Recruiting Rumor Mill: Visits heat up as Early Signing Period nears

Another weekend of visits means another big weekend of news and rumors from the recruiting trail. Here’s the latest in this week’s Recruiting Rumor Mill.

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Florida State is the newest offer for the 2024 cornerback from Naples, Fla., and he loved what he saw in Tallahassee over the weekend. Not only was it a great environment and a big win for the Seminoles but Bouzi loved talking with coach Mike Norvell and he hit it off with position coach Marcus Woodson. If FSU wins out for Bouzi, it could be because of his relationship with Woodson. Louisville is also a major player early on as Bouzi and assistant Mark Ivey are tight.

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Texas has been the dream school for the 2025 defensive end from Katy (Texas) Partow and the Longhorns offered in recent days. It was called a “great opportunity” and a “great wakeup call for me to start working harder and getting better.” Brooks is already looking to see when he can visit Austin. Missouri offered in recent days as well.

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Could Clemson be in store for a Thanksgiving commitment? The three-star receiver from Greenville, S.C. (less than an hour from campus) landed an offer from the Tigers on Nov 12 and now he’s set his commitment for Thursday. Minnesota was another program to watch in his recruitment and he visited with the Gophers during the summer but the Tigers have emerged as the front-runner heading into his decision. Whichever program gets him, Brown is a steal after catching 45 passes for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

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Oklahoma is absolutely a team to watch for the Miami (Okla.) Northeastern Oklahoma A&M defensive back but the Sooners are not the only top team for Dolby, who is up to 30 offers now. Washington, Arkansas and Houston are the three other programs to watch in his recruitment as it continues to stay busy. A visit to Oklahoma State this weekend could move the Cowboys way up in his recruitment as well.

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Arkansas made a big impression on the 2024 high three-star quarterback during a recent visit where he was taken to a basketball game Friday, had the gameday experience on Saturday and then came back for an extended visit on Sunday as well. The Razorbacks did everything possible to impress the Mobile (Ala.) Baker standout but his recruitment is exploding with new interest from Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Duke, Louisville and others.

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A return trip to South Carolina made a huge impression on the 2024 four-star linebacker from Marietta (Ga.) Walton not only as the Gamecocks posted 63 points against Tennessee in a huge upset win but Gregory also loved the defensive performance. The Gamecocks are definitely a major contender along with Tennessee, Arkansas, Clemson and Auburn being early standouts as well.

“One-hundred percent without a doubt I saw how they fight and don’t stop fighting until the clock hits zero,” Gregory said of the Gamecocks.

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One of the hottest prospects nationally that has emerged in recent weeks is the 2024 defensive end from Tucker, Ga., who has landed Georgia, Indiana, Ole Miss and Texas A&M offers in the last few days. Many more schools are showing interest in the 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect and he landed his newest offer from Clemson over the weekend. North Carolina and Wake Forest might not be too far behind.

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The 2024 athlete from Swainsboro, Ga., has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks with Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina and others offering as he’s rushed for nearly 1,000 yards with 14 touchdowns and also caught five TDs as well so far this season. Many more are getting in the mix as well since Auburn, Appalachian State, Duke, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Memphis, UCF and Boston College have reached out and Jones just recently heard from Alabama tight ends coach Joe Cox.

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After backing off his pledge to Toledo in recent days, the Lakeland, Fla., safety is hearing from Georgia Tech and FIU with Indiana, Louisville and Memphis hitting him up as well. There are numerous Lakeland teammates who are heading to Power Five programs so McKinley could see his recruitment take off in the coming weeks.

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The feeling after some big visits is that Georgia is the biggest threat to flip the four-star receiver from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco although Moore also loved his trip to Texas recently. Moore has been committed to Louisville since late May but the Bulldogs are carrying a lot of weight in his thinking – especially with his former coach in Las Vegas now a staffer there – and so this is one to watch.

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Texas is definitely a program to watch for the Cypress (Texas) Cy-Fair quarterback who has thrown for 2,840 yards with 34 touchdowns and six interceptions in his junior season but this past weekend Owens was at Baylor and absolutely loved the environment and called it a “surreal experience.” What struck Owens the most was a message that came from coach Dave Aranda to watch certain situations and how great all the Baylor teammates are to each other and it could have a big influence on Owens when he’s ready to name favorites.

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Even though he’s a 2025 four-star quarterback with tons of time left in his recruitment, Picarella has already developed a great relationship with LSU position coach Joe Sloan and that could go a long way in his recruitment. Picarella and Sloan talk football, school and family and so the bond is getting much deeper. So far, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas and Oklahoma State look best but the Madison (Miss.) St. Joseph Catholic standout is taking his time after being in Baton Rouge again Saturday night.

“It was a cold, rainy night but I love that place,” Picarella said.

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The 2025 four-star linebacker from San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) San Juan Hills loved the atmosphere at Oklahoma and thought it was “special” for Bedlam but even more important to Port are the relationships he’s building with the Sooners’ staff from coach Brent Venables on down. Those are going to be crucial as Port works through his early recruitment as it’s a big deal as he inches closer to a list of favorites. So far, visits to Oklahoma, Ohio State, Michigan and BYU have stood out most.

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A surprise visit to Oregon has definitely made things more interesting in Proctor’s recruitment especially since sources say the five-star Iowa offensive tackle commit had a great time in Eugene – and so did his mother, who loved the presentation from the coaching staff. Another visit somewhere else is actually possible as Proctor looks at all of his options but even still Iowa should still like where it stands in his recruitment.

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Oklahoma has already been one of the front-runners for the 2024 high four-star defensive tackle from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and one reason is because he’s originally from the state. This past weekend Stone was at Bedlam and said he had “the best time of my life.” The Sooners are definitely a major contender in Stone’s recruitment but others are pushing hard as well including Michigan State, Miami, Florida, Wisconsin and others.

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The high four-star defensive end from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco is now planning to visit Georgia and it should be this weekend for the Georgia Tech game if not sometime in December before the early signing period. Communication has ramped up between the two sides and Uiagalelei has a tremendous amount of respect for the Dawgs defense. Ohio State still looks best with Oregon lingering but a good visit to Athens could change things.

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If Lane Kiffin stays at Ole Miss (and doesn’t take the Auburn job), then the Rebels have to love their position with the 2024 four-star quarterback from Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian. White took another visit to Oxford recently, loved the atmosphere for the Alabama game and his comfort level with the coaches is at a very high level. A commitment might not come until February or March but Ole Miss is looking strong.

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