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Tuesdays with Gorney: Teams that shined during a wild June

Antavious Woody
Antavious Woody (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

June was like nothing else I’ve experienced in my career covering recruiting and I’m not sure we’re going to see something like it again.

The incredible amount of traveling, camps, visits, changes of plans and everything else that came when prospects were finally allowed to once again take visits and meet with coaches felt like it was National Signing Day every day.

The sheer amount of news, rumors, commitments and everything else that goes into recruiting was constant for an entire month with no let-up and it made for some really interesting storylines.

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TEAMS OF THE MONTH

ALABAMA

The Crimson Tide landed only two commitments in June from three-star WR Amari NiBlack and four-star RB Le’Veon Moss but here’s why they made this list: Coach Nick Saban and his staff were unusually patient and conservative offering recruits over the past months and wanted so many to camp.

Many of them did since they are seriously interested in Alabama so maybe the Goliath of college football had more top players through than any other school. Alabama really got to redraw its recruiting board because of it.

Like a wild dog let off the leash, watch commitments come streaming in once Alabama starts to seriously focus on its top targets.

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BOSTON COLLEGE

Jeff Hafley and his staff have loaded up this month as prospects visit campus and the Eagles are locking up commitments. Out of 19 total commitments, Boston College has landed eight pledges this month with four-star tight end RJ Maryland from Texas being the newest pledge.

No Power Five team has more pledges right now as BC made a big jump in June.

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FLORIDA STATE

The job coach Mike Norvell and his staff have done is amazing especially since they’re not exactly selling a program that’s back to national prominence yet. The Seminoles have landed commitments from four-stars Antavious Woody, Qaeshon Sapp, Bishop Thomas, Trevion Williams and others over the last few weeks.

Just how active FSU and its recruits are on social media speaks a lot to the rebound going on in Tallahassee.

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GEORGIA TECH

At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Atlanta, there was so much buzz about Georgia Tech it was really telling that coach Geoff Collins and his staff are putting in excellent work. June has been good for the Yellow Jackets with three-star offensive linemen commitments: Griffin Scroggs and Brandon Best and four-star Tyler Gibson, along with a big-time 2023 commitment from defensive end Zachariah Keith.

Georgia, Clemson, Florida, Alabama and others will win a lot of recruiting battles in the state of Georgia but Georgia Tech is doing a much better job and recruits are taking notice.

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NORTH CAROLINA

Mack Brown continues to do an amazing job with the Tar Heels. They beat out Michigan and others for four-star defensive end Beau Atkinson, who could be really special in Chapel Hill. Three-star additions Deuce Caldwell and Justin Kanyak are nice players as well.

But the best might still be to come.

If North Carolina can convince five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice and five-star defensive tackle Travis Shaw to join the class, that would be an absolute game-changer.

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USC

There are other programs that have had more commitments through June, but USC has shown its national reach and landed really quality prospects. USC beat out numerous SEC schools for five-star DE Mykel Williams. It beat out Penn State and others for four-star DB Jaeden Gould. And four-star RB De’Anthony Gatson was a nice recruiting win out of Texas.

The Trojans have to lock down California to win the Pac-12 but a more national approach can be beneficial, too.

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BIG COMMITMENTS IN JUNE

Mykel Williams
Mykel Williams (Rivals.com)

There were 19 prospects in the Rivals250 who committed during the busy month of June. Here is a very quick take on each one:

Mykel WilliamsUSC

I’m not sure he’s the No. 25 player nationally and the second-best strong-side defensive end, but he has speed off the edge and can be a force in USC’s defense.

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Khamauri RogersMiami

This was a massive win for the Hurricanes because Rogers is so close to Ole Miss position coach Terrell Buckley. Miami has had some big-time stars at defensive back and Rogers has that kind of potential.

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Gavin SawchukOklahoma

“Perfect fit” is sometimes overused in this business but this is, well, a perfect fit for Oklahoma’s offense. Sawchuk can run between the tackles, get to the outside and he’s a playmaker who’s surprisingly tough to tackle.

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Kaleb BrownOhio State

Brown is not in the conversation every time in recruiting talk because he has quietly gone through the process. On the field, though, he should be a major target in Ohio State’s offense and his elusiveness should work well there.

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Antavious WoodyFlorida State

Is he an offensive lineman? Is he a defensive lineman? He has shined twice at Rivals camps at defensive tackle and he’s shown dominance there. Either way, the Seminoles are getting a player with a high competitive level.

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Jihaad CampbellClemson

Campbell can play the outside linebacker spot and he can come off the edge. Either way, the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star plays with a fierce aggression to attack the football. In a Brent Venables defense, that’s going to be fun to watch.

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Trevion WilliamsFSU

We honestly knew very little about Williams until he showed up at the Dallas Rivals Camp earlier this spring and made a big impression. He looks great, he can play multiple positions and he’s just scratching the surface of his potential. Whether he’s a big middle linebacker or ends up at defensive end, he’s a physical force.

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Le’Veon MossAlabama

There was a lot of chatter LSU targeted Moss as one of its favorite running back prospects so for Alabama to go into Baton Rouge and get him was a big statement. He’s a big, strong back and the Crimson Tide know how to maximize those abilities.

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Trevell MullenIndiana

Miami, Florida State and others started getting much more interested in Mullen but Indiana was there all along and scored big, just like the Hoosiers did when they got Mullen’s brother, too. He’s lean but smooth and agile, and should make for a lockdown corner.

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Niuafe TuihalamakaNotre Dame

USC lost his early commitment and Notre Dame was the beneficiary. He's an inside guy who can hit and clean up. He has a lot of ability that’s just waiting to be unlocked.

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TJ DudleyOregon

It says a lot that Oregon coach Mario Cristobal can go to Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic for Dudley as the Ducks continue to load up on superstar linebackers. Dudley hits hard and runs sideline to sideline. SEC schools definitely wanted him but the Ducks won out.

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Dallan HaydenOhio State

Notre Dame, Tennessee and others were giving chase but once Hayden visited Columbus and the coaching staff gave his family the treatment, it was a lock for the Buckeyes. Hayden has all the tools to be a solid, steady back in the Big Ten.

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Toriano PrideClemson

Clemson usually doesn’t go to St. Louis for top recruits but Pride was a big target who can play on an island, and can turn and run. It’s hard to believe there are 20 better corners in the class.

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Shemar JamesFlorida

Florida beat out Alabama and others for James and they’re getting a big-time athlete who is bouncy and a major playmaker. At linebacker, he carves through the offensive line and hits hard. I love how he plays and should move up in the national rankings.

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Ish HarrisTexas A&M

I love that Harris is also a star running back because he will be able to see things more quickly and react faster since he’s expected to play linebacker for the Aggies. Long and rangy, Harris should be a nice addition to the Aggies’ defense and maybe immediately.

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Sherrod CovilClemson

We’ve slowly moved Covil up the rankings but it probably should have been faster because he is physical, he can cover and he breaks on the ball well. I loved seeing just how competitive he was at the Five-Star Challenge.

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Beau AtkinsonNorth Carolina

Think Aidan Hutchinson or Braiden McGregor at Michigan. That’s an almost perfect comparison for Atkinson, who has continued to develop physically. He plays with a competitive nature and his commitment was a big win for the Tar Heels.

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De’Anthony GatsonUSC

Texas offered Gatson and it looked like the Longhorns were going to get his commitment immediately. But USC stayed involved, showed a lot of love and attention, and he could be a good power option in the Trojans’ attack.

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Torren WrightNC State

Wright can be an edge rusher or play the outside linebacker role in coverage. He does both very well. He’s also a legit 6-foot-4 with a frame that could add good weight. He flew under the recruiting radar a little bit but he’s a great pickup for NC State.