Rivals.com - Recruiting Rumor Mill: MSU, Oklahoma, Baylor host key defenders
football Edit

Recruiting Rumor Mill: MSU, Oklahoma, Baylor host key defenders

Jason Moore
Jason Moore (Rivals.com)

The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back with a lot of news and rumors from another busy weekend of visits. Here is a focus on top defensive prospects who were on the road:

*****

MORE RUMOR MILL: Commits take visits, Notre Dame hosts big weekend

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

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

RIVALS TRANSFER TRACKER: Stories/coverage | Message board

RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series

*****

Oklahoma made a big impression on the four-star linebacker who’s originally from Hawaii but is now playing at Lehi (Utah) Skyridge. Akana loved meeting with the staff and the players, seeing the facilities and getting a breakdown of how they would use him all over the field on defense. The Sooners are definitely a major contender now since he’s now experienced a game-day in Norman but Akana is not ready to narrow down his list yet.

*****  

The 2024 cornerback from Waco (Texas) Connally loved the environment at Baylor this past weekend as the Bears beat Texas and it was made clear to him by coach Dave Aranda and his staff that he’s a high priority. Baylor along with Mississippi State, TCU and Oklahoma are some early front-runners.

*****  

The atmosphere. The staff. The legacy. After visiting Notre Dame over the weekend, the Irish have jumped way up for the 2023 four-star safety from Denton (Texas) Guyer as Bowen saw a lot of things that stood out in South Bend. “I would say they are really high for me,” Bowen said. “I love it up there.”


*****  

After back-to-back visits to Kansas State and Iowa State in recent weeks, Bradley was at Oklahoma this weekend and loved the energy not only inside the stadium but all around campus. The message from the coaching staff? Bradley didn’t need one. “A team as good as Oklahoma didn’t really need a message,” Bradley said. “All they had to do was show me what they are about. Seeing the players they have and using them in a similar way I’m used in is a very good look.”

*****  

The 2023 three-star linebacker from Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day loved the Notre Dame campus, though it was beautiful and also got a warm reception from the coaching staff during his weekend visit. A return trip is definitely possible as Ford said the coaches were pushing another trip to South Bend. The Irish along with South Carolina, Clemson and Auburn stand out most.

*****  

Clemson has not offered yet but the 2023 four-star linebacker from Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett received very positive feedback from the coaching staff this weekend and was told they’re watching him closely. That keeps the Tigers among the top group for Godfrey along with Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, TCU and Virginia.


*****  

The 2023 four-star defensive tackle from Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett saw all the trophy cases and the success from guys out of his area at Ohio State this weekend and it left a big impact on him. He loved that the message from the coaching staff was to come get developed and be your best at Ohio State and that left a mark as well. The teams that have shown him the most love are getting his attention as well with the Buckeyes, Wisconsin, NC State, Louisville, Michigan State and Mississippi State being the early standouts.

*****  

Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss and South Carolina are the first four offers for the 2023 three-star defensive tackle from Camden, S.C., who visited Clemson over the weekend and had an excellent time. One thing that stood out: Getting a certain vibe from coach Dabo Swinney during the trip. “The message especially from Dabo, you can see it in his eyes, he wanted us here, he was so happy about the win regardless of how much they won by. That’s a message right there. He just wanted us to know regardless of what happens, ‘We still love you,’ and it was a great visit.”

*****  

Notre Dame is going to stay a major contender in Moore’s recruitment especially after seeing South Bend this past weekend and seeing the academic and athletic opportunities that are unique there. “The main message was life after football,” Moore said. “There’s no other school in the country where you can get a top notch education while competing for a national championship.” The 2023 four-star defensive lineman from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha also has Maryland, Penn State, Michigan, Texas A&M and USC standing out.

*****  

Auburn is giving Parker the hard sell and the atmosphere at Saturday’s win over Ole Miss did a lot to convince the 2023 four-star defensive end from Phenix City (Ala.) Central it might be the right place. “Coach (Nick) Eason told me they need guys like me to change the program and coach (Bryan) Harsin told me I’d make a difference in the university. Auburn, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Penn State have caught his attention the most.

*****  

Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, Florida State, Florida and Penn State are the early standouts for the 2024 four-star athlete from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson. Stone was at Clemson over the weekend and loved the culture there and the standard everyone has “and that’s winning and doing the little things right.” It’s still too early to name a clear front-runner but that would be the lead group so far.

*****  

Tuioti’s father, Tony, is the defensive line coach at Nebraska and so the Huskers definitely hold an edge in his recruitment. He’s been to so many games, loves the atmosphere and the intensity and passion the Huskers play with. “I always love watching the games and can always count on the Huskers to put on a show.” The Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast standout also has offers from Cal, Ole Miss, Washington, Washington State and others.

*****  

The 2023 four-star cornerback from Venice, Fla., was back at Ohio State, this time to experience the game-day atmosphere and it went really well. Washington called it “electric” and the coaches were definitely happy to see him back on campus as the Buckeyes are one of the early front-runners. Everything is still open but Michigan State, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State, Florida and Oregon are also high for him.

*****  

After backing off his Florida State commitment in early October, the feeling was that Williams would end up closer to home and that meant Ole Miss, Mississippi State and others would be battling it out for the four-star defensive end from Crystal Springs, Miss. Williams took his third visit to Starkville this past weekend as the Bulldogs beat Kentucky and the feeling is that Mississippi State is not only very much in the picture here but could land him at some point. This one is still too close to call but Mississippi State has helped its cause in recent weeks.

*****  

Baylor, Houston and Texas have the early edge for the 2023 cornerback from Houston (Texas) Mayde Creek but Wilson was at Mississippi State over the weekend and loved it. If the Bulldogs offer they could definitely emerge in that top group. He especially liked how the defense rallied around itself after an early targeting call. Texas Tech, Colorado and Purdue are three other programs showing interest.

*****

The West Virginia commit visited Michigan State for its big win over Michigan this past weekend and loved the atmosphere and energy from the crowd all game. The message from the coaches was that he’d be a much-needed addition to the defense because he can bend and bring juice off the edge. The trip went well but Young is “still very much committed” to the Mountaineers and wants to see a game in Morgantown soon because he took his official visit over the summer. Michigan State is now more in the running but a flip is not imminent.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH WEST VIRGINIA FANS AT WVSPORTS.COM