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Recruiting Rumor Mill: Weather heating up – and so is recruiting news

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June is in full swing and recruiting news and rumors are hotter than ever. Here’s what Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney is hearing in this week’s Recruiting Rumor Mill.

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Sunday: Who should be No. 1 in 2024 Rivals250?

Monday: Five-star countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals 250 released | 10 prospects on the verge of five-star status | Gorney’s thoughts

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released | Rivals Roundtable: Who will finish as top RB?

Saturday: Rankings Roundtable: Who was ranked too high? Too low?

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New offers from Georgia and Clemson should definitely be watched, and LSU especially made a huge impression during a recent camp stop where he also landed an offer from the Tigers. Working with LSU offensive line coach Brad Davis absolutely made a big impression on the 2025 standout from Addison (Texas) Trinity Christian Academy and another trip to Baton Rouge could be in the cards. Beckley also visited Georgia and Clemson this week and will be at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State soon.

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Arkansas is believed to have the edge in Branham’s recruitment but Ole Miss definitely impressed during a recent visit as he hit it off with position coach John Garrison and thinks the Rebels could have the best new facilities in the country. Still, the Razorbacks are very high for the Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside standout, with a commitment planned for June 26. Trips to Oklahoma State and SMU are also planned, but Branham is nixing a trip to Texas A&M.

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Watch for UCF to be the team to beat for Brinson, especially after his recent visit there was the “best time of my life,” and everything he could have needed on the visit was provided by the coaching staff there. The UCF trip definitely blew the high three-star athlete from Tampa (Fla.) Gaither away, and now with the Knights having momentum on the recruiting trail adding Brinson would not be a shock at all.

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Maybe Ole Miss and Mississippi State will battle it out for the four-star athlete from Starkville, Miss., but Burnside’s recent visit to Texas A&M was one for the books. Burnside had “one of the best visits I’ve been on so far,” and so the Aggies could be a sneaky contender if the four-star is considering leaving the state. Arkansas, Auburn and West Virginia aren’t out of it yet, either.

“Their energy toward their players and recruits are the same. They treat us just like we’re one of the A&M players,” Burnside said.

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Four schools are basically in the running for the high three-star offensive tackle from Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic, and a recent trip to Florida State definitely left a big impression. Daniels loved the staff in Tallahassee and Seminoles’ message to him was that he could accomplish all his goals there. Texas, Georgia and Rutgers are the only other schools Daniels is strongly considering at this point.

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The memories from a recent visit to UCF will all be centered around fun environments. Whether it was taking pics with foreign cars or going to Top Golf or engaging in pie, watermelon and cake-eating contests, a scavenger hunt, playing Family Feud or performing karaoke, Flynn felt the UCF staff put a lot of time and effort into impressing him. The message stood out, too – that the Knights would be competing for national titles and players like him were needed to make it happen. UCF, Georgia, Oregon and Georgia Tech are standing out most now for the Loganville (Ga.) Grayson four-star center.

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Florida State already has a top tight end commit in Landen Thomas, but that won’t dissuade Fox from joining forces as the two have discussed the possibility but three other programs are also very much in the running for him: UCF, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss. The Knights could actually be the team to watch for the four-star tight end from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson if it’s not the Seminoles because his recent trip there was excellent as he and his family felt like a major priority in Orlando and the pitch was to join up with all the recruiting momentum UCF has at the moment.

“The people in the building is really what stood out to me,” Fox said.

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Hasselbeck is a Boston College legacy, since his father, Matt, played there before a long NFL career, so the Eagles and other ACC schools should be watched. But a recent visit to Michigan State definitely stood out and his host, quarterback Noah Kim, “couldn’t have been better.” The Spartans are a program to watch, along with B.C. and Pitt, Harvard and UAB. If Arizona gets a visit, the Wildcats could be in play, and then Liberty, East Carolina and Rice are involved.

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Wisconsin has emerged as the team to watch in Lafaele’s recruitment, especially after his recent visit to Madison went really well on so many levels. The high three-star defensive end from Honolulu St. Louis loved Madison and the people there, Wisconsin’s academics, the winning history and he hit it off with new coach Luke Fickell and his staff. The Badgers – along with Washington, Arizona State, Oregon State and Hawaii stand out most. Nebraska and San Diego State are trying to sneak in late.

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After the departure of director of player personnel Kevin Mashack, the four-star defensive end who’s now at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy could be significantly cooling on Texas A&M. The Aggies are not out of it by any stretch, but his connection to Mashack was a big deal and as A&M dips a little Texas, Missouri, Auburn, USC and Miami could be left to battle it out for Lindsey.

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A rumor has been floating around for a couple days that USC is now the team to watch in Lewis’ recruitment, and it’s not out of the question that the 2026 star quarterback reclassifies at some point. That is by no means finalized, but the Carrollton, Ga., standout was recently at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat in Southern California and expressed interest in getting back to visit USC again with playing for coach Lincoln Riley as a huge draw in his recruitment. Texas, Georgia and many others are involved with Lewis – who might even be a five-star in the 2024 class – but watch out for the Trojans here.

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LSU has always been one of the schools highest on Mascoll’s list, but it’s a little bit of a wonder why he has not committed yet. The Tigers could look even stronger after a recent visit where he loved the energy from the coaches and the people inside the program and the message that he has a high ceiling and that staff could develop him best. Florida and NC State are the two other standouts in his recruitment right now as both also have a very good shot with the Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett standout.

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After camping at Auburn late last week with his Phenix City (Ala.) Central team, the Tigers could have made a significant move up in Morgan’s recruitment, but going into that event Florida State had the lead. A recent visit to Tallahassee went incredibly well for the three-star safety who has been outplaying his current ranking, and the Seminoles definitely were No. 1, although Auburn is not going to give up on Morgan or his elite receiver teammate Cam Coleman anytime soon.

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Nebraska could certainly keep Nelson home, and Notre Dame definitely appeals to the Ainsworth, Neb., four-star tight end but the chatter here is around Georgia, especially after his recent visit to Athens. Even with two tight ends already committed, the Dawgs could be seriously in the market for Nelson as they feel he’s a Brock Bowers-type of tight end and nobody is going to turn that down.

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Tennessee and Oregon have really caught the attention of the four-star defensive end from Birmingham (Ala.) Vestavia Hills, but a recent trip to Florida was also “amazing,” and the Gators have to be considered a contender here, along with others. What Ross liked most about his Florida trip was that the coaches were “brutal honest” with him about playing time and what it would take to get on the field instead of promising anything up front. In the long run, that could go a long way with Ross.

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The four-star running back from Benton, Ark., had been committed to Arkansas for nearly a year earlier in his recruitment but reopened things in October. The feeling is that the Razorbacks are still in good shape to land the big 6-foot-2, 225-pound back but that a recent visit to South Carolina really made a huge impression and that Russell now has a lot to think about with the Gamecocks. If there’s one school right now that could pull the in-state standout away from Arkansas, it could be the SEC foe.

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Nebraska is definitely a key player in Sanders’ recruitment, especially after a visit there recently where he felt the coaches are “true, genuine and it’s all built on family and trust.” That definitely stood out to the Miami Gulliver Prep three-star safety. The Huskers are definitely in the mix, especially after he spent some time in Lincoln, but Miami, Duke, Florida, Florida State and Louisville remain in the mix, too.

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It will be interesting to see how Texas A&M progresses in Sellers’ recruitment after a new offer, but a recent visit to Texas absolutely stood out to the 2025 four-star cornerback from Pearland (Texas) Shadow Creek. Sellers especially loved working with secondary coach Terry Joseph, safeties coach Blake Gideon and staffer Joey Thomas. The Longhorns made a big impression. Oklahoma, Auburn, Oregon and Baylor have caught his attention.

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The early thinking in Simon’s recruitment was that LSU would be tough to beat, and after working out there during a team 7on7 in recent days, the Tigers could be making a big move with the 2025 running back from Shreveport (La.) Calvary Baptist Academy. But there is going to be fierce competition, mainly from Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Notre Dame and Oregon. A recent trip to Austin went really well for Simon as coach Steve Sarkisian and position coach Tashard Choice hit it off with the 2025 standout.

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Two things are making Texas A&M the top school for Smith: A recent visit where he hit it off with the players and loved their answers about their program and his relationship with defensive coordinator/linebackers coach DJ Durkin, who Smith called his “right-hand man.” USC is also a major standout for the four-star linebacker from Jasper, Texas, and an upcoming visit to Texas could get the Longhorns squarely in this as well.

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Penn State could have held a slight edge for Waller before his weekend visit and the Nittany Lions only helped themselves with the four-star linebacker from Picayune, Miss., over the last few days. Coach James Franklin and his staff have made Waller feel like a major priority for their Jack position and that is definitely a big selling point as a recent visit to Auburn also went well. Those two teams, along with Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina, have his attention.

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Oklahoma, Texas and TCU are recruiting the hardest right now for the new 2025 three-star running back at Southlake (Texas) Carroll, and a recent trip to Austin definitely left a big impression. A big season from Wormley could get position coach Tashard Choice even more interested, but Wormley loves a whole lot of what’s going on at Texas, especially the campus and his relationships with everyone there.

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