Recruiting Rumor Mill: Top underclassmen descend on San Antonio

Recruiting Rumor Mill: Top underclassmen descend on San Antonio


SAN ANTONIO – Registration day for the National Combine was Thursday and a lot of top underclassmen from across the country are in town. Here’s the latest in this Recruiting Rumor Mill:

Texas is definitely making a major impression early on for the 2025 defensive end from Katy (Texas) Paetow as he’s already developed a strong relationship with position coach Bo Davis. That could be a determining factor moving forward but Houston and TCU will get a serious look along with Syracuse (since Elijah Robinson is now there) and Texas A&M but the Aggies haven’t offered yet.

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His father, Mike, is the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars and his mom ran track at Tennessee but the two teams to watch out the most early on for Caldwell are Florida State and Michigan. The 2026 safety from Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles had great things to say about both programs and so the Seminoles and the Wolverines have the edge right now.

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Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee are the three programs making the biggest impression on the 2025 four-star receiver from The Woodlands, Texas but there’s another program that should be watched as well: Nebraska. Once the Huskers signed five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, Farrakhan took a serious interest in that program and is now looking more into them.

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One of the top 2027 cornerbacks nationally, the Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon standout looks great and had a phenomenal season at one of the best programs in California. There is a level of disappointment that position coach Donte Wiliams left USC for Georgia but the Trojans are definitely one to watch here along with Oregon and others. Could the Bulldogs get involved since Williams has already been recruiting Finney? It’s something to watch.

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Golden, a Virginia native playing at MG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., picked up early offers from Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Duke, Maryland and West Virginia. Last summer Golden participated in camps at Notre Dame and North Carolina. He doesn’t have any visits planned for the next few months but he’d like to do camps at West Virginia, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech this summer.

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Goodwin doesn’t have any offers yet but appears to be a name to know in the 2026 class. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle is already getting interest from Alabama, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas and South Carolina. Goodwin has visited Alabama, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and South Carolina so far, but would like to take more visits in the future. He doesn’t have any visit set yet but those plans are in the works. Goodwin’s mother played basketball at Tulane.

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Hewitt, the son of Baltimore Ravens defensive pass game coordinator Chris Hewitt, has a lengthy offer sheet but at this point Maryland, Penn State and Rutgers are in the best position. The game day atmosphere of Penn State stood out to him. Hewitt likes the proximity to home at Maryland. His father coached at Rutgers for more than six years before taking a job with the Ravens so his familiarity with coach Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights program is working in their favor. Hewitt wants to learn more about the Wisconsin program. He was close with that coaching staff while they were at Cincinnati. He also wants to visit programs like Michigan, Miami and USC.

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TCU, Ole Miss, Baylor and Kansas State are the main programs pursuing Jones. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle has been talking to Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Houston the most. Jones is hoping to visit TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and Kansas State this offseason.

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Kentucky and Georgia Tech are the two programs that have made the biggest impression on Lanier so far mainly because of the focus on defense and his relationship with those coaching staffs. His brother, Kenric, plays at Minnesota but the word is that it won’t be a major influence in the recruitment of the 2025 cornerback from Decatur, Ga.

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Oregon and Florida State have made the biggest early impressions on the 2026 receiver from Destrehan, La., but there is definitely one other to watch. Not surprisingly, LSU is the dream school but the Tigers have been slow to get involved with the four-star so far. If an offer eventually comes for the Destrehan standout that could be the team to beat.

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McNutt has a lengthy offer sheet but the defensive back out of Ohio isn’t rushing his process. The Buckeye legacy prospect is entertaining pitches from schools all over the country but at this point he feels like Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio State have been putting the full court press on him. McNutt is hearing from the Tennessee coaching staff every day. Michigan did a great job with him while he was on a visit and his relationship with coach Steve Clinkscale is strong. At Ohio State McNutt has a very high opinion of the defensive coaches and is building a strong connection with them. He’s very familiar with their track record of producing defensive backs for the NFL.

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Even though Moore grew up watching Cayden Green (who transferred from Oklahoma to Missouri) and Williams Nwaneri, who picked the Tigers over the Sooners and Georgia, the 2025 three-star defensive tackle committed early to Oklahoma and is locked in with his pledge. Iowa State was another program Moore loved during the recruiting process but he’s sticking with his decision.

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Virginia Tech is in the best position with Outten right now. The Hokies will likely get him on campus later this month. Penn State is also pushing to get Outten to visit this month. At Virginia Tech, he really likes the coaching staff and feels like they are turning the program around. South Carolina, Liberty, Old Dominion, Duke, Pittsburgh and Tennessee are also in pursuit.

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Robertson is a massive prospects who reports offers from Houston, Baylor, Colorado State, TCU, Texas Tech, North Texas and Cal. He hasn’t taken many visits yet but he’d like to get to Florida and Georgia at some point this offseason. A 6-foot-4, 315-pounds, there are a number of schools that would like to get a closer look at him.

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Samuel has seen his stock steadily rise over the last few months. Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Michigan State have extended offers but there are dozens of other programs involved in his recruitment. Tennessee stuck out to wide receiver from Brooklyn. Samuel mentioned he’d like to visit LSU. His interest in the Tigers stems from his admiration of Odell Beckham Jr.

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Michigan and Washington have already offered the 2026 defensive end from Seattle (Wash.) O’Dea so he will be particularly interested in the national championship game Monday night. The Huskies have the early edge in Schwarzel’s recruitment and he loves the job coach Kalen DeBoer has done there so quickly. The 2026 standout is disappointed that position coach Eric Schmidt is leaving for San Diego State but he has very strong relationships with other Huskies’ coaches.

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Smith is just a 2026 prospect but he already has offers from NC State and North Carolina along with Duke, Charlotte and East Carolina. The North Carolina native is committed to the Wolfpack for baseball but will likely end up quarterback at the next level. Smith is scheduled to visit NC State later this month for a junior day and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make his way over to Chapel Hill before his baseball season starts.

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The 2025 three-star quarterback committed to Arkansas in April and even through a change at offensive coordinator, Wilson is locked in with the Razorbacks as he loves coach Sam Pittman and new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino. Illinois, Oklahoma State and Kansas State were also involved and now with offensive coordinator Collin Klein at Texas A&M, the North Little Rock (Ark.) Central Arkansas Christian standout is waiting to see if the Aggies get involved.

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Miami made a big impression on the 2025 high three-star receiver from Destrehan, La., as he loved his trip there this season and the Hurricanes are definitely one to watch. Michigan, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State are some others but Wright is also planning to work out at LSU this offseason and he’s hoping an offer comes from the Tigers.



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