Sunday, June 16, 2024

East Coast Spotlight: Recruiting Rumor Mill

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There is a mountain of big news heading into the busy month of June around the country. The East region is no exception. Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has the latest in this edition of the rumor mill.

Iheanacho’s recruitment is still in the early stages but some teams have already made a strong impression. Georgia, Penn State, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas are just some of the teams that have caught his eye thus far.

Iheanacho has lots of time to do his research and get to know the coaches at these schools but he’s already built a good relationship with Penn State offensive line coach Phil Trautwein, Alabama offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic and Oregon offensive line coach A’lique Terry.

There will be plenty of visits ahead for Iheanacho but one school he’d like to see in the near future is Tennessee.

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Georgia hosted Gilchrist for an unofficial visit earlier this month and he really enjoyed the environment in Athens. He got to spend time with the coaches and liked getting to know them more. The Bulldogs are just one of his final seven schools along with Alabama, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

Gilchrist has official visits to South Carolina and Maryland set up right now and he loves both schools because the coaching staffs have been completely up front with him throughout the recruiting process.

Gilchrist did admit South Carolina is his leader right now saying, “I’ll say South Carolina is in the No. 1 spot right now.”

Look for a late July commitment from Gilchrist.

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Watts made his official visit schedule public on Friday, singling out Clemson, Wisconsin, Duke, Michigan and Boston College. The Tigers and Wolverines are the betting favorites to land his commitment at the moment but official visits could change things.

Wisconsin and Duke have had plenty of success recruiting New England and Watts is keeping an open mind. Georgia and Alabama are lurking as well.

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Goodman will be a big riser in the rankings update next week but his recruitment is really starting to come into focus. Auburn, Penn State, Georgia, Alabama, and USC will get him for official visits between now and the dead period at the end of June but he isn’t planning on committing before August.

At this point, Goodman puts Georgia, Penn State and Auburn in his top tier followed by USC and Alabama. He has gotten close with Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels, Penn State offensive line coach Phil Trautwein, USC offensive line coach Josh Henson, Auburn offensive line coach Jake Thornton and Alabama offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic.

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Ikinnagbon committed to Georgia in mid-April but he had made his decision a few weeks prior to announcing his commitment. The talented defensive lineman from New Jersey wants to compete for national championships and compete against the best competition so Georgia made sense for him.

Georgia outside linebackers coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe is Ikinnagbon’s main recruiter and the two have formed a strong relationship. They’ve gotten to know each other on a personal level and they’re closer in age than many of the other coaches recruiting Ikinnagbon so that helped.

At least one team hasn’t stopped recruiting Ikinnabon. Ohio State has continued to make him feel like a priority. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson has made a strong impression on Ikinnagbon and he seems to be gaining some traction. Ikinnagbon is planning on taking an official visit to Ohio State on June 7, the weekend after his scheduled official visit to Georgia on May 31.

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Oklahoma has been considered the leader for Evans but there is still plenty that needs to play out before his commitment. North Carolina will get him for an official visit on May 31 followed by Virginia on June 7 and then Oklahoma on June 21.

An offer from Penn State this past week could make some waves though. He is expected to take an official visit to see the Nittany Lions but a date isn’t locked in just yet. Evans had been planning on committing in June but that timetable isn’t firm.

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Harris has a top 10 but his list of major contenders is shorter than that. Tennessee will get him for an official visit on June 7 followed by Maryland on June 14, and then Penn State on June 21. Florida, Syracuse and Michigan are also potential official visit candidates. Harris is looking at committing on or around July 1, but that date is flexible.

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Virginia Tech made Kemajou a priority early in the recruiting process and they appear to be in strong position heading into official visit season. Penn State is a major threat though and they’re scheduled to get him for his first official visit on May 31. West Virginia’s official visit is on June 7 followed by Duke on June 14 and then the Hokies get the last word on June 21. Kemajou isn’t planning on committing until the fall so there is a lot of time for teams to jockey for position.

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Elee’s recruitment has exploded this spring and the Rivals250 defensive end has a number of visits planned for this spring. He grew up a fan of Alabama and he’ll be in Tuscaloosa on June 22. Penn State was one of his earliest offers and they’ll host him again on June 2.

Ohio State was one of Elee’s most recent offers and he’ll make the trip to Columbus on June 17. Look for Elee to visit Kentucky, Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame in June as part of a spring visit tour with a group of players from the Mid-Atlantic region.

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Ohio State made waves with McFadden when he visited this spring and the Buckeyes could be the team to beat in his recruitment but Colorado is a big draw for him as well. McFadden is very close with Jordan Seaton, the 2024 five-star who signed with the Buffs, and that is working in Colorado’s favor.

McFadden has a May 31 official visit to Ohio State locked in and is planning officials to South Carolina and Colorado for June. He’s expecting to take official visits this fall with Maryland, Penn State and Florida as possible candidates.

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Coleman, a former Georgia commit, has taken a slower approach to his recruitment the second time around. North Carolina is set to get him for an official visit on June 11 and then he’ll go to Michigan State a few days later for an official visit on June 14. Coleman will also take an official visit to Penn State on June 21.

The Nittany Lions already have commitments from three other running backs so it will be interesting to see how that trip plays out. Coleman likes each of these schools because of how much they run the ball and get the running back involved in the passing game. Look for Coleman to announce a commitment before the season.

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Woodby’s recruitment will be worth following closely over the next couple months. The former Ohio State commit took a visit to Georgia earlier this month and really enjoyed sitting down with Kirby Smart. Defensive backs coach Donte Williams is Woodby’s main point of contact and their relationship is getting stronger.

Woodby enjoyed being around the other players and coaches during the scavenger hunt and getting to know them.Auburn, who also hosted Woodby earlier this offseason, will get him back on campus for an official visit on May 31. He also has an official visit scheduled to Maryland on June 21.

Georgia, Oregon, and Cincinnati will get official visits from Woodby but they aren’t scheduled just yet.

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Finney’s official visit is still a bit fluid but he will be taking official visits to Penn State, Georgia, South Carolina and Oregon. His high school has been fertile recruiting territory for Penn State in the past and he’s become close with the coaching staff.

Finney has been in touch with Georgia defensive backs coach Donte Williams. He’s excited to see how he connects with the players and coaching staff once he’s on campus.

At South Carolina, Finney is impressed with defensive backs Torrian Gray and his ability to develop prospects. The Oregon coaching staff has done a good job with Finney so far and he’s very familiar with them.

Michigan is also in the running for an official visit from Finney before he commits, which could happen just before or during the fall season.

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Hayer has made the rounds this spring and is looking forward to his official visits over the next four weeks. Cincinnati is up first on May 31 followed by Rutgers on June 7, Michigan State on June 14 and Maryland June 21. Those four contenders are tightly bunched ahead of his official visit schedule so this stretch of his recruitment is extremely important. Hayer expects to commit on or around July 1.

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