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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Latest on top 2022 players

Domani Jackson
Domani Jackson

National recruiting director Adam Gorney is back with his Recruiting Rumor Mill, which features recruiting chatter and news from around the country. Today, he focuses on many of the top players in the new 2022 rankings.

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PODCAST: Adam Gorney and Adam Friedman on rankings update

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Monday: Five-star countdown

Tuesday: Rivals250 unveiled | Gorney's thoughts | Biggest movers | Meet the new five-stars | Should Walter Nolen be the No. 1 DL?

Wednesday: QB rankings spotlight | RB rankings spotlight | WR/TE rankings spotlight | OL rankings spotlight | Who should be the No. 1 RB?

Thursday: DL rankings spotlight | LB rankings spotlight | DB rankings spotlight | ATH rankings spotlight | Rankings podcast | Who should be the top DT?

Friday: State rankings

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A top four list could be coming soon from the five-star offensive tackle, and while none of the schools are official it wouldn’t be a shock if some of the long-standing favorites are on there. This does feel like a battle between LSU (Armella’s dad, Enzo, visited with the staff there, including new position coach Brad Davis) and Florida State, where Armella’s father played and where the five-star visited again this summer. The decision will solely be Julian’s as to where he plays his college football, and some other SEC schools could be involved, but LSU and FSU have long been two of the top teams.

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Texas A&M is considered to be one of the frontrunners for the four-star defensive tackle from Marlin, Texas, but Texas is also high on the list and two big visits could be coming up this fall, which could sway Bledsoe in another direction. The chatter is that he will definitely visit Alabama and that there is serious interest in the Crimson Tide and that Bledsoe also wants to get out to Oregon and see what the Ducks could offer.

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Alabama, Clemson, USC, Oklahoma and Ohio State are the five frontrunners for Branch and visits are coming up in the fall, but there have been lots of rumors that the Buckeyes could hold the edge in his recruitment. According to a source, Ohio State is “continuing to stay high” but the Buckeyes don’t have a clear lead yet. The trips are going to be important, but watching Ohio State here does make sense because Branch has a great relationship with assistant coach Kerry Coombs and others on staff.

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Even though the game is in Charlotte, Delp and many other top prospects plan to be in attendance when Clemson plays Georgia there. The Bulldogs and the Tigers are two of the top four teams for Delp as the feeling in recent months has been that this is a battle between Georgia and South Carolina. But Clemson could be making a move here and Michigan is in his top four as well. The Cumming (Ga.) West Forsyth four-star tight end said he plans to visit every one of his top four before making a decision.

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Alabama and Ohio State are the main two programs trying to flip the four-star offensive tackle who’s committed to Kentucky, but Michigan and Michigan State are working on the Charlestown, Ind., standout as well. There are no serious signs that Goodwin is rethinking his pledge to the Wildcats, but there is a decent possibility he will visit those four schools - Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State - along with Miami, if he can get out on the road that much.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH KENTUCKY FANS AT CATSILLUSTRATED.COM

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LSU, North Carolina, Penn State, Georgia, Clemson and Oregon are the six frontrunners for the four-star receiver from Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher’s and the rumor here is that Clemson could be way out in front for his commitment. That might not completely be the case but there’s no doubt the Tigers - especially after being there this summer - are one of the top teams on his top list.

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The four-star offensive guard from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco has two visits planned so far with at least another big one coming as well. Greene will be at Ohio State (which has a slight edge in his recruitment right now), for the Oregon matchup on Sept. 11 and then he will head to Georgia the following weekend as the Bulldogs remain a serious contender as well. Don’t count out Texas, though, because people close to Greene really like coach Steve Sarkisian from when he coached in California, and the four-star also likes the direction of the program. Getting to a game could be big.

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Committed to Georgia since May 2020, Groves-Killebrew still plans to take his complete round of visits with trips to see the Bulldogs, along with Penn State, Oregon, Texas A&M and Kentucky planned. It’s interesting that the Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb four-star cornerback is originally from Louisville, and that’s why he’s interested in seeing what the Wildcats have to offer.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH GEORGIA FANS AT UGASPORTS.COM

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The two games that the Hammond (Wisc.) St. Croix Central four-star offensive lineman plans to attend so far this season line up pretty well with the perceived top schools on his list. Hinzman is headed to Wisconsin for the season opener when Penn State comes to town and then down to Ohio State for the Oregon matchup. The Badgers and Buckeyes are definitely two of the top teams and could be battling each other for Hinzman’s commitment.

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Georgia is making a serious push for the four-star cornerback from Houston Clear Lake who committed to Florida in May, and he has still shown no serious signs that he’s backing off that pledge. Humphrey worked out at Florida’s Friday Night Lights, but the pitch from Georgia is how many defensive backs it has put in the NFL in recent years and that could be having some influence. Texas A&M is the other school that’s seriously involved as the Aggies look to keep a local prospect home.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH FLORIDA FANS AT GATORSTERRITORY.COM

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Every time the five-star cornerback talks, the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout says his USC commitment is firmed up and he’s focused on recruiting others, but Jackson still plans to take two visits this season. The five-star will see Alabama because the Crimson Tide continue to target him as one of the best corners in the class and he will also go to Michigan, his childhood dream school where friend and fellow five-star Will Johnson is committed. The feeling, though, is still that Jackson sticks with the Trojans unless those visits drastically change things.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

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The four-star defensive end from Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna will return to Oklahoma for either the Western Carolina or the West Virginia game in September and Jackson has already been to Ohio State twice as it surely sounds like the Sooners and Buckeyes are battling it out for him right now. One source said those two schools have Jackson’s “attention” by far the most.

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James said about two weeks ago that he did not plan any other visits - and that was a great sign for Florida, which beat out Alabama for his commitment - but now there’s a good chance the Mobile (Ala.) Faith Academy high four-star could plan to take a trip to Tuscaloosa. James is scheduling possibly two trips to Gainesville this fall so there’s no sign of a flip, but if James does take an Alabama visit then things could get more interesting.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH FLORIDA FANS AT GATORSTERRITORY.COM

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A glimpse into Kanu’s recruitment after a busy summer tour of schools will be important to see his visit schedule in the fall and that’s coming into shape with trips to Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Georgia, officially. The plan is to also see Washington and USC unofficially as those look like the frontrunners in his recruitment now.

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The four-star defensive tackle from Owasso, Okla., has a top six of Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma and there is some belief that the Buckeyes have the edge in his recruitment. To play for position coach Larry Johnson and for national titles are two big draws, but nothing will be decided for a while because McClellan is planning officials to LSU and Alabama before making any decisions. Florida has also been a school that could be sneaky high on his list.

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The four-star edge rusher from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman is going to see Alabama twice during the season, once in Tuscaloosa and once elsewhere. Moss is taking an official visit to Florida in mid-September when the Gators host the Crimson Tide, and then he will be at Alabama for the LSU game in early November. He’s also looking to set up one more visit before being ready to make a decision, but seeing Alabama twice does make things interesting.

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Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M are the three frontrunners for Nolen, who recently transferred to Powell, Tenn., which is about 10 miles from Knoxville and Neyland Stadium. But the rumor here is that just because Nolen is playing so close to Tennessee it doesn’t mean the Volunteers immediately become the frontrunner in his recruitment. When it comes to Nolen, things have changed so many times with top teams and with months to go before signing day, it wouldn’t be a shock to see something happen again.

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Ohio State has long been considered the frontrunner for the new five-star safety but there is also chatter that discounting Notre Dame would be foolish. Nwankpa will visit both in the fall and those visits are going to be crucially important. Iowa is still there as well and cannot be counted out, and Nwankpa could look at other trips as well.

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There is a lot of chatter that Florida is the team to beat for Stewart, who not only dominated Friday Night Lights but has a great connection with quarterback commit Nick Evers - and that could go a long way in his decision-making. The Frisco (Texas) Liberty standout might also be growing a little tired of the recruiting process, which could help the Gators even more. Texas, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and others are still very much involved, but Florida has to like its position right now.

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There has been a lot of talk that Texas A&M is making up major ground with the four-star defensive end from Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace and if visit plans are any indication then the Aggies could be in a great spot. Stewart’s only trip so far for the fall is to College Station. He’s also trying to get to Ohio State and Georgia, with a “possible” trip to Miami.

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Florida is trying to make a run at the Texas A&M commit and flip him to the Gators, but the interest seems minimal, at least to this point. The word is there is a “small possibility” that the Katy, Texas, four-star standout does take a trip to Gainesville, but at this point it sounds like Taylor, who committed in February, remains locked in with the Aggies.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS A&M FANS AT AGGIEYELL.COM

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The four-star cornerback who’s coming off a knee injury spent June on the road seeing Missouri, Arkansas, USC, Florida and Oklahoma so the Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington standout has a good sense of which schools he likes the most. Some trips for the fall are coming into shape as well. Williams wants to get back to Oklahoma and Arkansas, and he’s looking to book a trip to LSU as well.

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Georgia is still making a very serious push for the five-star defensive end and one source believes while a flip might not be imminent that the Bulldogs are in a stronger position than some believe for the Columbus (Ga.) Hardaway standout. Williams has been committed to USC for about two months, and getting four-star DT and friend Christen Miller in the class would help the Trojans, but the word is to watch Georgia for both.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

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