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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Latest news off busy weekend of visits

Justice Haynes
Justice Haynes (Rivals.com)

The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back with a lot of news and rumors from another busy weekend of visits.

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Georgia is going to remain a serious contender for the 2024 four-star linebacker among others but Brown’s trip to Ohio State this weekend made a big impression. The atmosphere stood out for sure but maybe more than anything, Brown loved how disciplined and focused the linebackers played, rarely making mistakes and dominating Michigan State’s offense.

“Those coaches know what they’re doing and it shows,” Brown said.

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It’s still too early for the 2023 three-star safety from Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill to name a frontrunner but his weekend trip to Tennessee definitely stood out and the Volunteers will remain a major player in his recruitment. The reason? The coaches.

“The coaching staff was different than anywhere else I’ve been,” Davis said.

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Georgia stood out again to the 2024 defensive end from Franklin (Ga.) Heard County because the coaches intentionally came over to get to know him and his family better. It left a big-time impression on Echols, who said Georgia along with Florida State, UCF, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and LSU are some early standouts.

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One thing Formby looks closely at during his visits is the fan reaction and, “Clemson fans were some of the best,” he said.

The massive 2023 three-star offensive lineman camped at Clemson last summer, got to catch up with the coaches and loves the facilities there.

“There’s a great culture at Clemson,” Formby said.

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The high four-star Kentucky commit has been taking visits all fall - including numerous ones back to Lexington - and this past weekend he was at Texas A&M where that coaching staff gave him the hard sell on just how early he could play.

The message to Goodwin: The Aggies are losing their left tackle and they’re starting two freshmen now. He could come in immediately, compete for the job and compete for a national title in the next few years. And Texas A&M could finish with the No. 1 overall recruiting class in 2022.

“I loved it out there,” Goodwin said. “Totally different than what I expected."

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Boston College and Georgia Tech are the first two offers for the 2024 four-star defensive end from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Mountain View. He was at Tennessee this weekend, loved it and the Volunteers will be closely watched as his recruitment continues.

Greene especially connected well with the coaches and loved the “amazing” facilities. No favorites yet since his recruitment is just getting underway.

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According to Haynes’ father, Verron, the Clemson trip was incredible and the family loved the electric atmosphere of a game-day environment there. What especially made a big impression is that Clemson’s coaches broke down what Haynes’ class schedule would look like for his major and the extensive time spent with coach Dabo Swinney on his birthday.

Georgia and others are also very high but the Tigers left a big-time impression following this visit.

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What stood out to the 2025 standout running back from Elba, Ala., during his trip to Alabama this weekend?

“Everything, literally,” Henderson said.

The facilities were great and while Henderson doesn’t have a dream offer he definitely sees himself fitting in in Tuscaloosa.

Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, Penn State and others have offered early on.

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In a good sign for Oklahoma, the 2023 five-star defensive lineman spent not only Saturday but also a good portion of Sunday in Norman and the Sooners remain one of the key favorites along with Texas, Texas A&M and maybe others.

The message from the Oklahoma coaches was that Hicks could come in early and make an impact. It was definitely one message that stood out over the weekend.

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The 2023 four-star defensive end from College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy loved the fans, how Ohio State played, the coaches and the facilities during his time in Columbus over the weekend. The Buckeyes along with Michigan, Northwestern, Auburn and Georgia Tech stand out most early on.

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The five-star cornerback who backed off his USC pledge recently was back at The Coliseum this weekend for the rivalry game against UCLA to give one more look at the Trojans. He could not like what he saw, not only as the Trojans got blown out but the game-day attendance was abysmal.

Alabama has emerged as the frontrunner in Jackson’s recruitment ever since he got back from Tuscaloosa and he will visit Michigan one last time this weekend for the Ohio State matchup. A decision during the Early Signing Period is expected.

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The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei linebacker has been committed to Texas since August and he said the first-season stumbles by coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are not of major concern in his recruitment.

However, schools might see an opening as UCLA continues to try to flip him and get a visit and others could pop in once Kerry’s season winds down in the coming weeks as well.

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After being committed to TCU, the three-star offensive tackle from Everman, Texas, backed off that pledge Sunday following his official visit to Texas Tech over the weekend. The Red Raiders and North Texas are the two main schools now in his recruitment.

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McConnell had been committed to TCU since February but on Sunday the three-star offensive tackle from Choctaw, Okla., backed off that pledge and immediately tons of schools got in contact. Georgia Tech, LSU and Nebraska have all reached out through Sunday evening and then Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and Minnesota had been in contact prior to his de-commitment.

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The 2023 offensive lineman from Anniston, Ala., has found himself in an interesting situation. McElderry is planning to commit at the end of this month and the feeling was that Georgia was way out in front in his recruitment as of just days ago.

But a weekend visit to Alabama garnered him a new offer from the Crimson Tide and now they have made him a priority to land his commitment. The coming days in McElderry’s recruitment could get really interesting because Alabama might have pulled even - if not ahead - for him.

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After his weekend visit to Athens, “UGA is very high for me,” Mitchell said.

The 2023 four-star cornerback loved the atmosphere and the fans inside Sanford Stadium, plus he got to spend time with coach Kirby Smart and assistants Dan Lanning, Scott Cochran, Jahmile Addae and others. The Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson standout has a top seven but the Bulldogs made a big case this weekend.

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According to the father of the four-star offensive lineman from Findlay, Ohio, there was “A-plus culture” at Clemson over the weekend and “family is huge” there.

Ohio State, Michigan and others are going to be super competitive in Montgomery’s recruitment but Clemson definitely left its mark on the family during the weekend trip.

“We really love the place,” Mike Montgomery said.

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A weekend visit to Oklahoma has squarely put the Sooners among the early frontrunners for the 2023 defensive end from Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt Trussville. The Sooners along with Michigan, Oregon, Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Auburn and Texas A&M stand out early on.

Oklahoma’s message was clear: “They want me to become a part of the Oklahoma defense. They kept stressing they want me.”

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South Carolina could be tough to beat at this point for the 2023 four-star defensive end from Sumter, S.C., as Clemson and many others show interest as well but NC State made a case this weekend.

Rhames visited Raleigh and loved “the energy the whole place gave off.”

The Wolfpack should remain a contender in his recruitment.

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Tennessee is making a run at the four-star LSU linebacker commit from Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips along with Georgia. Auburn is now in the picture much more as well. The coaching staff in Knoxville definitely stands out to him and the other SEC schools are making a case as well.

A return trip to Baton Rouge prior to Tolan’s final decision should happen as well, especially once a new coach is in place.

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Quarterback offers in the 2023 class for Clemson are out to five-star Arch Manning and now to Vizzina out of Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian. That could be a sign as to where the Tigers think they stand in the Manning sweepstakes but also a huge compliment to Vizzina, who said he’s been recruited by Clemson since he was 14 years old.

“It means a ton,” Vizzina said.

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Alabama was the early frontrunner for the 2023 four-star defensive end from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln heading into this weekend. After spending a few days at Georgia, the Bulldogs have moved into a virtual tie with the Crimson Tide and then Washington, Oregon and many others are still in the running.

Wayne spent a lot of time with the other recruits there especially five-star DE Mykel Williams, who recently flipped from USC to Georgia.

“They both most definitely are at the top,” Wayne said.

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After backing off his pledge to West Virginia following a trip to Tennessee in recent weeks, the four-star running back from Dallas (Ga.) East Paulding was back in Knoxville this past weekend and had another great time.

“I’ll say they’re in a very good spot with me,” Williams said.

But the four-star will visit Auburn this weekend for the Iron Bowl.