Recruiting Rumor Mill: Prospects react to weekend visits
The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back with a lot of news and rumors from another busy weekend of visits.
FACT OR FICTION: ND will flip five-star QB Walker Howard from LSU
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
... Top 2023 four-star cornerback Tony Mitchell was back at Alabama and he said the atmosphere there is “just different” as the Crimson Tide continue to be a top contender. His teammate, Jeremiah Alexander, is already committed and fellow 2023 four-star Peter Woods is also high on the Crimson Tide as well. Lots of visits are coming up for Mitchell who will be at LSU in a few weeks, followed by Texas A&M, Oregon, Georgia, Penn State, back at Alabama for the Arkansas game and then Florida when it hosts Florida State.
... Phenix City (Ala.) Central 2023 four-star defensive end Tomarrion Parker landed his Alabama offer this weekend and the word is the Crimson Tide could shoot right to the top of the list. Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Penn State are also leading the way. But Alabama’s location, success, development and tradition are all appealing. “I love how they aren’t the flashiest team, they just go out there and play,” Parker said.
... A slew of quarterbacks were at Alabama this weekend including 2023 four-star Dylan Lonergan, who said he had great conversations with coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and assistant Charles Kelly. Five-star Arch Manning is the prize in that class and he was also on campus and some of the younger QBs took notice.
One of them was 2026 QB Julian Lewis, who already has offers from Florida, Georgia Tech and Penn State. “Arch is cool,” Lewis said. “I learned a lot just watching him interact with the fans during pregame. He’s ready for everything coming his way.” The 2026 QB loves it at Alabama but the coaches there know it’s super early in his recruitment even though talks with Alex Mortensen and OL coach Doug Marrone. A visit to Clemson is coming up for Lewis soon.
The word 2024 quarterback Kamari McClellan is getting is that he’s at the top of Alabama’s wish list for his class and he definitely loves it in Tuscaloosa. He loves the environment at Alabama and an offer would be huge because so far Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech and South Carolina have come through with one.
There is a special connection between 2024 QB Mabrey Mettauer and Cal coach Justin Wilcox since Wilcox recruited Mettauer’s brother, McKade, in the 2019 class. The Woodlands, Texas, quarterback has known the Cal coach since he was 12 and this weekend, Mettauer spent a lot of time talking with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and RB coach Aristotle Thompson. LSU, Miami, Florida, Baylor, Mississippi State and Alabama are recruiting Mettauer the hardest.
The word on Josh Sapp is that the Greenville, S.C., three-star tight end had a great trip to Clemson especially meeting with the coaches again and it was “just an awesome time,” Sapp said. If four-star TE Oscar Delp commits elsewhere later this month - it’s expected to be Georgia - then the Tigers could make an even harder run at Sapp in this class.
... Alabama and many others are going to make a serious run at 2023 four-star DL Peter Woods from Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson but his Clemson visit was “first class, per usual,” this past weekend. The coaches are also making him a major priority as the word is Woods really appreciated how much time he got to spend with them prior to the game.
... Clemson offered Joshua Miller from Chester (Va.) Life Christian Academy and the 2023 three-star OL was on campus this past weekend. Yeah, the offense struggled again but Miller loved that they preserved through it and the energy from the fans and players was still there. Clemson, Penn State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Tennessee are the players in his recruitment.
... The Bulldogs have to feel cautiously optimistic about flipping five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams at some point. The USC commit was on campus this past weekend to see Georgia’s dominant defensive performance against Arkansas and he’s returning in two weeks for an official visit. “The message was I am wanted at Georgia,” Williams said, and that is definitely something to watch in the coming weeks.
... The word is Justin Benton loved “everything” about his visit to Georgia from the electric atmosphere to the defensive showing to the coaches who made it clear he’s a priority along the defensive line in the 2023 class. “The message was to just envision myself in the defense making the same plays they were making and I could definitely do that,” Benton said. Georgia and Penn State are the frontrunners right now.
... Big offensive linemen Vysen Lang (2023) and Waltclaire Flynn (2024) had great visits to Athens over the weekend. “The atmosphere at Georgia is like nowhere else,” Lang said. Flynn loved that the coaches are always happy to see him and he said “literally everything stood out. Georgia was the dream school for Flynn growing up so it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he ended up with the Bulldogs.
... Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County 2024 four-star tight end Landen Thomas backed off his pledge to FSU on Sunday after he left Athens with an offer from assistant coach Todd Hartley and a whole lot to think about now. “The (Georgia) fans are different,” said Thomas, who added that Georgia is a school where he could see himself in the coming years.
... The message 2023 four-star defensive end Kaven Call from Apopka, Fla., got during his Georgia visit was that the coaches want him to be that next elite edge rusher for the Bulldogs. It was a message that provided significant impact to Call’s thinking who has Georgia, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and UCF highest on the list now.
... Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy 2025 quarterback Colin Hurley immediately saw how talented and dominant Georgia’s entire team was against Arkansas and it definitely made a big impact. It was also important that he got to spend some time with coach Kirby Smart, assistant Todd Monken and others and during the game he was with some of his 7-on-7 teammates from DOMX. The Bulldogs are definitely high on his early list.
... Kentucky four-star offensive line commit Kiyaunta Goodwin sees the Wildcats as a legitimate SEC contender and he loved their performance Saturday night in a win over Florida. The Charlestown, Ind., standout remains very happy with his Kentucky pledge but Goodwin is going to start booking other visits to Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State soon.
... Kaden Moorman was at first supposed to visit Wisconsin this weekend but instead he was also at Kentucky and the word is it was the best environment he’s seen so far during any of his visits. “They never stopped cheering,” Moorman said. The 2023 three-star RB from Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin County will be back in Lexington this weekend for the LSU matchup.
... Dakota Patterson loved the crowd there and it was “probably the best I’ve seen.” He also liked that Kentucky has been throwing the ball more and the word is that could intrigue him even more as his recruitment continues. Ethan Crisp is taking notice to Kentucky more too and said the coaches are “building something special” there.
... Texas A&M had an early edge for 2023 four-star defensive end Dylan Spencer from Katy (Texas) Taylor but the word is that LSU is now right there as well. Spencer said he, “never had an experience like LSU. The stadium, the locker room and the community is just different.”
... Willis, Texas, 2024 four-star QB DJ Lagway got offered by LSU during the visit and now the Tigers join Baylor and Texas A&M high on his list. LSU has not yet offered 2023 four-star all-purpose back Khai Prean from Donaldsonville (La.) Ascension Catholic but it would be a game-changer in his recruitment. “LSU does stand out very much to me,” said Prean, who has Michigan State, Mississippi State, Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt reaching out the most.
... Alabama, Oregon, Washington, USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida and Nebraska have been recruiting 2023 four-star DE Jayden Wayne from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln the most and Ohio State has stepped it up the last few weeks but after he visited LSU this past weekend, the Tigers coaches told him they want to start recruiting him even harder. Wayne is definitely interested in LSU but admits some schools have been coming harder up to this point.
... Ryan Robinson, a 2023 three-star cornerback from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr, had a great time at LSU but it’s a similar story right now. LSU hasn’t offered so he can’t get his hopes up too much. Right now, Auburn and Florida State are recruiting him hardest.
... Drayk Bowen was back at Notre Dame this past weekend and there are other trips coming up this month as the Irish are definitely a front-runner for the 2023 four-star LB from Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean. More important than wins and losses was Bowen’s opportunity to see DC Marcus Freeman in action and that impressed him. “I would said ND is pretty high on my list of schools,” Bowen said.
... Malik Muhammad missed his flight and so didn’t get to South Bend but the 2023 four-star cornerback from Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff likes what he sees on both sides of the ball and said, “ If I had a top list they would definitely be in it, from the top down they have a burning desire to win and I like that.”
... Samuel M’Pemba had a great visit and the 2023 four-star athlete from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy who is working from a top 12 said he’ll be back to South Bend eventually. From Missouri, Notre Dame is definitely a major contender. It is also for 2023 four-star OL Monroe Freeling out of Mt. Pleasant (S.C.) Oceanside Collegiate Academy who said the environment was “amazing” over the weekend and that Notre Dame is a “real competitor” in his recruitment.
... The returns from Penn State were incredibly positive. Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge 2023 linebacker Phil Picciotti said he had a “great talk” with coach James Franklin, he got to connect with other top recruits and, “I’d say Penn State is one of my top schools but I’m keeping an open mind through this whole process.” The Nittany Lions are definitely a major contender to land the in-state inside linebacker.
... Penn State also made a big impression on 2023 four-star LB Jordan Hall from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy as he loved the energy and the environment plus the staff and he have hit it off so far. Cameron Lenhardt, who has an upcoming visit to Michigan State, was struck by the hospitality and the defense as, “They stand pretty high in my recruitment.”
... A newer name to follow is 2025 running back Gideon Davidson from Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy. Davidson said he was “proud to be offered as a Penn State recruit,” and he loves the attention to detail on and off the field in Happy Valley. So far, the Nittany Lions, South Carolina, Virginia and Liberty have offered and getting an early foot in the door with someone so talented should definitely help in the long run.