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Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament: News, notes from day one

Dre'lon Miller
Dre'lon Miller (Nick Lucero/

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas 7-on-7 state tournament draws prospects from across the Lone Star State for some summer football. Rivals national recruiting analyst Cole Patterson was on hand to take in the action and talk to some of the prospects. Here is his report from the first day of the tournament.

MORE: Ten biggest visits on tap this weekend

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Dre'lon Miller narrows focus to three programs


Dre'lon Miller is closing in on a commitment for later this month, as he will announce his collegiate destination on June 29. He is down to three programs: LSU, Texas A&M and USC, and all three have reasons to feel confident about where they stand.

Miller is a versatile offensive threat that all three contenders are selling on playing a Deebo Samuel-like role. He impacts the game as a rusher and receiver, which makes him such an intriguing target and one of the best receivers in the 2024 class.

LSU has several players on its team pitching Miller on playing in Baton Rouge. Lincoln Riley and USC wowed Miller on his official visit to Los Angeles. And Texas A&M offers a big sense of comfort level for the Lone Star State standout. Miller plans to have a decision quietly made in the coming days before going public.


Tyanthony Smith down to two

Texas A&M and USC are also in a battle for Rivals250 linebacker Tyanthony Smith. Smith canceled official visits to Oklahoma and Texas this week, signaling that the Trojans and Aggies are the final two schools standing for his commitment.

Smith confirmed that those are the two that he is focused on. He spent last weekend on an official visit to USC before making a quick stop at A&M on Wednesday prior to the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament kicking off in College Station.

The four-star is high on both with selling points from the two staffs intriguing him. He likes the possibility of going to college in Los Angeles, but he also is very familiar with everything that the Aggies have to offer. He claims that he is in no rush to make a commitment.

My FutureCast currently sits on USC, but Texas A&M is right at the top.


2025 tight end Kiotti Armstrong on the rise

Tyanthony Smith's teammate and 2025 Jasper tight end Kiotti Armstrong was one of the players that caught my eye the most on day one of the 7-on-7 tournament. Listed at an impressive 6-foot-5 and 249-pounds, Armstrong immediately passes the eye test - but he also backs it up on the field.

In the opening game of the tournament Armstrong consistently stretched the field vertically, high pointed the football and presented a lethal red zone threat. The dual-sport athlete that also shines in basketball hauled in a touchdown and presents a nightmare matchup for defenses with his frame and catch radius.

Still early in his recruitment, Armstrong listed Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma as the three standouts. He camped at both Texas A&M and Houston this month, and there is no doubt that his stock is on the rise.


Future SEC battle for Aeryn Hampton

Aeryn Hampton is one of the most dynamic athletes in the 2024 class. A legit weapon on either side of the ball, the East Texas standout offers upside at receiver or in the secondary, which is a big reason why Alabama and Texas are hot in pursuit.

The four-star officially visited both programs this month, most recently Texas. Earlier this week, Hampton spoke highly of his time in Austin as the Longhorns pitched Hampton on playing defensive back with possible packages on offense. The one-time Texas commit feels like a priority for Steve Sarkisian, and the feeling is that the future SEC program is surging.

With that said, Alabama has always been a school of interest for Hampton, and the Tide have made a push. Hampton got to spend time with Nick Saban during his trip out to Tuscaloosa and left impressed with the winning tradition and culture of the program. The Rivals250 prospect is eyeing a July commitment.


Quick hits 

TCU pledge Nathaniel Palmer showcased his ability to be a playmaker out of the backfield for Decatur. Palmer holds nearly 40 offers and provides the Horned Frogs with a dynamic back in the 2024 class alongside Rivals250 running back Jeremy Payne.

Texas Tech commit Chandlin Myers is a long athlete with some two-way ability. The Red Raiders plan on playing Myers in the defensive backfield, where he can use his frame and lengthy arms to his advantage. He's excited about what Joey McGuire can accomplish in Lubbock.

Another player that more than passed the eye test Thursday was 2025 four-star Lance Jackson. The rising junior out of Texarkana (Texas) Pleasant Grove is the younger brother of Arkansas defensive lineman Landon Jackson. He can play either side of the ball, but his 6-foot-5 and 235-pound frame really popped when he lined up out wide on offense.