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Tuesdays with Gorney: Takeaways from Steve Clarkson QB Retreat

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - The Steve Clarkson QB Retreat was held over the weekend and Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney offers his thoughts and recruiting rumors he heard from the event in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney.

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DAVIS CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

Jadyn Davis
Jadyn Davis (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

It feels like there is a push to move Jadyn Davis off the No. 1 line when it comes to pro-style quarterbacks in the 2024 class, but the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day standout was as good as anybody - even the 2023 quarterbacks - during Saturday’s workout when the quarterbacks threw way more balls and did more drills. Davis throws a beautiful ball, he can throw on the run, he has a competitive drive and the accuracy was there all weekend. No doubt Davis will be pushed by others - including five-star Julian Sayin and current four-star Dylan Raiola- but Davis had an another excellent showing in Santa Monica.

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RAIOLA IS THE REAL DEAL  

Dylan Raiola had the longest toss of the day at 72 yards as the 2024 four-star from Chandler, Ariz., has an absolute cannon. But he has control, too, which makes him even more appealing as a five-star candidate. He’s a big, sturdy kid, which makes him even more likely to move up in the rankings. This was our first time getting a complete look at Raiola in person after he transferred from Burleson, Texas, this offseason and we definitely liked what we saw. On the field, he’s competitive and has all the arm talent in the world. Off the field, Raiola is a great kid who quickly made friends with the other quarterbacks. Can you say complete package?

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RASHADA COULD PUSH UP THE RANKINGS  

I’m finding it harder to believe that there are six better quarterbacks in the 2023 class than Jaden Rashada, who had an impossible turnaround from flying back to Northern California from Gainesville, Fla., only to then shoot down to Los Angeles and start throwing at the Clarkson event. He still looked like one of the best in attendance, especially during a short period Sunday throwing the deep ball. It’s effortless, it’s on time and while everyone talks about the five-stars in this class incessantly Rashada is putting together a compelling argument to move up as well.

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VIZZINA HAS IMPRESSIVE WEEKEND  

Christopher Vizzina does not do all the national events and he isn't on the 7on7 circuit much, but the Clemson commit had an impressive showing over the weekend and reminds me a little bit of Sam Darnold at the same stage. He has great size, a smooth delivery, can go deep and seems like a quiet kid whose sole focus is producing on the field, moving the ball downfield and getting the job done. A perfect fit for Clemson.

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SAYIN IS AS SOLID AS EVER  

Off to the side before Sunday’s workout, I asked Steve Clarkson about his thoughts on Julian Sayin and he said, “He looked (Saturday) like he always looks,” which I took to mean excellent, without many flaws and maybe the most precise passer in the high school ranks. The 2024 five-star from Carlsbad, Calif., is technically proficient, almost every ball spins perfectly and gets to its target right where it’s supposed to be. I don’t care much that he only threw 62 yards in the long toss (he didn’t throw much else Sunday), so his five-star ranking holds up and he continues to impress. Summer visits to LSU, Texas and Alabama are coming up.

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BRYCE YOUNG STILL THE SAME GUY  


One of the nicest aspects of the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat is seeing all these top college quarterbacks come back into town, catching up with them and seeing how their lives are going.

Alabama’s Bryce Young, the former five-star quarterback from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, was in Santa Monica all weekend, and he’s the same person he was in high school - gracious, thoughtful and mature, but still a kid at heart.

Here was the Heisman Trophy winner and national champion running routes with young kids and laughing it up with them. He was taking pictures with lots of people who asked. Young was always wise beyond his years and more composed than maybe any quarterback I’ve ever covered, and spending five minutes catching up with him was a bright spot from the weekend.

Is it crazy to think he’s Russell Wilson 2.0?

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THOUGHTS ON TOP RECEIVERS

Hykeem Williams
Hykeem Williams (Matt Moreno/TrojanSports.com)

The QB Retreat is not only valuable to see many of the top quarterbacks nationally. There are also elite receivers in attendance, and this year’s version had five-stars Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate and high four-stars Hykeem Williams and Johntay Cook among the participants.

From a physical perspective, there might not be a better-looking receiver in the class than Williams. I also got the impression Texas A&M is starting to really separate itself from the pack, but Georgia and Pitt are also high on the list, along with Alabama and Florida State. Williams has already chatted with current Tampa Bay Bucs and former A&M receiver Mike Evans about playing for the Aggies and he just seems drawn to that program.

Inniss’ situation looks like this: Basically, the five-star receiver is heavily considering USC but his family members are still wrapping their minds around the idea of the Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage standout being so far from home. He also loves Ohio State, and position coach Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes are right there. Then Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Miami are also within striking distance as a big summer of visits is coming up.

Tate is weighing two Northern schools (Ohio State and Notre Dame) versus two Southern ones (Tennessee and LSU) as his recruitment could be entering the final stages. The Chicago native who’s playing at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy did confirm a rumor that he prefers the colder weather, but I got the impression that it’s not going to be a final factor. This feels like Ohio State vs. Tennessee right now.