football Edit

Recruiting Rumor Mill: Visits heat up across the country

Francis Mauigoa
Francis Mauigoa (Rivals.com)

The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back this week after another busy weekend of official visits and junior days. Here is all the latest news:


*****

FACT OR FICTION: Florida has a legit shot at Jacoby Mathews

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State | JUCO

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Stories/coverage | Message board

RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series

*****

The 2023 four-star defensive end from Miami (Fla.) Central has 20-plus offers and so many programs remain involved but Miami made a huge impression during its elite prospect day. Bain sees the entire culture changing there and that “The U looks different.” The message from coach Mario Cristobal was that he wants Bain to lead the 2023 recruiting class.

*****  

South Carolina is one of four early offers for the 2024 receiver from Greenville, S.C., and his trip to visit with the Gamecocks went really well as “they are definitely in the running.” Bennett loves position coach Justin Stepp and a one-on-one conversation on Saturday went a long way. Bennett loves the family atmosphere in Columbia as South Carolina holds the edge right now.

*****  

Iowa and many others will play a role in Black’s recruitment but his weekend trip to Iowa State was “super comprehensive” and he had great talks with coach Matt Campbell and position coach Nate Scheelhaase that especially stood out. The Cyclones will be a major contender for the Urbandale, Iowa standout after such an in-depth visit to Ames over the weekend.

*****  

The 2023 four-star receiver from Springfield, Ohio has been committed to Minnesota since early September but this weekend Brown was at the Penn State Junior Day. What stood out most was when coach James Franklin broke down why Penn State would be the best place for him and other recruits there. Plus, the message from position coach Taylor Stubblefield that he could be “something special” in Happy Valley has given him something to consider.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH MINNESOTA FANS AT THEGOPHERREPORT.COM

*****  

Florida State and Louisville have emerged as the two favorites for the 2023 offensive tackle from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. The Seminoles could have leapt ahead after his weekend trip to Tallahassee because he especially liked the message from the coaching staff.

“They weren’t telling me what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear,” Church said. “The message that was preached was don’t settle for being good, work at being great."

*****  

Coleman said he still does not have any favorites but Nebraska is going to be in the thick of his recruitment until the end and Saturday’s visit there solidified it especially after the coaches told him he’s a top priority. He and his family had great talks with new position coach Mickey Joseph and that stood out most.

“We love him,” the Lincoln (Neb.) East standout said.

*****  

A visit to Penn State went really well for the 2023 four-star linebacker from Alpharetta (Ga.) Denmark whose eyes were open to the academic and athletic mix at Penn State and how he could be set up for life if he goes there. The message from the coaches was to do your research before picking a program and Crayton said the trip was “amazing” because of the message. Penn State, Auburn, Missouri, Florida State, Cincinnati, UCF, Pitt and Arizona State stand out most for him.

*****  

Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Michigan made the top six for Crisp in recent days but he visited Miami over the weekend and had some great conversations with the new coaching staff. The Hurricanes haven’t offered yet as the coaches plan to review his film but this visit was more for both sides to familiarize themselves and Crisp does have serious interest in the program’s new direction. An offer could change up his list.

*****  

Fegans is a 2025 prospect so there is plenty of time to know the Miami coaching staff and see how Cristobal works to turn the program around but there is serious interest in the Hurricanes because he loves how the new Miami coach is handling his business so far. Miami is one of the top early favorites along with South Carolina, UCF, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi State.

*****  

The 2023 three-star receiver from Gilmer, Texas had a great trip to Oklahoma State over the weekend and hanging out with the coaches was a huge selling point. He loved the focused talk on how the Oklahoma State coaches plan to grow their players into men and it resonated with Fluellen, who also has TCU, Texas and Baylor among his favorites.

*****  

He’s from Tuscaloosa. He grew up an Alabama fan. And now Formby has an offer from the Crimson Tide. While it’s undoubtedly huge in Formby’s recruitment and he had a great visit to Alabama this weekend, all schools remain in contention this early in his recruitment. Still, it would be no shock at all for the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge three-star offensive lineman to have the Crimson Tide really high on his list moving forward. He visits Auburn on Saturday.

*****  

The 2024 quarterback from Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy had an outstanding time at the Miami junior day and loved talking with the coaches and meeting recruits from all over the country. The message from the coaching staff was that they like Graham a lot but recruiting him won’t get completely kick-started until an offensive coordinator is hired. Graham still plans to return in the summer since he liked the trip so much.

*****  

One of the prospect who stayed later at Miami after the junior day ended was Hatchett, who had a phenomenal trip and already knew the coaching staff since Mario Cristobal and others recruited him at Oregon. The main idea was to show the recruits what Miami was all about and show their blueprints for how to get the Hurricanes back to national prominence.

“I feel like you don’t really realize how cool it is until you get there,” Hatchett said.

*****  

Ohio State remains the front-runner for the 2023 four-star defensive lineman from College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy and that was only reinforced after a weekend visit. Hoffler got to meet with coach Ryan Day and new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and that went an even longer way on putting the Buckeyes on top.

*****  

During his visit to South Carolina over the weekend, the strength and conditioning staff stood out most to Hood and it could put the Gamecocks even higher on his list. Right now, South Carolina, Kentucky and Penn State stand out most to the 2023 three-star DB from McDonough (Ga.) Eagle’s Landing Christian who also loved hearing from coach Shane Beamer and his staff during the visit.

*****  

The energy of the new Miami coaching staff and the culture that coach Mario Cristobal is trying to build stood out most to the 2023 four-star tight end from New Hope (Minn.) Robbinsdale Cooper. Howard has nearly 60 offers so a ton of options but the message that Miami is rebuilding into national prominence and that the coaches want him to jump onboard definitely stood out. It’s still too early to name front-runners.

*****  

Jean’s recruitment has exploded in recent weeks so it’s still early to name favorites but Miami made a huge impression over the weekend and for many reasons. The Miami (Fla.) Northwestern three-star receiver met the new coaching staff, was told he could be one of the players to return the Hurricanes to their winning ways and he hit it off with new assistant Bryan McClendon among others. Miami has to be considered one of the teams to beat now after this visit.

*****  

The message from the Florida State coaches to Lavallee over the weekend was that he’s a perfect fit on the football field but also the type of person they’re trying to bring into the program as well. That stood out a lot to the 2023 three-star linebacker from Mableton (Ga.) Whitfield Academy as there was a lot of talk about family and what the coaches are trying to instill in their players. The Seminoles along with Vanderbilt, Louisville, Northwestern, Stanford, Wake Forest and North Carolina stand out.

*****  

What stood out most to Lonergan during his trip to South Carolina was how the coaches laid out the offense and said it’s like a pro offense so he would get prepared better for the next level. That definitely stood out to the four-star quarterback from Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood who hit it off with coach Shane Beamer and coach Marcus Satterfield. Lonergan visited Georgia Tech Sunday and will be at Stanford next weekend. Georgia and others remain under serious consideration, too.

*****  

Cincinnati has been the early front-runner for the three-star cornerback from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha but an offer from South Carolina after his visit this past weekend would be huge. Lovett loved the family feel in Columbia and he got a positive message from the coaches that they’d be in touch soon.

“South Carolina really opened my eyes to what the SEC is really like,” Lovett said.

*****  

Nebraska made a big impression on the 2023 wide receiver from Lee’s Summit, Mo., especially when Manning met with new assistant coach Mickey Joseph and that could push the Huskers way up his early list. But Manning is still taking his time with recruiting especially with Minnesota and Washington getting more involved recently and others showing interest, too.

*****  

The former Florida commit was at Miami’s junior day this past weekend, felt everything was run in a first-class manner and loved the plan coach Mario Cristobal laid out for the Hurricanes to have success. The four-star tight end from St. Louis (Mo.) De Smet also liked the plan for his position and how strength coach Aaron Feld and how analyst Cody Woodiel could help him succeed. Markway visited Iowa on Sunday.


*****  

Pitt, Nebraska and Cincinnati would be the top three for the four-star cornerback from Lake Mary, Fla., if he had to pick now but after a weekend visit to Penn State, the Nittany Lions would shoot up the list if they offer. Marshall loved the coaching staff most in Happy Valley and loved the family message that came from the trip. Coach James Franklin especially stood out so a Penn State offer would be massive in Marshall’s recruitment.

*****

There have been rumors that Mauigoa, originally from American Samoa, is leaning toward coming back to the West Coast to play his college ball so his family has an easier trip to see him. But many programs in the Southeast are coming on strong and his weekend visit to Miami stood out immensely - especially spending time with new offensive line coach Alex Mirabal. Two quotes from Mauigoa reinforced the point that Miami is going to be a player in his recruitment.

“Just seeing a little man control big guys is very impressive.”

“A saying by coach Mirabal: ‘We got rid of the turnover chains and stuff like that. We’re here to play football.’”

Miami, USC, Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Penn State stand out most to Mauigoa, who will be at the USC junior day this weekend.

*****

Florida State, Auburn, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama and Michigan are the six early standouts for the 2024 athlete from Pinson (Ala.) Clay who was in Tuscaloosa this past weekend. Mbakwe loved the facilities, the coaches, the weight room, the technology the program deploys and the huge message to him was to focus on academics for a life after football. The Crimson Tide made a big impression but there are others involved here, too.

*****  

It was big for Alabama to get the Georgia commit on campus and the 2023 offensive lineman from Anniston, Ala., really felt the Alabama coaches made him a big priority. But the feeling is that McElderry is “locked in” with the Bulldogs and not wavering off his commitment at this point.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH GEORGIA FANS AT UGASPORTS.COM

*****  

South Carolina could be considered the front-runner for McLeod, who said he loved the message that they need him as soon as possible to make an impact on the defense. The high three-star defensive tackle from Camden, S.C., also has Auburn, Florida State, North Carolina and Ole Miss on his list but the Gamecocks stand out most.

“It made me think I found my true home,” McLeod said.

*****  

The message to the elite 2023 four-star quarterback was that Mario Cristobal really wanted to develop the relationship and have him in the class - and that the plan is to surround Moore with elite receivers and offensive linemen as well. Miami definitely impressed the Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King standout but Michigan is very high on the list with Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State. Moore is expected to visit Oregon this weekend.

*****  

Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Wisconsin are standing out most to Mota and the high three-star athlete from Marion, Iowa had a phenomenal visit to Ames over the weekend. What stood out most about his trip was the positive attitude from the coaches and that Mota feels they want the best for his future - whether that’s with the Cyclones or elsewhere. That could actually go a long way in Iowa State’s favor.

*****  

The three-star linebacker from Waverly (Iowa) Waverly-Shell Rock loved being back at Nebraska and said it was “good to be back and see everyone’s face again.” The plan is for Newsom to schedule even another trip back to Lincoln as the Huskers have impressed him especially with the talks he’s had with the coaches. Newsom was at Iowa on Sunday and will visit Minnesota this week.

*****  

After a weekend visit to Alabama, the Crimson Tide and Georgia are “far ahead” in Parker’s recruitment. The four-star defensive end from Phenix City (Ala.) Central loved how Alabama’s coaches focused on the smallest things that other coaching staffs gloss over. The idea is for Parker to play the Jack position like Will Anderson and it definitely intrigues him a lot.

*****  

Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Missouri are all standing out to the high three-star athlete from Des Moines (Iowa) Roosevelt and his weekend with the Hawkeyes definitely went a long way in Patton’s recruitment. What Patton appreciated most was all the one-on-one time he received with the coaching staff and that should help Iowa a lot as his recruitment continues.

*****  

xThe message Reed and other recruits received at the Texas junior day was simple and to the point: ‘We want to be back again and outwork everyone and win championships.’ That definitely resonated with the three-star offensive tackle from Austin (Texas) Vandegrift who has the Longhorns, TCU, Kansas and Duke at the top.


*****  

The four-star cornerback committed to Texas Tech in November but was at Texas this past weekend and had a tremendous trip. The Waxahachie, Texas standout loved the environment and the message was that Austin would be a great place to live inside and outside of college. The trip meant a lot but Simpson-Hunt’s commitment still stands as he said he talks to the Red Raiders' coaches almost every day.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS TECH FANS AT REDRAIDERSPORTS.COM

*****  

The 2023 five-star defensive end from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln has known Mario Cristobal for years since he recruited Wayne to Oregon so it was important for Wayne to see all the coaches on his trip to Miami - and it was a special trip. Wayne had an excellent trip, he feels like the top priority in the 2023 recruiting class and meeting Ed Reed and Kevin Smith stood out a lot.

“They want me to be a part of the new change,” Wayne said. “And bring back the Miami standard.”

*****  

The feeling once Webb backed off his Oklahoma pledge was that Georgia had regained the lead and could be tough to beat especially since he had previously been committed to the Bulldogs as well. But the four-star all-purpose back from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian had an excellent trip to South Carolina over the weekend and loves the “genuine relationship” he has with the Gamecocks coaching staff.

“I’m their No. 1 priority and they absolutely need me,” Webb said. “I’m looking at them pretty heavy.”

*****

The 2023 four-star cornerback from Houston (Texas) Mayde Creek was expected at the Texas junior day Saturday as the Longhorns and Baylor have been his top two. But Wilson went to Texas A&M instead and had a great time in College Station. The message was that the Aggies think he’s one of the top defensive backs in Texas and that they want him to come down and visit again. So now, Texas and Baylor are up there with Texas A&M and Houston joining the favorites as well.