant pull. But his LSU visit was one of the best he’s ever been on and he’s hit it off with coach Brian Kelly and others.
Trips to Georgia, Oregon, Colorado and possibly Ole Miss are coming up
The 2025 four-star defensive back from Atlanta (Ga.) Douglass has been committed to Ohio State since the summer and his relationship there especially with assistant coach Tim Walton remains strong. But there is significant pressure from two SEC programs to flip him.
Gilbert wore Tennessee gloves at the OT7 event and the Vols are coming on very strong. Georgia is trying to make a move with the 2025 prospect who projects as a safety at the next level. A visit to Alabama is coming up, too.
Arkansas and Nebraska are the two early standouts for the 2025 four-star defensive back from Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Siegel but his recruitment could really take off as more colleges see the long and athletic defensive back.
The Razorbacks stand out mainly because of Grant’s relationship with Marcus Woodson, who hasn’t sugarcoating anything with the four-star – which Grant appreciates. The idea of building something special again at Nebraska and Grant’s budding relationship with first-year coach Matt Rhule makes the Huskers stand out.
The 2025 four-star quarterback from Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County had an outstanding visit to Alabama recently where he hit it off with new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and also familiarized himself with other coaches there as well.
The Crimson Tide could be quickly moving up the list especially as the word is Georgia has slowed down a little on Hill. Other schools seriously involved include Clemson, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Florida.
Tennessee could be the program to watch for the Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside standout since he’s been there numerous times and he’s going back April 1. More importantly, he’s hit it off with basically the entire coaching staff including Willie Martinez, Tim Banks, Josh Heupel and others. That will play a big factor when it’s time to decide.
The four-star safety also likes Auburn a whole lot and believes coach Hugh Freeze and his staff are building something special there. Jones has a close bond with assistant Zac Etheridge.
But don’t count out Florida State because the hiring of Patrick Surtain is huge to Jones because, “That’s my guy.” The four-star is also visiting Alabama soon and an offer from the Tide would change everything since that was one of his dream schools.
Ohio State looks far-and-away ahead for the three-star defensive back from Chandler (Ariz.) Basha as he’s been there multiple times and has a couple more trips planned to Columbus soon.
A recent visit to Colorado intrigued Lockhart and should be monitored with Oregon and Utah as the other programs in the mix. He especially likes how those two Pac-12 programs develop cornerbacks and he’s close with Cole Martin, who signed with the Ducks in 2023.
Visits to Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama are coming up for the five-star athlete from Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview as the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs have been mainstays in his recruitment. Matthews loves the championship culture at each and Tennessee is moving up fast ever since he visited this past season.
Matthews was at Tennessee’s win over the Crimson Tide and since then he has built an even stronger relationship with that staff so it’s something to watch. Clemson is also a player here since he has great ties to that coaching staff but the SEC programs are the most in focus now.
Tennessee and Georgia have caught Olugbode’s eye the most early in his recruitment as the 2025 four-star receiver loves the winning culture at Georgia and the pass-happy offense at Tennessee so both of those programs should stay high as things continue. The Chicago native will visit Notre Dame though and the word is his family would love to see him play for the Irish. A trip to Colorado should also happen soon.
The four-star receiver from Gray (Ga.) Jones County still has a bunch of schools involved and it’s hard to get a great grasp on things but Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida are the schools mentioned most.
Ragins has hit it off with the Oklahoma staff and wants to take an official there along with Tennessee and Florida State. Georgia is close to home and he has connections on that staff as well.
Dawgs lock? Probably not. But Ragins is keeping us guessing.
The only visit the five-star receiver has planned right now is to Ohio State in April and his commitment remains firm as he looks at the recent history and production of other receivers playing in Columbus. He also played with fellow five-stars Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate on South Florida Express and that could be significant as well. Plus, he loves position coach Brian Hartline.
Georgia is making the strongest and most aggressive push right now as position coach Bryan McClendon is working on getting Smith to Athens for an official visit this offseason.
The four-star athlete from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson has been committed to LSU since the summer and this past weekend he said he “loves LSU” but that he also wants to see other schools before wrapping things up.
Those trips will start soon with Texas, USC and Alabama. Getting to Oklahoma is also a priority as the Sooners look to flip him and could be the most aggressive school in his recruitment now.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh spurning the NFL to return to Ann Arbor plus the fact that Ron Bellamy is “my guy” means the Wolverines are going to remain very high for the four-star receiver from Bolingbrook, Ill., and could be tough to beat.
But Cal and Tennessee are intriguing to him along with Miami. Wisconsin could be a team to watch especially since the coaching staff there has laid out a plan to Stewart to throw the ball a whole lot more.
Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern and Wisconsin are the four visits coming up for the 2025 high four-star receiver and the Irish and Badgers could have the best chance with him now. Taylor loves the coaching staff in South Bend, the education at Notre Dame and how the staff is focused on building character.
He’s intrigued by the new-look Wisconsin offense, which should throw the ball a lot more. But a decision is not expected soon as Taylor has been invited to Alabama and Georgia this summer, and wants to do that to see where those schools could be in his recruitment.
Trader said any idea that Miami is the front-runner in his recruitment has been misconstrued and while the Hurricanes are recruiting him the hardest and he’s very high on that program, he will consider other among his top group.
The five-star receiver wore a Florida State towel over the weekend as the Seminoles are a contender along with Ohio State, Florida and Georgia. Miami is very much in the game but he has not yet talked with new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson yet.