Advertisement
football Edit

Recruiting Rumor Mill: News coming in on elite prospects

Michael Fasusi
Michael Fasusi

There is so much going on during the busy month of June that a second Recruiting Rumor Mill was needed this week. Here’s the latest from Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney.

MORE RUMOR MILLS: Midwest | National

MORE GORNEY: QB Dominoes | Elite 11

*****

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Full coverage | Player ranking | Team ranking | Transfer search | Transfer Tracker

*****

Advertisement

The four-star cornerback who had been committed to Tennessee loved how genuine and authentic Auburn’s coaching staff was during his visit and the message from them is that he could learn from two of the best: Position coaches Wesley McGriff and Charles Kelly.

The Carrollton, Ga., standout also likes that the defensive backs do a lot of work as a whole and that he could get time at different spots as Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Kentucky lead the way.

Arnoux will also seriously consider USC (where teammate Julian Lewis is committed) now that the Trojans have offered.

*****

Notre Dame has been battling Penn State in Blair’s recruitment but after the four-star safety from Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor visited Michigan recently the Wolverines could be sneakily in this recruitment.

Blair loved that “like-minded people” were in Ann Arbor, that he would have a big opportunity to play early and how much attention he was getting from the Wolverines staff.

Maybe Notre Dame is too far ahead here but Michigan has made this a race.

*****

Texas Tech and Baylor are battling it out most for the three-star defensive tackle from Lorena, Texas and the Bears definitely impressed him during a recent visit. Blackwell felt the staff “really cared” about him and showed a ton of attention to him and his family during the trip. The Red Raiders have had the edge in this recruitment over Baylor and Arizona so we’ll see if that lead has closed after he was in Waco.

*****

Committed to USC since April, Castro visited Texas last weekend and loved it. The four-star cornerback from Upland, Calif., thinks position coach Terry Joseph is “as real as it gets” and that could be a big draw for the Longhorns but it doesn’t feel like a flip is imminent. Castro will be back at USC for his official visit this weekend so things could settle back down but there is now very serious interest in the Longhorns.

“Texas is football country,” Castro said.

*****

Being able to spend time with the Tennessee coaches and see the offensive scheme was big for the four-star receiver from Ackerman (Miss.) Choctaw County but being around Jaime Ffrench, quarterback commit George MacIntyre and five-star OL David Sanders Jr. on a boat and tubing really made the trip worthwhile.

There is a sense that Auburn is surging in this recruitment but Mississippi State is down the road and the Bulldogs are still right in this thing along with the Vols now. It was made clear to Cunningham he was a major target.

“They were telling me I’m one of their main priorities and I definitely felt that way,” Cunningham said. “They want me.”

*****

Cure’s recruitment has taken some interesting turns through June. Kansas State has been considered a frontrunner for the four-star tight end from Goodland, Kan., but after a visit to Texas A&M (where former K-State star player and coach Collin Klein is the new offensive coordinator) the Aggies made a huge leap probably to the top.

But Cure absolutely loved his trip to Oregon over the weekend, called it “amazing” and the word is now that the Ducks are “really standing out.”

“I loved every single bit of it,” Cure said.

*****

The four-star running back from Quitman, Miss., has been committed to Ole Miss since late March but Dear took a visit to Alabama over the weekend and behind the scenes the feeling is that the Crimson Tide are in a very strong position here. It’s not totally clear that a flip is going to happen but Alabama is very much in this recruitment now and if the coaching staff keeps working on Dear it wouldn’t be a shock if he ended up in Tuscaloosa.


*****

Ohio State has always been considered the frontrunner for Dye and after the four-star defensive end from Elkhart (Ind.) Elkhart Central was back in Columbus over the weekend the feeling is that the Buckeyes only extended their lead. Dye loves how he fits in so well with the players there and that is one of many things drawing him to Ohio State as Purdue, LSU, Michigan and others try to keep up.

*****

The feeling for a while is that Texas and Texas A&M have been battling it out for the five-star offensive tackle from Lewisville, Texas, and that could remain the case but Oklahoma did its best over the weekend to get back involved with him.

What stood out most to Fasusi was the development, education and the family feel in Norman and the coaching staff had a clear message to him as Oregon is the other team being considered at this point.

“Message was simple,” Fasusi said. “I’d be making the best decision of my life if I choose OU.”

*****

Ole Miss has surged to the top for the four-star receiver from Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna as he and his father fell in love with everything the Rebels had to offer over the weekend.

Howard thinks it’s “insane” the level of coaching on the offensive side of the ball from coach Lane Kiffin to position coach George McDonald and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. among others and he loves the production on that side of the ball.

Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Missouri and Texas A&M are also involved with Howard, who called Kiffin an “offensive genius.”

“They also told me not to get caught in the big-logo brand schools that aren’t developing players for the next level,” Howard said.

*****

The four-star defensive end from Howell, Mich., has been committed to Michigan since last August but a ton has changed with the Wolverines’ coaching staff since then and a visit to Michigan State over the weekend definitely perked up some attention.

Kanka loved how “genuine” the whole staff and team was on his visit and he sees a program that “truly wants the best for each other.” Asked about where his Michigan pledge stands, Kanka said he’s “not saying much about that at this point.”

*****

Miami and Georgia have “really separated themselves” in Louis’ recruitment as the Bulldogs had him on campus over the weekend and he loved the culture and mindset there as this feels like a two-team race now.

Wisconsin caught his attention and the four-star running back from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage will be at Florida State this weekend for one more shot but the Hurricanes and the Bulldogs have a big edge now. The focus of Georgia’s program really made a big impression on Louis during the trip.

“They believe in the same thing as me: We’re elite,” Louis said.

*****

The four-star linebacker from Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek has been committed to Alabama since March and once the Crimson Tide offered he immediately jumped on it and has been pledged ever since but Metz took a visit to Georgia over the weekend and the word is that the Bulldogs are still a factor in his recruitment.

Through the end of June, Metz should have a better idea exactly where things stand between the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs in his recruitment especially as he’s in Tuscaloosa again this weekend.

*****

Clemson has surged to the top of Mills’ recruitment and the Tigers could be tough to beat but after the four-star receiver from Homestead, Fla., visited Oklahoma last weekend the Sooners have given him a ton to consider. Coach Brent Venables made clear how big of a priority Mills is to this recruiting class and position coach Emmett Jones did as well.

“(Venables said) I can help them win a lot of games in the SEC,” Mills said.

*****

The in-state schools are battling it out for the Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff four-star defensive end with SMU definitely in there but Baylor could be making a serious move as well. Morgan thinks the Baylor coaches are “amazing” and he loves that coach Dave Aranda puts the person over the player.

That kind of focus is drawing Morgan to the Bears, he likes Waco a lot along with the campus and the facilities and sees a “true family environment” there.

*****

Florida continues to push hard for the four-star receiver from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and the Gators could have the edge after a weekend visit where it was made clear to him how he’d be developed in that offense.

Washington, Missouri and USC are the other main contenders in his recruitment but Florida might be the team to beat now.

*****

Maybe Notre Dame is too far ahead of Florida, Ohio State and others and the Irish will land the high four-star linebacker but the Buckeyes took their best shot last weekend to land the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout.

Owusu-Boateng loved the “authenticity” of the staff and how everyone has a common goal within the building.

The Ohio State coaches talked about how the four-star LB could influence the pass and run game and that was music to his ears on the visit.

*****

All the schools remain on the table according to a source close to Pettijohn but Texas has been the frontrunner for a long time and his visit there last weekend might have only reinforced the Longhorns at the top.

The coaching staff made it “abundantly clear” to the high four-star linebacker from McKinney, Texas, how much they value him and his skill set and while others are still in the race, Texas very much feels like the team to beat.

*****

An LSU vs. Texas battle has emerged for the four-star defensive back from Missouri City (Texas) Hightower and his weekend trip to Baton Rouge went really well.

His brother, Jacob, played for the Tigers so that’s certainly something to watch in his recruitment as the LSU coaches told Phillips they really wanted him, that they hope he feels the love and position coach Corey Raymond talked extensively about developing him in the secondary.

*****

Oklahoma was the team to beat and then it was LSU after a great official visit there but now as June wraps up Oregon has taken the lead for the four-star safety from Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview.

Robinson “loved everything about” the Ducks last weekend as Oregon “checked all the boxes” in his recruitment. A decision date is still unclear but the Ducks have surged to the top of his list.

*****

The four-star linebacker from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei remains happily committed to Alabama but is a little more open in his recruitment after being at Tennessee last weekend.

Sanders loved how family-oriented the team was throughout his time in Knoxville and the coaching staff made it clear they love how he plays and thinks he can help bring back dominance to the Vols.

*****

The message from the Auburn coaching staff was that he’s the No. 1 guy at his position and that made a big impact on the four-star linebacker from Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military School.

Scroggins loved talking with the players and the people in town also made a strong impact on him as the Tigers look strong in his recruitment with North Carolina, Miami and Georgia Tech also involved.

*****

The Baylor coaches really made Watson feel “at home” on his visit to Waco last weekend and the boat tour of the stadium was definitely a highlight to the four-star receiver from Pearland (Texas) Shadow Creek.

Houston has a slight lead now in Watson’s recruitment but the pitch that he could have a breakout career at Baylor was definitely a compelling one.

Advertisement