Recruiting Rumor Mill: Carousel spinning as Early Signing Period nears


The Early Signing Period is coming up but there are already coaching changes happening and one big final weekend of game-day visits. Here’s the latest in this week’s Recruiting Rumor Mill:

A visit to Clemson over the weekend was “just great” for the three-star athlete from Bogart (Ga.) North Oconee as the coaching staff especially emphasized that he’s a major priority in this recruiting class. Clemson could not have gone much better and that’s a good thing for the Tigers as Barnes is not planning any more visits with Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma as his finalists.

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The Pierce, Neb., three-star tight end who caught 69 passes for 1,274 yards with 18 touchdowns this season has been committed to Nebraska since April but his recruitment is coming down to the Huskers and Iowa State. It’s “still just those two” as Brahmer is planning to visit both before signing anywhere and he also quickly has to get to know new coach Matt Rhule.

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Hiring Matt Rhule is a “great move” by Nebraska and it could help the Huskers with the 2024 high three-star athlete from Topeka, Kan. So far in his recruitment, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri have been showing the most interest for the 6-foot-5, 235-pound prospect who has nine total offers so far.

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The Clemson coaches were pushing for a commitment over the weekend from the three-star running back out of Roanoke (Ala.) Handley and he loved his trip there but the idea is for Haynes to still wait out a decision. The Tigers have to like their position as Washington State and Western Kentucky are the main competitors for Haynes’ services and the Cougars are trying to get Haynes to Pullman but no visit has been finalized yet.

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Tennessee, Baylor, Duke, Oregon State and Washington have made the biggest impression on the 2024 tight end from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain but Kenny Dillingham’s hiring at Arizona State could change things a lot. The Sun Devils could definitely join that top group for Hipp as he gets to know the new staff and see what they have in store for the program.

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Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama and Florida are the top six for the 2024 four-star safety from Rockledge, Fla., but after a weekend visit to Florida State the Seminoles could be significantly moving up. Heyward loved the environment in Tallahassee and sees an upward trajectory for FSU under coach Mike Norvell. The message from the staff was that they’re going to recruit Heyward even harder and he’s thinking about slipping the Noles onto his top list.

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Miami and Ole Miss have been the two regulars in Johnson’s recruitment over the last many months but Clemson and Penn State have now joined the top group – and the Tigers could be moving up really high, really fast. His visit to Clemson was the best yet for the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard speedster and while Johnson will still visit Penn State next month, Clemson is looking better and better.

“They are in a good spot with me,” Johnson said.

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The 2024 high three-star quarterback from Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military School remains locked into his pledge he made to Florida State in March and he’s loved how the Seminoles have progressed this season. But Penn State is making a serious run at Krommenhoek as well and the 2024 quarterback is considering some visits after his season comes to an end.

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The hiring of coach Matt Rhule at Nebraska has McClellan “very excited” and he’s going to more closely monitor the Huskers early in his recruitment. The 2024 four-star receiver from St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers still has Ohio State, Michigan, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oregon and others recruiting him the hardest.

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Penn State is showing the most love and attention to the 2024 athlete from Bellevue (Neb.) West as he talks to the Nittany Lions “almost every day” and he really likes that from the PSU staff. That program definitely stands out but McMorris also hears a lot from USC, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma.

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Bringing Matt Rhule to Nebraska is a “great hire” in the eyes of the 2024 quarterback from Wheaton (Ill.) St. Francis as the Huskers have been recruiting hard along with Missouri, Ole Miss, Duke, East Carolina and then a couple MAC programs. So far, Milivojevic is paying particular attention to Nebraska, Ole Miss and Bowling Green as those three have offered.

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Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are the three schools to offer the 2024 safety from Esko, Minn., so far and then Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Kansas and Kansas State have gotten more involved through his junior season. With the Huskers, there is significant interest from Perich as he watches the first coaching change in his recruitment and hopes new coach Matt Rhule keeps a lot of what Mickey Joseph was doing inside the program.

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Instead of going to the Michigan-Ohio State game this weekend, the 2025 four-star linebacker from Buford, Ga., went back to Georgia and had another phenomenal time in Athens. On this trip, the Georgia coaches spent a lot of time with Perlotte and showed him a lot of reasons why the Dawgs could be the team to beat in his recruitment. A top list could be coming shortly.

“It’s different over here they told me,” Perlotte said.

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Like many top prospects upon hearing the news of Matt Rhule’s hiring at Nebraska, Pyfrom also wants Mickey Joseph to stay on staff. That is a big consideration for the 2024 offensive tackle from Omaha (Neb.) Central as he looks at his own recruitment with Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota recruiting him the hardest so far.

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It has been a busy season for the 2024 three-star offensive guard from West Des Moines (Iowa) Dowling with stops at Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma State recruiting him the hardest. When it comes to the Huskers, there is high confidence that Matt Rhule can turn the program around, he’s done it before and now he has NFL experience and like so many others, Rakers hopes Rhule keeps Mickey Joseph on staff.

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The 2024 four-star defensive end from Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe is closely going to watch the staff new Arizona State coach Kenny Dillingham puts together and could visit there this offseason but other trips are definitely being more focused on at this point. Rushing, who has tremendous length and ranginess coming off the edge, is already targeting junior day visits to Alabama, Tennessee and Washington.

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The 2024 four-star receiver from Bolingbrook, Ill., was in a “little bit of a shock” when Nebraska hired Matt Rhule since Stewart expected interim coach Mickey Joseph to be bumped up and get the job. That didn’t happen so Stewart will have to re-evaluate the situation as the Huskers, Oregon, Michigan, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Penn State, Ole Miss, Illinois and others are giving chase.

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LSU is going to remain a major contender for the 2026 defensive end from New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine who is one of the best players regardless of class as he always feels wanted and loved up in Baton Rouge. Stewart has noticed that the coaches always make it a priority to talk with him and build that relationship as the Tigers are one of many early standouts for the elite 2026 prospect along with Alabama and other SEC powers.

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All the top national programs will be interested in the 2024 four-star running back after Tatum rushed for 1,572 yards and 28 touchdowns but he has his eye on a particular few with Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, USC, Oregon, Tennessee, Penn State, Ole Miss, TCU, Auburn, Stanford and Cal standing out most for the Longview, Texas standout.



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