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Tuesdays with Gorney: Recapping last week's big commitments

Daylen Austin
Daylen Austin (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It has been a busy week of commitments again and Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney ranks them in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney:

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1. DAYLEN AUSTIN TO LSU

This was big on many levels for the new LSU coaching staff as Austin is from Southern California, his uncle is former USC standout Willie McGinest and there are millions of reasons now with Lincoln Riley in charge that local players are interested in the Trojans again. But coach Brian Kelly and his staff including position coach Robert Steeples got Austin there, he loves the DBU aspect of LSU and the Tigers landed a big-time, athletic corner.

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2. BRAXTON MYERS TO USC

Everything aligned for USC with Myers’ commitment since he liked the Trojans since middle school and then also really respected coach Lincoln Riley during his time at Oklahoma so when Riley went to Los Angeles, it all came together. Still, it’s a major commitment for the Trojans, who now have as many pledges from the state of Texas as they do from California.

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3. BRANDEN STROZIER TO CLEMSON

The four-star cornerback from Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis School narrowed his choices to Tennessee and Clemson and then Alabama and Georgia among others were involved and even though the Vols have some recruiting momentum, Strozier committed to Clemson which is a big win for coach Dabo Swinney and his staff. Beating SEC teams for top corners is always a big deal and this could provide a spark for this Clemson class.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CLEMSON FANS AT TIGERILLUSTRATED.COM

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4. RASHID WILLIAMS TO WASHINGTON

A lot of things pointed to the Pittsburg, Calif., four-star receiver picking Cal when it came to decision day. Berkeley is about 40 minutes away, the Golden Bears recruited him hard, he had a long talk with Desean Jackson during the Cal spring game. But Williams chose Washington instead in a little bit of a surprise as the Huskies are putting together a nice class of fast playmakers right now.

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5. ASHTON COZART TO OREGON

It was an interesting turn of events for Cozart, who’s originally from the Pacific Northwest, over the last few days. Oklahoma coach Brent Venables has a no-visit policy for committed players but Cozart, whose Sooners pledge lasted nearly four months before the weekend flip, headed to Oregon and made the decision to change things up in his recruitment. It’s an early sign that coach Dan Lanning and his staff will go anywhere for players - even committed ones.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OREGON FANS AT DUCKSPORTSAUTHORITY.COM

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6. JUSTIN CRYER TO NORTHWESTERN

Northwestern is having phenomenal success getting official visits to commit and Cryer fits the bill as he loved his trip to Evanston and picked the Wildcats over the last week. He visited campus with his cousin, four-star DE Ashton Porter, and the two have expressed interest in playing together. Cryer is a tackling machine from his middle linebacker spot with more than 100 stops last season. It’s that type of production that makes him a high three-star recruit.

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7. RODERICK PIERCE TO WISCONSIN

Pierce moved up his decision timeline because he knew Wisconsin was the place for him and he made that choice likes he plays football - no-nonsense, all-business and focused. The three-star prospect deals with double teams all the time and still sheds blockers to get to the ball carrier, he’s physical and fast and will bring a lot to the Badgers’ defensive line.

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8. BRIONE BROOKS TO TCU

The viral sensation of the Rivals Camp Series in Dallas, Brooks tips the scales at 400 pounds and will need to trim up to reach his max potential. But the Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff prospect is surprisingly nimble for his size, super powerful and he has that competitive edge coaches love to see. TCU is smart to have recruited him and he could be a big asset for the Horned Frogs.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TCU FANS AT PURPLEMENACE.COM

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9. NATE WHITE TO WISCONSIN

If Jaquez Keyes is the more traditional power back coming to Wisconsin in the 2023 class then White is the do-it-all playmaker who started at running back last season and moved to quarterback out of necessity. But he still put up more than 1,000 yards in his junior campaign and if the Badgers need anything on offense it’s a little more spice to their traditional running attack. White should be able to provide it.

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10. TJ MCMILLEN TO ILLINOIS

McMillen plays for his dad at Wheaton (Ill.) St. Francis who played college and pro ball as well so there was already a jumpstart in understanding the recruiting process. The attention Illinois’ coaching staff paid to the three-star offensive lineman was huge in McMillen’s choice as he had more than 30 offers. He’s expected to play center in Champaign.

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11. BRYCE LOVETT TO FLORIDA

Billy Napier and his staff are targeting Florida and other major regional targets and then going out and winning recruiting battles. Whether Lovett plays inside or outside at 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds is yet to be determined but he’s a strong, thick-legged, powerful offensive lineman who moves people. The Gators beat out Iowa State, Louisville and Missouri for Lovett and those are recruiting battles they cannot lose. They didn’t in this case.

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12. AIDAN HALL TO IOWA

Once the Harlan, Iowa three-star prospect landed his offer from the Hawkeyes recently it was pretty much over. Hall grew up an Iowa football fan and he didn’t want to deal with the pressure of the recruiting process so he called the staff and made his commitment. The do-it-all Hall had more than 1,500 total yards and 24 touchdowns on offense along with nearly 30 tackles and three picks last season.

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13. TAKYE HEATH TO VIRGINIA TECH

Heath is undersized but he’s fast, electric and is a tremendous route runner and pass catcher who showed his stuff at the Rivals Camp in Charlotte. There were some very quality cornerbacks who couldn’t keep up with Heath so the Hokies should be able to use that speed all over the field.

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14. JOSHUA FUSSELL TO NORTHWESTERN

Fussell landed his Northwestern offer in February, took his visit to campus in March and committed to the Wildcats over a handful of other Power Five offers in May. It was a nice progression for the West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West standout who had six interceptions in his junior season as the Wildcats continue an incredible run of commitments.

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15. ALEX DOOST TO NORTHWESTERN

It felt like the Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge standout could stay closer to home with Arizona and Arizona State recruiting him but after going on a trip to Northwestern and really getting a feel for the Big Ten program, the Wildcats won out. Other Big Ten programs were involved with Doost, who mixes power and speed nicely, but Northwestern landed him over the last week.

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16. COLE SHIVERS TO NORTHWESTERN

Shivers is coming from arguably the best program in the state of Arizona - Scottsdale Saguaro - so he’s getting excellent coaching at the high school level which should give him a jumpstart heading into the Big Ten. His visit to Northwestern also went well because he had plenty of time to talk with the coaches and gain vision on the program. He chose Northwestern over Arizona and Colorado.

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17. LES HEWITT TO MISSOURI

Hewitt bounced around junior college last year and played at Holmes (Miss.) C.C. where he had one interception and 18 tackles. Iowa State and Mississippi State were also pursuing Hewitt but after his weekend visit to Missouri, he picked the Tigers.


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