Recruiting Rumor Mill: Reactions roll in from big weekend visits


Another big weekend of games meant another busy weekend of visits. Here’s the latest we’re hearing in this week’s Recruiting Rumor Mill:

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The 2024 high four-star from Buford, Ga., thought the environment at Clemson on Saturday night was “insane” and the message from the coaching staff was to “come play for the best, we are family here at Clemson.” The Tigers have made a big impression on Bolden but Georgia could still be tough to beat as he works through his recruitment.

“I love the atmosphere in Death Valley,” Bolden said.

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No offensive lineman in the Midwest is picking up offers faster than the 2024 standout from Logan (Iowa) Logan Magnolia Community and on Saturday Iowa was the latest program to come through during his visit. It’s definitely a big one for the in-state prospect as “Iowa has always been a solid program,” but more visits are coming. Brix will be at undefeated Kansas this weekend and a few more are being planned. He grew up a Michigan State fan since that was his mom’s alma mater.

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The message from the Clemson coaching staff to Brown definitely stood out and it was, “If you’re here, you are special,” as the Tigers thoroughly impressed the 2024 four-star cornerback from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith this past weekend. The environment at Clemson’s win over NC State was “amazing” and the fan interaction also stood out. Clemson, LSU, Mississippi State and NC State have caught his eye the most early on.

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Clemson has not offered the 2024 four-star defensive end yet but Edwards had some great conversations with assistant coach Lemanski Hall over the weekend and their relationship is getting stronger. The Buford, Ga., standout was told Clemson is looking for strong, agile and fast defensive players and he loved Death Valley since it was “full of crazy fans cheering loud.” An offer could move the Tigers way up in his early recruitment.

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Baylor is the front-runner in Hackleman’s recruitment and the Bears could’ve taken an even bigger step forward after the 2024 offensive tackle from Texarkana (Texas) Pleasant Grove visited this past weekend. He hit it off again with position coach Eric Mateos and loved the hospitality and atmosphere in Waco. Texas Tech is another program involved early.

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Despite the loss to Wake Forest, Henderson had a phenomenal time at Florida State, loved talking to coach Mike Norvell, position coach David Johnson and others and the overall environment inside the stadium stood out so much. This was the 2025 running back’s first time in Tallahassee and “I absolutely loved it,” he said.

“Hearing the band play their fight song just turned me up,” said Henderson, who has Texas, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Miami and many others involved early.

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The 2024 four-star offensive lineman had a phenomenal trip to Baylor and really loved that the players stayed positive throughout the game even though Oklahoma State won. That could go a far way in his recruitment especially since he hit it off with assistant coach Eric Mateos and staffer Aaron Hunt. Seeing former Lubbock (Texas) Cooper teammate Kyler Jordan playing for Baylor also left an impression. Texas Tech, Texas, LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Kansas, Oklahoma, Cal and TCU are some others involved.

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The 2024 three-star quarterback from Bellevue (Neb.) West was at Nebraska’s win over Indiana on Saturday night and he said, “You could feel how much the fans care and support the team,” which made a big impression on him. The message from the coaches was clear: He’s a top priority and they want to keep getting him back on campus. That should happen. Other than stops in Lincoln, Kaelin will be at Michigan State for its game against Wisconsin in a few weeks.

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Arkansas has to like where it’s positioned in Lindsey’s recruitment as he was back in Fayetteville on Saturday for the Razorbacks’ clash with Alabama. The 2024 high three-star defensive end from Bryant, Ark., had great talks with coach Sam Pittman and position coach Deke Adams as Arkansas keeps pushing for the in-state standout.

“I loved my time there,” Lindsey said.

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Even though he’s a 2026 prospect with years to go in his recruitment, Lewis is one of the top quarterbacks nationally so it was big that he visited Texas Saturday for its win over West Virginia. The Carrollton, Ga., standout has been building a relationship with position coach AJ Milwee since June and coach Steve Sarkisian was thrilled to have Lewis in Austin as his recruitment heats up even more.

“[Sarkisian] wants me to be a Longhorn and that means a lot to me,” Lewis said.

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Arkansas made a big impression on the 2025 linebacker from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian Academy and he especially hit it off with assistant coaches Barry Odom and Michael Scherer. Meese said the game experience “gave me chills” and that Arkansas, Penn State, Maryland and Tennessee have been standing out the most early on.

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Clemson has not yet offered the 2024 four-star quarterback from Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day but Merklinger loved the atmosphere there Saturday night and said it was “electric.” The coaches have been in touch but more visits will be coming up as Merklinger is planning to see Tennessee soon and he will probably go to Florida again.

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USC offered the 2026 linebacker from Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger and even though he’s just a freshman the Trojans could already be the team to beat. He’s watched USC his entire life and that offer made everything real to him in the recruiting process. Oregon is getting more involved and he also has early offers from Utah and Washington.

“The SC offer really opened my eyes and woke me up,” Moala said.

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A recent Notre Dame baseball decommit who’s now focused on football, the Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s receiver was at Iowa on Saturday and loved talking with the coaches, getting real insight instead of just the normal recruiting pitch and experiencing everything in Kinnick Stadium including the wave to the children’s hospital. Other than the Hawkeyes, a lot of other Big Ten and ACC programs have been reaching out recently and Mooney is still working on the rest of his visit schedule.

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Even when Michigan was up comfortably on Iowa, Prescod saw that the stadium remained packed and the fans kept cheering which made a big impression on him. The 2024 three-star offensive tackle from Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern landed an offer from the Hawkeyes on the trip. Prescod talks most to Cincinnati and Purdue but Indiana and Iowa are up there as well.

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Notre Dame could have the edge in Scott’s early recruitment but the Buckeyes made a really compelling case over the weekend telling him that everything he wanted to do in life could be accomplished at Ohio State. The coaching staff also told the 2024 five-star from Chicago (Ill.) St. Ignatius that he could play either offensive or defensive line because of his versatility.

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After backing off his pledge to Arkansas State over the weekend, a group of teams have emerged for the Mableton (Ga.) Pebblebrook standout who has seen his recruitment take off in recent months. Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Vanderbilt are mainly the schools to watch moving forward in his recruitment.

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The four-star Michigan State offensive line commitment visited Auburn again this past weekend and the message from the coaches was that he’s a “needed piece” in this recruiting class. While Wedin sees Auburn as a special place, the Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day standout remains committed to the Spartans and is not planning any other visits yet.

“Just a great atmosphere every time I have visited,” Wedin said of Auburn.

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What stood out most to Wilson during his trip to Baylor over the weekend was that the Bears would battle until the final gun even in a losing effort to Oklahoma State. That definitely stood out to the 2025 receiver from Pflugerville (Texas) Weiss along with the coaching staff staying positive throughout the game. The Bears definitely stand out because they’re his lone offer so far and then he has his eye on Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Texas A&M as well.

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Not only did the 2025 tight end from Calhoun, Ga., hit it off with Ole Miss position coach John David Baker during his weekend visit but he was also impressed by his “shoe game” as well. That connection could mean a lot as Winston goes through his recruitment because he believes Baker is “one of the realest coaches there is.” A visit to South Carolina is coming up next.



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