Recruiting Rumor Mill: Prospects Respond to Weekend Visits

The Recruiting Rumor Mill is back with lots of news and rumors from another busy weekend of visits.

ALABAMA

…Top 2023 four-star cornerback Tony Mitchell was back in Alabama and he said the atmosphere there is “just different” as the Crimson Tide remains a top contender. His teammate, Jeremiah Alexander, is already committed, and 2023 fellow four-star Peter Woods is also high on the Crimson Tide. Lots of visits are coming up for Mitchell who will be at LSU in a few weeks, followed by Texas A&M, Oregon, Georgia, Penn State, back in Alabama for the Arkansas game and then Florida when it hosts Florida State.

…Phoenix City (Ala.) Central 2023 four-star defensive end Tomarrion Parker landed his offer in Alabama this weekend and word is the Crimson Tide could shoot straight to the top of the list. Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Penn State are also leading the way. But Alabama’s location, success, development and tradition are all appealing. “I love that they’re not the flashiest team, they’re just going to play,” Parker said.

…A slew of quarterbacks were in Alabama this weekend, including 2023 four-star Dylan Lonergan, who said he had great conversations with the coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and assistant Charles Kelly. Five star Arch Manning is the prize in that class and he was also on campus and some of the younger QBs noticed.

One of them was 2026 QB Julian Lewis, who already has offers from Florida, Georgia Tech and Penn State. “Arch is cool,” Lewis said. “I learned a lot from watching him interact with the fans during the pregame. He is ready for anything that comes his way.” The 2026 QB is having a blast in Alabama, but the coaches there know it’s super early in his recruiting even though talk to Alex Mortensen and OL coach Doug Brown. A visit to Clemson is planned for Lewis soon.

The word 2024 quarterback Kamari McClellan gets is that he is at the top of Alabama’s wish list for his class and he absolutely loves being in Tuscaloosa. He loves the Alabama environment and an offer would be huge because so far Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech and South Carolina have gotten one.

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cal

There is a special connection between 2024 QB Mabrey Mettauer and Cal coach Justin Wilcox since Wilcox recruited Mettauer’s brother, McKade, into the class of 2019. The Woodlands, Texas quarterback has known Cal’s coach since he was 12, and this weekend Mettauer spent a lot of time chatting with the offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and RB coach Aristotle Thompson. LSU, Miami, Florida, Baylor, the state of Mississippi and Alabama are recruiting Mettauer the hardest.

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CLEMSON

The word on Josh Sapp is that the Greenville, SC, three-star tight end had a great trip to Clemson, especially meeting the coaches and it was “just a great time,” Sapp said. If four-star TE Oscar Delp commits elsewhere later this month—expected to be Georgia—the Tigers could make it even harder at Sapp in this class.

…Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson and many others are going to have a serious run in 2023 four-star DL Peter Woods of Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson, but his visit to Clemson this past weekend was “first class, as usual.” The coaches also make him a top priority as the word is that Woods really appreciated how much time he spent with them prior to the game.

… Clemson offered Joshua Miller of Chester (Va.) Life Christian Academy, and the 2023 three-star OL was on campus last weekend. Yes, the attack struggled again, but Miller loved that they kept through it and the energy of the fans and players was still there. Clemson, Penn State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Tennessee are the players in his recruiting.

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GEORGIA

… The Bulldogs must at some point be cautiously optimistic about turning over five-star defensive lineman Mykel Williams. The USC Commitment was on campus this past weekend to see Georgia’s dominant defensive performance against Arkansas and he returns in two weeks for an official visit. “The message was that I was wanted in Georgia,” Williams said, which is certainly something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

… The word is that Justin Benton loved “everything” about his visit to Georgia, from the electric atmosphere to the defensive display to the coaches who made it clear that he is a priority along the defensive line in the 2023 class. “The message was to introduce myself in defense and make the same moves as them and I certainly could,” Benton said. Georgia and Penn State are currently the frontrunners.

… Major offensive linemen Vysen Lang (2023) and Waltclaire Flynn (2024) had great visits to Athens this weekend. “The atmosphere in Georgia is like nowhere else,” Lang said. Flynn was thrilled that the coaches are always happy to see him and he said, “Literally everything stood out. Georgia was the dream school for Flynn growing up, so it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he ended up with the Bulldogs.

…Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County 2024 four-star tight end Landen Thomas remains committed to the state of Florida, but he left Athens with an assistant coach offer Todd Hartley and now much to think about. “The (Georgian) fans are different,” said Thomas, adding that Georgia is a school where he could see himself in the coming years.

… The message that Kaven Call of Apopka, Florida, got during his visit to Georgia in 2023 was that the coaches want him to be that next elite edge rusher for the Bulldogs. It was a message that had a significant impact on Call’s thinking, who now ranks Georgia, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and UCF at the top of the list.

… Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy 2025 quarterback Colin Hurley immediately saw how talented and dominant the entire Georgia team was against Arkansas and it certainly made a big impact. It was also important that he could spend some time with the coach Kirby Smart, assistant Todd Monken and others and during the game he was with some of his 7-on-7 teammates from DOMX. The Bulldogs are certainly high on his early list.

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KENTUCKY

… Kentucky four-star offense Kiyaunta Goodwin sees the Wildcats as a legitimate SEC contender and he enjoyed their performance Saturday night in a win over Florida. The star in Charlestown, Ind., remains very happy with his promise in Kentucky, but Goodwin will soon be booking other visits to Alabama, Michigan, the state of Michigan and the state of Ohio.

… Kaden Moorman was first supposed to visit Wisconsin this weekend but instead he was also in Kentucky and word is it was the best environment he has seen on his visits so far. “They never stopped cheering,” Moorman said. The Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin County three-star 2023 RB returns to Lexington for the LSU matchup this weekend.

… Dakota Patterson loved the crowd there and it was “probably the best I’ve seen.” He also liked that Kentucky has thrown the ball more and the word is that this could intrigue him even more as his recruiting continues. Ethan Crisp is also paying more attention to Kentucky, saying the coaches are “building something special there.”

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LSU

…Texas A&M had an early lead for 2023 four-star defensive end Dylan Spencer of Katy (Texas) Taylor, but word is LSU is there now too. Spencer said he has “never had an experience like LSU. The stadium, the locker room and the community is just different.”

… Willis, Texas, 2024 four-star QB DJ Lagway was offered by LSU during the visit and now the Tigers join Baylor and Texas A&M high on his list. LSU has not yet offered Khai Prean of Donaldsonville (La.) Ascension Catholic for 2023 all-purpose four-stars, but it would be a game-changer in its recruiting. “LSU really stands out to me,” said Prean, who reaches the states of Michigan, Mississippi, Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt the most.

… Alabama, Oregon, Washington, USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida and Nebraska have recruited the four-star DE Jayden Wayne from Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln for 2023, and the state of Ohio has stepped it up in the last few years weeks, but after he visited LSU last weekend, the Tigers coaches told him they wanted to recruit him even harder. Wayne is definitely interested in LSU, but admits that some schools have come down harder so far.

… Ryan Robinson, a 2023 three-star cornerback from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr, had a great time at LSU, but it’s a similar story right now. LSU hasn’t offered, so he can’t hope for too much. Right now, Auburn and Florida State are recruiting him the most.

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OUR LADY

… Drayk Bowen was back at Notre Dame last weekend and more trips are coming this month as the Irish are the absolute frontrunner for the 2023 four-star LB from Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean. More important than wins and losses was Bowen’s chance at DC. to see Marcus Freeman in action and that impressed him. “I’d say ND is pretty high on my list of schools,” Bowen said.

… Malik Muhammad missed his flight and so didn’t make it to South Bend, but the 2023 four-star Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff cornerback likes what he sees on both sides of the ball, saying, “If I have a top list they would definitely be in it, from above they have a burning desire to win and I like that.”

… Samuel M’Pemba had a great visit and the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s 2023 four-star athlete who works from a top 12 said he’ll be back to South Bend eventually. Coming from Missouri, Notre Dame is definitely a big contender. It’s also 2023 four-star OL Monroe Freeling of Mount Pleasant (SC) Oceanside Collegiate Academy, who said the environment was “great” this weekend and Notre Dame is a “real competitor” in its recruiting.

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PENN CONDITION

… Penn State returns have been incredibly positive. Perkasie (Pa.) Pennridge 2023 linebacker Phil Picciotti said he had a “great conversation” with the coach James Franklin, he got in touch with other top recruits and, “I’d say Penn State is one of my best schools, but I’m going to remain open throughout this process.” The Nittany Lions are definitely a big contender to land the inside linebacker in the state.

… Penn State also made a big impression on Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s four-star LB Jordan Hall in 2023, as he loved the energy and the environment plus the staff and got along well so far. Cameron Lenhardt, who is soon to visit the state of Michigan, was struck by the hospitality and defense: “They’re pretty high on my recruiting list.”

… A newer name to follow is 2025 running back Gideon Davidson of Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy. Davidson said he was “proud to be offered as a Penn State recruit,” and he loves the attention to detail on and off the field at Happy Valley. So far, the Nittany Lions, South Carolina, Virginia and Liberty have offered and getting an early foot in the door with someone so talented should definitely help in the long run.

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