UA Game: Rumor mill from media day

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Even though almost all the players at the Under Armour Next All-America Game are signed there were still a lot of rumors flying around on media day. Here’s the latest from many of the top players in the 2023 class.

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The four-star safety from Danvers (Mass.) St. John’s Prep was silently committed to Georgia and then took some official visits – with Florida blowing him away. The Gators moved way up Aguero’s list and made him think a lot, but Georgia landed his commitment in late July and the four-star stuck with the Dawgs.

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If Miami would have made a bigger move earlier in Denson’s recruitment maybe things would have been more interesting, because he has a lot of respect for position coach Jahmile Addae, but the feeling was the Hurricanes came in too late. Florida won out in June and the Gators might have landed him anyway since both of his parents went to school in Gainesville. But Miami could’ve stolen one maybe.

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The five-star defensive end from Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll visited Oregon a while back, and now he’s going to be in Eugene on the final weekend before the February signing day as the Ducks have made a real move in his recruitment. With Harbor being a football and track prospect, Oregon has become a serious contender in his recruitment, although the rumor is his mother, who will play a significant role in the decision-making process, is leaning toward Michigan. Maryland and South Carolina are also in there.

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Miami and Kentucky made a serious run at the Florida signee and he was considering a late visit – especially to the Hurricanes – but the four-star cornerback from Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola decided not to take that last visit and stuck with the Gators. Kentucky came hard, but Miami made the biggest run late.

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Georgia Tech, Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers are the final five for the four-star defensive end from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy who plans to announce at the Under Armour Game. The Huskers had his commitment but then the coaching change opened Lenhardt’s recruitment again. New coach Matt Rhule has made him a priority, and going back to Nebraska at this point would not be a surprise.

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According to two players at media day, the five-star cornerback could sign Jan. 15, and Miami is still expected to be the spot over Colorado and others. The Lakeland, Fla., standout was the talk of signing day when he decided not to sign with the Hurricanes and postpone his decision. The rumor is Colorado reached out early on signing day, which made McClain slow down the process for a few weeks. The five-star said he was not doing interviews during Under Armour week.

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Georgia made a serious run at Mitchell and gave the four-star defensive tackle a lot to consider, but the word is Texas got that sense and made sure to get him locked in over the last few months. Texas A&M was also trying to get seriously involved in Mitchell’s recruitment, but Georgia was the biggest worry before the Longhorns ended it.

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Auburn, Houston, Nebraska and Ohio State are the final four for the three-star cornerback from Roswell, Ga. The Huskers are the team to watch as the feeling around media day at Under Armour was that Nation was talking the most about Nebraska and new first-year coach Matt Rhule.

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After transferring back to New Jersey from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, Penn State and others made a run at the Florida signee, but it was Colorado that tried flipping him the hardest. The relationship started when coach Deion Sanders and his staff were at Jackson State, and they tried to lure him and continued late into the process as the Buffaloes tried to flip numerous high-profile four- and five-stars.

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The Ole Miss signee said he never was on the verge of flipping to Alabama after considering it over the summer, although it got pretty serious for a time as assistant coach Pete Golding and others made the Raleigh, Miss., four-star linebacker a top priority. The rumor was that if Perkins flipped then four-star receiver and Ole Miss signee Ayden Williams could possibly as well, since LSU and others were making a run at Williams and the two Mississippi standouts have gotten really close.

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Oregon and Michigan State are basically the final two for the four-star defensive end from Cypress (Texas) Cypress Ranch who will announce at the Under Armour Game. The feeling is that while he trained for years with Michigan State coach Brandon Jordan when he was a trainer in Texas that Oregon has moved to the front, especially after his recent visit. The Ducks could be the frontrunner heading into his decision.

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LSU was the leader for the five-star cornerback, but a message from Alabama coach Nick Saban – that Saban has seen guys like Ricks and developed them into pros – was a major selling point and helped flip the Crimson Tide in his favor. Florida was running third throughout his recruitment, but Alabama eventually won out.

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There’s been no real movement in Robinson’s recruitment and this could go all the way to February as USC, Georgia and Texas battle it out, although Alabama was also mentioned, and a possible visit to Oregon is not off the table. His best relationships as a class are at USC, but when it comes to just the quarterback it could be with Arch Manning and that could be a significant pull. Georgia is absolutely right there as well because of the tight end production and Robinson is drawn to a college town like Athens.

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Rutgers, Indiana, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are some of the schools that have made a run at Robinson, but Charlotte is also a serious contender as he plans to announce at the Under Armour Game. First-year coach Biff Poggi and his staff have made a serious run at the Baltimore St. Frances running back (Poggi used to coach there), and that has become a significant factor.

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Woods grew up an Alabama fan and he cried when the Crimson Tide lost to Auburn in the famous Pick Six game. The Tide were the frontrunner “100 percent” early in his recruitment, but a June visit to Clemson completely switched things up and then the Tigers only built on their lead as the Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson got to know the Clemson players and coaches better.

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