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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Top prospects return home from big visits

Winston Watkins Jr.
Winston Watkins Jr. (Justin Garcia/

The second weekend of June official visits is in the books and top prospects have been camping all over the country in recent days so that makes for a loaded Recruiting Rumor Mill.

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The four-star linebacker from Vero Beach, Fla., had a phenomenal time at Illinois over the weekend and while Ohio State still has his commitment the Illini “did a great job” over the weekend.

The Illinois coaching staff was preaching about family and he already felt like he was on the team in Champaign and Alford is also impressed by how many defensive players have been drafted highly from that program.



Florida, Miami and Penn State have been high in Barclay’s recruitment but Clemson could be surging for the 2026 four-star offensive guard from Orlando (Fla.) First Academy especially after a visit to campus.

The way coach Dabo Swinney runs his program, how he doesn’t use the transfer portal and how things are grounded in “faith and morals” are all things that are standing out to Barclay and to why the Tigers are now a main front-runner for his commitment. Oklahoma could be moving up quickly as well, too, after he received an offer last week and his favorite player growing up was Lane Johnson. Barclay also loves the NFL development of the offensive linemen in Norman as well.


Programs from across the Southeast along with Ohio State, Oregon, Colorado and others are all involved with the 2026 four-star linebacker from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson but Auburn has been the mainstay and continues to be a “top-five team for sure.”

Davis was back on The Plains this weekend for a 7on7 tournament and the message from coach Hugh Freeze to him was that he was “going to make it hard for me to not commit to Auburn.”


The 2026 four-star offensive tackle from Flower Mound, Texas spent a ton of time with coach Brent Venables and assistants Bill Bedenbaugh and Miguel Chavis so that definitely stood out during his time along with how organized everything was since the linemen were separate from the skill players and that gave each group more attention.

The list remains long as Evers has already seen Texas, SMU and Oklahoma, he was at Texas A&M over the weekend and then he’s going to LSU and Alabama in a couple weeks. Ohio State is pushing for a visit and Michigan could be a stop as the four-star also wants to see Florida State, Georgia and Clemson.


There has been an established group of top programs that has seen some teams leave because of commitments and others join as Penn State, Michigan, Miami, Florida State, Oregon, North Carolina and LSU have topped that list.

But a new offer from Clemson “shakes things up for sure” for the 2026 four-star quarterback from Cocoa, Fla., who landed an offer from the Tigers on Saturday night.

“It’s special,” Hart said.


Marcelin’s visit to Miami was “pretty awesome” and he loved how current linebacker Wesley Bissainthe talked about the team bond and winning culture in Coral Gables.

The Hurricanes are definitely “high” for the four-star linebacker from Miami (Fla.) Central and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t end up at Miami as Louisville, Penn State, Pitt and Stanford are also heavily involved.


The four-star linebacker from Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola has been committed to Miami since mid-December but Auburn made a massive impression on his recent visit and now the Tigers have “set the standard” in his recruitment.

Melendez loved how everyone was authentic, how everyone was like a family and how he and defensive coordinator/linebackers DJ Durkin share a “similar passion” for the game.

The Kissimmee Osceola standout will also visit Oklahoma and then figure out his recruitment but Auburn is absolutely the program to watch to flip Melendez from the Hurricanes.



Miller’s brother, Blake, plays at Clemson and so the four-star linebacker from Strongsville, Ohio is really familiar with the Tigers. Now with an offer, Miller is definitely interested since Clemson is “like a second home” to him and he loves how the coaching staff from coach Dabo Swinney to coach Wes Goodwin are recruiting him.

No top schools have emerged yet in Miller’s recruitment but Clemson will “definitely be up there for sure” when the four-star puts out a top list.


Ohio State could be the program to beat for the 2027 cornerback from Aliquippa, Pa., after the Buckeyes offered in recent days especially because Moon knows about the program’s success, he loves how position coach Tim Walton develops his players and they’ve always been a top team early in his recruitment.

Penn State, Pitt and many others are involved with the Western Pennsylvania standout who is close to 30 offers already.


After two trips in the last week including one over the weekend, Alabama is the main threat to flip the five-star cornerback who’s been committed to Ohio State since February.

Auburn, Georgia and now LSU are trying to get involved with the Birmingham (Ala.) Parker standout but the Crimson Tide are pushing hard for the flip at this point.


Oklahoma has not offered yet but the 2026 receiver from Arlington (Texas) Bowie had a great day at camp over the weekend as “everything stood out” to him in Norman.

He loved how position coach Emmett Jones worked with the position group, he appreciated the culture and hospitality there and if the Sooners offer they would be one to watch with Cal, Arizona, Texas Tech and Tulsa so far.

“Coach (Brent) Venables is building something special there,” Osunde-Brown said. “You can feel the good energy from the time you enter the building.”


The four-star cornerback from Missouri City (Texas) Hightower ended up not visiting Texas A&M over the weekend and has basically “moved on” to two favorites in his recruitment: LSU and Texas.

Oregon and Michigan are trying to make a late push as well but Phillips has the Tigers (where his brother Jacob played) and the Longhorns as they’ve been the most consistent in his recruitment.


Penn State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Ohio State have been the main front-runners in Scruggs’ recruitment but after Clemson offered the Tigers are “definitely a top school” as well.

The 2026 four-star offensive tackle from Leesburg (Va.) Loudoun County loves “everything” about Clemson from the coaches to the culture to the facilities.


The 2027 offensive tackle from Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff could end up being one of the best in his class and Oklahoma has jumped right to the top of his list after his workout in Norman where he landed an offer.

Swanson loved that the coaches were invested in improving his game and not just moving onto the next player and while the 2027 standout has double-digit offers the Sooners stand out most.


A weekend visit to Stanford was “next-level” as the four-star linebacker from Buford, Ga., loved the passion of position coach Mark D’Onofrio and what that school could offer him outside of football but Walker remains committed to Colorado at this point.

The four-star will be back in Boulder late this month to either lock things up or have something else to consider after this Stanford trip.



Through his recruitment, different programs have taken the lead with Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Baylor, Penn State and others involved and now it looks like UCF could have the edge.

The four-star quarterback from Severn (Md.) Archbishop Spalding started his official visit schedule with the Knights and others are coming up but there is some guarded confidence that UCF is now the team to beat.


The Ole Miss coaches told the five-star receiver they could utilize him in many ways during his trip to Oxford over the weekend and a comparison to Elijah Moore definitely stood out. Moore had 189 catches for 2,441 yards and 16 touchdowns in three seasons for the Rebels before becoming a second-round NFL Draft pick.

That was big for Watkins, who has now visited Ole Miss and South Carolina and has Ohio State next before more possible visits during the season.


Wisconsin already has four offensive line commitments but the coaching staff made it clear to Watts they’re keeping a spot for him open as the four-star from Brookline (Mass.) Dexter definitely feels like a major priority there.

Clemson, Wisconsin and Michigan are the standouts now for Watts, who loved the strength and conditioning program and the players in Madison this weekend.


Ole Miss and many other Southeast powers are going to be involved with the 2026 four-star safety from Brandon (Miss.) Hartfield Academy but his new offer from Ohio State is a “dream come true.”

Ohio State has been a dream program for Womack for as long as he can remember and now that the Buckeyes have offered they’re definitely high on the board.


Oklahoma position coach Emmett Jones gave Yancey some pointers he can use this season which were appreciated as the Sooners have definitely made a major impression on the 2027 star receiver from Arlington (Texas) Lamar.

Mississippi State and Ohio State are the two other schools to watch early on for Yancey who visited Texas A&M on Sunday, will be in Columbus later this month and he’s trying to get to Georgia as well.