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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Top events and big visits taking place

Branson Inniss
Branson Inniss (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

There were top-level events and a lot of important visits across the country this weekend so a lot of people were talking. Here’s the latest in this week’s Recruiting Rumor Mill:


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Clemson offered the four-star linebacker from Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek over the weekend and it’s going to play a massive role in his recruitment and now could be the program to beat. Anderson loved “everything” about his trip to Clemson and the message from coach Dabo Swinney that the Tigers do common things in an uncommon way. Michigan State, USC, Georgia Tech and others have made an impression but watch out for Clemson here.

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USC offered the four-star cornerback from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage on the spot upon seeing him this past weekend as he visited campus with his South Florida Express team. Brown quickly took to position coach Donte Williams, who also recruited his former teammate Earl Little Jr., and Brown liked coach Lincoln Riley a lot calling him a “very cool dude.” Miami and Clemson could be making the biggest move with Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU and Auburn in there but USC definitely left a strong impression.


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The rumor is that Georgia will be tough to beat for Brown and that Clemson definitely closed the gap after a weekend visit but the No. 1 outside linebacker is remaining 100 percent open at this point. His Clemson visit went really well as Brown liked the message from the coaches that they’re trying to “create winners not wins.” The Bulldogs are definitely going to be in the mix here but a visit to Oklahoma is coming up over spring break and Brown wants to see Notre Dame, too, before narrowing the list.

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Clemson has moved even higher for Crayton after landing an offer from the Tigers and then getting to campus as the four-star linebacker from Alpharetta (Ga.) Denmark had high expectations for the trip that were even exceeded. From seeing how things run there to getting a better feel for the program, Clemson will be sure to make Crayton’s top list. Auburn, Florida State, Penn State and others are also high.


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The 2025 defensive back from Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna already feels like a major priority for Miami and he has a relationship with assistant Demarcus Van Dyke dating back to his 10-under days so the Hurricanes are going to play a huge role in his recruitment. Ewald recently visits for a practice and loved how new assistant coach Jahmile Addae operates which could be another selling point. Many other programs will be involved but it feels like Miami has the early edge here.

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The four-star running back from Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage is planning to announce a top four soon and it’s highly expected that Miami and Penn State are going to make the cut. Fletcher loves the new feel of the Hurricanes with coach Mario Cristobal in charge and his relationship with Ja’Juan Seider might be his strongest in his recruitment. A visit to USC over the weekend went well as Fletcher loved the history there and was surprised at just how nice it was there.

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Georgia was the dream program growing up and could still be tough to beat but recently LSU took its shot and it intrigued the four-star center from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson Flynn really liked the vision from coach Brian Kelly and hit it off with position coach Brad Davis so the Tigers will be a top contender moving forward. There might not be an official order for Flynn right now but it would be a surprise if he doesn’t end up in the SEC with Georgia leading the way.

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Notre Dame is going to be a very high team on Gray’s list and the four-star cornerback from St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet is going to visit Ohio State later this month but Alabama is going to be seriously in the running after a trip to Tuscaloosa. The visit was “amazing” and the offer from the Crimson Tide was a “dream come true” so while others have jumped out earlier, Alabama will be a player here.

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Florida State is the dream program and now the leader for the 2024 four-star safety from College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy after visiting Tallahassee this past weekend but more visits are coming before Heard is ready to commit to the Seminoles. Heard wants to see Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina and Penn State so a decision could be a while.


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The message from USC coach Lincoln Riley to Inniss this past weekend was that it’s many of the same people he had at Oklahoma - where Inniss was committed - now with the Trojans and that could be a major selling point for the five-star receiver. The one discussion point Inniss will have with his family is location but that shouldn’t be a disqualifier at all for the Trojans. As for a decision, the Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage five-star is now looking at signing day and will take his full slate of official visits with a trip to LSU planned for June and then USC, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas A&M being considered. The rumor is that Alabama, USC and Ohio State have the edge in his recruitment now but that might not be the case.

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Alabama is surging as the potential front-runner for the five-star cornerback from Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson and the Crimson Tide could be tough to beat now. But McClain doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself until he can get up to Ohio State in early April because the Buckeyes definitely appeal to him with all the defensive back history there as well. Florida was considered the front-runner for a long time but the rumor now is that the Gators are somewhere in the middle of his top teams.

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Georgia is going to definitely be one of the top schools for the four-star cornerback from Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson especially as he gets to know new position coach Fran Brown better plus coach Kirby Smart has been recruiting him for years. That level of attention will go a long way plus Mitchell will be back in Athens this weekend. Alabama is still there along with USC, Florida, Oregon and now watch out for Texas A&M. Mitchell had A&M gloves on Saturday at Pylon Los Angeles and he’s going back to College Station for the spring game. The Aggies are getting more in the mix.

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The top-rated prospect in the state of Mississippi committed to the Rebels in November but took an interesting visit this weekend to Alabama. The Raleigh, Miss., four-star linebacker was in Tuscaloosa with his coach and seemed to soak up the atmosphere. What stood out most to Perkins was seeing coach Nick Saban mostly so if the Alabama coach has a personal hand in Perkins’ recruitment it could make things tougher for Ole Miss to hang on.

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Originally from Del City, Okla., Stone is now at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy but took a recent visit to Oklahoma that went really well. It was a dream school growing up and now Stone has to decide whether he wants to return to his home state for college or look elsewhere. It’s not something that’s been finalized yet. But the Sooners did a great job especially as Stone spent the day with position coach Todd Bates and everything went really well. It would be a huge selling point to Stone, who hit it off with Bates and also got a chance to FaceTime with coach Brent Venables.

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The four-star cornerback from Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis loved watching Clemson’s practice over the weekend and the Tigers could be a contender as time progresses but it feels like others have the edge at this point. Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida and Alabama have the edge right now but if Strozier holds off on a commitment and Clemson continues to pursue him then the Tigers could join that top group as well.

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Texas is definitely high on Toviano’s list along with Texas A&M and others but LSU should not be discounted at all after a recent visit that went really well. The atmosphere, the coaches, the opportunity in LSU’s secondary, everything basically stood out to the Arlington (Texas) Martin standout who will be at Georgia sometime this week.

“The vibes I got at LSU were like none other,” Toviano said.

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The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan high four-star receiver took in all Southern California had to offer this weekend including a trip to USC and he’s now serious about the Trojans especially after seeing how he could be developed in coach Lincoln Riley’s offense. Williams loved the feel in California and could return on a trip. Texas A&M is under serious consideration and could be making a big move up in his recruitment and then Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Florida are mainstays.