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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Flurry of recruiting activity to monitor

Tackett Curtis
Tackett Curtis

There is usually one Recruiting Rumor Mill per week. But so much is happening with June official visits all across the country, a second one was needed. Here’s the latest on what national recruiting director Adam Gorney is hearing from across the country:


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The 2024 five-star offensive lineman still seems in the early stages of his recruitment and getting to know programs so a visit to Tennessee this past weekend was another important step as he figures out favorites. What stood out most to the Roswell (Ga.) Centennial standout was the coaching staff in Knoxville and that’s going to be an important factor as Calhoun figures out favorites which currently consists of the Vols, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, “and more.”

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Alabama might be too tough to turn down especially with the chatter being that Collins wants to go there, his family would love him there and it’s the Crimson Tide afterall for an in-state prospect but Florida made a big impression on him and now, too, has South Carolina. The four-star defensive end from Gardendale, Ala., had a great time in Columbia, was not surprised multiple people committed during the visit and he sees why - because the feeling is that something special is being built there. Is it enough for Collins to go there? Probably unlikely but South Carolina did leave a very positive impression.

“I loved it there,” Collins said.

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The four-star linebacker from Many, La., intentionally scheduled his USC visit for this past weekend when he could get more one-on-one time with Lincoln Riley and the rest of the coaching staff and it might have moved the Trojans into the top spot of his recruitment. If not, it’s neck-and-neck with Ohio State. The USC staff spent two hours going over strength and conditioning and nutrition plans with Curtis, a big focus for him, and that went a long way as to why USC is now right in the thick of things.

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Michigan State was already a serious contender in Etta’s recruitment and the Spartans might have moved up even higher after his weekend visit especially since he thought the coaching staff were all genuine and real. That’s about as far as the Colleyville (Texas) Covenant Christian Academy four-star defensive end would go as Etta is planning to release a top three any day.

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The big selling point to Evans at Georgia this past weekend - from coach Kirby Smart to assistants Todd Monken and Bryan McClendon - is that the Bulldogs don’t have a receiver like him on their roster and that’s why he’s such a big priority. It definitely left a major impression with the four-star speedster from Converse (Texas) Judson who had previously been committed to Arkansas.

“They all made me feel like this could really be home for me,” Evans said.

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Having the opportunity to spend a weekend in Baton Rouge gave Gilbert and his parents a lot to like about LSU - as the Tigers were already a leading contender but might be separating themselves from the pack. LSU is “definitely a top school right now” as it battles Iowa, Kentucky and other Midwest programs but what he saw during his time there could give the Tigers a big edge right now.

“Everything stood out for me this weekend,” Gilbert said.

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Texas A&M is the team to beat for the five-star linebacker but the impression left by Alabama over the weekend was crucial and it was all about the culture in Tuscaloosa and how it leads to titles and getting to play in the NFL.

“You can feel it right when you walk in,” Hill said.

The Denton (Texas) Ryan standout goes to USC next and then Texas for visits but the Aggies are going nowhere and lead those programs, Oklahoma and others right now.

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Everything is starting to shape up for the four-star defensive lineman to end up at Georgia and at this point it would be a major surprise if it didn’t happen. The Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley standout might now be done with visits after being in Athens, hitting it off with the coaches and players, seeing himself being a part of the Bulldogs’ defensive line, getting a complete rundown of the academic structure and development at the school and his family loves a lot of people on the staff. It feels like this is all coming together for UGA as North Carolina, Auburn and others try to stay in the mix.

“My visit was so great because of the people there,” Jarrett said. “They treated me and my family like gold.”

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Michigan and Notre Dame could be battling it out for Love (although he also had a great recent visit to Georgia) and this past weekend he loved his time in Ann Arbor. The idea is to use him at cornerback and running back/slot which appeals to the St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers standout and the before-and-after pictures Love was shown of players by the strength and conditioning staff left a major impression as well. The Wolverines definitely left Love with a whole lot to consider now.

“They made me feel like I was already on the team with the plays they have for me,” Love said.

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The three-star receiver from Lucas (Texas) Lovejoy had an excellent time with coach Brian Kelly, position coach Cortez Hankton and others at LSU this past weekend and it could be a major selling point as his recruitment goes forward. Louisville is also high on the list with Texas and Oklahoma State but the Tigers - especially the new coaches - made a big impression and should be considered a serious contender now to land his commitment.

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Over the last few days, the top 2025 defensive back from Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day visited Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State and not only do the Wolverines and Buckeyes remain among his top schools, those two visits were the best as well. Pickett feels like he belongs in Ann Arbor and he loves the Michigan coaching staff and the “all-around family atmosphere” keeps Ohio State high on his very early list.

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Oklahoma, Texas and others have offered recently along with Oregon pushing for months but everything was reaffirmed by Purchase this past weekend at Iowa State. The Cyclones have left a big impression on the Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek four-star and another weekend in Ames definitely reminded Purchase of everything he liked about the program in the first place. Will it be enough to hold off those other programs? We’ll see soon enough.

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Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida and Auburn make up the top five for Stroh and while that list could get trimmed soon, the Frisco (Texas) Wakeland standout is not ready to make anything public yet. Stroh is a Texas A&M legacy but Texas is right in the middle of his recruitment as well and after a weekend trip to Arkansas, the Razorbacks could be a surprise contender down the stretch. Stroh hit it off with coach Sam Pittman and position coach Cody Kennedy as Arkansas sees him at offensive tackle but they could move him anywhere on the line.

“My final decision will be a tough one,” Stroh said.

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If any team can pull Vasek away from Texas, which is considered the front-runner, it could be Oklahoma because of the coaching staff in Norman. The four-star defensive end from Austin (Texas) Westlake loved coach Brent Venables and “the whole OU staff” during his visit this past weekend.

“They’re going to be very successful,” Vasek said.

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Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State and Miami remain the top six for the five-star defensive end and his weekend trip to Baton Rouge definitely left an impression. From the family atmosphere to the feeling that the coaches care about the players and them graduating definitely stood out. The chatter is that Georgia, Oregon and Alabama could have the edge right now but all six remain in the running. Visits to Miami and Oregon are coming up.

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The weekend trip to Georgia for Williams was “probably one of the best visits I’ve had,” and so the Bulldogs have to be considered one of the frontrunners in his recruitment if they weren’t already up there. The four-star receiver from Lakeland, Fla., appreciated especially how the coaches showed him how much of a priority in this recruiting class. Georgia did everything possible to get Williams but he will visit South Carolina Tuesday and then be at Texas A&M later this month.