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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Two-team race for 2023 five-star QB?

Malachi Nelson
Malachi Nelson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney is back with his weekly Recruiting Rumor Mill with lots of news from around the country.

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We’re not ready to put him on flip watch just yet but the rumor is that Alabama is making a serious push for Anderson and he’s at least listening to the interest. The four-star receiver from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr has been committed to LSU since December and we all know it’s tough to get into Louisiana and pull out kids that want to play for the Tigers but the Crimson Tide are taking a shot.

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Baxter had been committed to Florida State since the summer but backed off his pledge in recent days although the Seminoles are still very much in his recruitment. Miami recently offered and the Hurricanes are coming hard after a lot of FSU commits and Ole Miss, Virginia Tech and others are involved. The word is that Baxter still likes the Seminoles a ton but wants to see which other schools pay him a lot of attention and then the 2023 athlete will revisit his top programs.

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The four-star safety from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman has official visits set to Ohio State, Oregon and USC and the Ducks have done a great job nudging into that top group since the Buckeyes and the Trojans have been there from the beginning. Two other visits will happen and Branch has three programs on the list he’s considering: Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma. The Sooners had backed off a little bit with Branch but seem to be back in it a little bit although there is some ground to make up.

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Brown released a top 10 of LSU, TCU, Oregon, Arizona State, Penn State, Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Kentucky and Tennessee on April 1 but the four-star athlete from Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn visited Ole Miss for a spring practice recently and loved it. How much? That’s hard to tell where Ole Miss currently stands but the word is Brown liked it “a lot” especially seeing how much the Rebels were throwing the ball and they could be a sneaky contender for his commitment now.

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Campbell has official visits planned to Florida, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas A&M but three schools are coming after the four-star defensive end who’s now at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy the hardest - Clemson, Georgia and Florida. Many believe Clemson could have the slight edge in his recruitment but the two SEC schools are not giving up and both coaching staffs have made him a big priority in this recruiting class.

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This weekend the four-star quarterback visits Michigan State and it’s an important trip because both of his parents are headed to East Lansing with him. His mother has not been to Tallahassee yet although the rumor is that the Seminoles now hold a slight edge in his recruitment followed by the Spartans and then Arizona State. This trip will be crucial for Duffy as he gets closer to a decision. The four-star QB said he could wait to take official visits but the chatter is that after this visit he should have a clearer picture of which school he will pick.

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So much makes sense with Gibson ending up at Florida. Both of his parents went there, his father and grandfather played for the Gators plus that coaching staff is making the Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange receiver a big-time priority in this class. It would be no surprise if he ended up in Florida’s class. But Miami is making a serious run at Gibson, too, and if he wants to do his own thing then watch out for the Hurricanes.

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Hamilton is now on the radar with offers from Georgia and Florida State and the Seminoles should be especially watched for the 2024 linebacker from Navarre, Fla., since he has a lot of family that are FSU fans and he lives about three hours west of Tallahassee on the panhandle. The 2024 prospect said he’s watched FSU through its success and struggle and that the interest level is definitely high but it’s still early in his recruitment. Auburn and Vanderbilt have also been in touch.

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James remains 100 percent committed to Texas A&M but the 2023 defensive end has never been to other campuses and hasn’t met many other coaches and so the Wylie (Texas) East standout is planning to do so. That could be a danger to the Aggies but the sense is he’s locked in even though he will get to Texas, Oklahoma State and maybe even Oregon later in the summer.

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Throughout his recruitment, Mullen lamented light interest from the in-state schools and among other reasons it was why Indiana looked so strong in his recruitment. His brother, Tiawan, has excelled with the Hoosiers and that coaching staff has looked to double dip by getting the four-star cornerback in 2022 as well. His recruitment is now shaping up - and the in-state programs are getting more involved. An Indiana visit will happen in mid-June, he’s still working on a Miami date and now Florida State is working with the Coconut Creek, Fla., on an official visit as well.

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Oregon is not the leader in Murphy’s recruitment - he does not have one at this time - but the Ducks are being the most aggressive in his recruitment and the five-star linebacker loves the coaching staff in Eugene. That could be a huge consideration when it’s time for Murphy to make his decision but Georgia is still pushing and Ohio State among others are involved as well.

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It almost feels like a two-team race now for the 2023 five-star quarterback with Oklahoma in the lead and Clemson giving him something to seriously consider. The Los Alamitos, Calif., star quarterback will camp at Clemson this summer for a return trip there but the rumor is that the Sooners are definitely sitting pretty in his recruitment. USC has slipped after the Trojans offered Nico Iamaleava so two teams are looking best but Oklahoma will be tough to overcome.

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Preston will visit USC the first weekend of June and then head to Texas for an official in the third weekend on the trip calendar along with some unofficials sprinkled in along the way. The feeling for some time is that LSU still looks best for the St. James, La., four-star receiver but there has also been some chatter that Preston is serious about getting out of state for college and that could set up the Trojans, Longhorns and other teams up nicely. Preston has denied that he has a preference staying close or going away.

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There are three SEC West programs mainly battling it out for the Montgomery (Ala.) Carver defensive end with LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M leading the way but Boston College is involved as well. Still, it would be a surprise if Russaw gets out of the Southeast. It feels like Auburn and LSU are at the top after those offers but if Alabama offers then the Crimson Tide would clearly join the list, too.

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Official visits to Georgia Tech, Florida and LSU are now scheduled but more are going to be booked for the four-star athlete from Niceville, Fla. Although these aren’t front-runners it has to be a good sign that Thomas got these three trips booked and it could provide a window into which schools are starting to catch his attention the most.

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The Westfield, Ind., three-star defensive end is planning to commit May 1 with a top five of Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, Louisville and Cincinnati but the rumor is the Cardinals could be tough to beat heading into the decision. Louisville, Cincinnati and Nebraska have the best shot for Williams but things look to be trending in Louisville’s direction right now.

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The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star safety released a top 12 in early April which cut down his list significantly but still didn’t give a complete portrait of which schools look best in his recruitment. But one glance at Wilson’s Instagram before some changes were made showed some positive messages toward Georgia and it’s no secret that the Bulldogs are high on his list. Miami is also high up there along with others but the rumor is that UGA is going to be very tough to beat.

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Wilson decided to hold off making a commitment recently with Arkansas, Alabama and Ole Miss as his finalists and it looked like the Razorbacks were going to win out in his recruitment. The former Texas commit delayed his decision but the rumor is that Arkansas still leads and that the Duncanville, Texas, standout could very well still pick the SEC program. The Crimson Tide have some guys ahead on the board so this could be a two-team race unless others get involved late.