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Tuesdays with Gorney: Quick hits on top uncommitted 2023 prospects

Cormani McClain
Cormani McClain (Rivals.com)

The summer has been incredibly busy with commitments, but 41 percent of the top-100 prospects in the 2023 Rivals250 remain open in their recruitment. In today’s Tuesdays With Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney gives a quick hitter on each of the remaining players who have not made a pledge yet.

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MORE GORNEY: Five thoughts on the 2023 QB class | RBs | WRs | TEs | OL | DEs

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After basically being in third place early in his recruitment, Florida has now emerged as the slight frontrunner in McClain’s recruitment as the Gators battle Alabama. It looks like a two-team race but things could get interesting if his South Florida Express teammates who are committed to Ohio State apply more pressure.

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Notre Dame, Oregon, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Alabama and Tennessee make up the new top seven that M’Pemba released just days ago, but the feeling is that the Bulldogs still sit in the best position for the five-star defensive end from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. M’Pemba is originally from the St. Louis area, though, and the Notre Dame coaching staff has made him a big priority. If he released a top two right now it could be those two teams.

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Several schools are leading the way for the five-star athlete from Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll, with Maryland, USC, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Penn State some of the early standouts. But there has also been a little more chatter that Harbor could turn pro in track, so that’s something else to watch.

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The feeling for months is that Shanahan is heavily leaning toward playing in the SEC - and it certainly fits his personality - as Texas A&M looks like by far the team to beat now. Originally from Orlando, Shanahan is now playing at Austin (Texas) Westlake, so going to College Station would make complete sense. Georgia and others have made serious runs at him, but Texas A&M is on top.

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The five-star linebacker is down to Texas A&M and Texas, and while the Aggies have always had a comfortable lead in his recruitment the Longhorns have at least made this pretty interesting with so many elite players committing recently. Still, Texas A&M has to be considered the team to beat, especially after signing that elite defensive line group last year as Hill could lead the linebackers moving forward.

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The five-star defensive end could take his recruitment a lot longer before making a commitment, but it still feels like Texas A&M and Oklahoma are duking it out and the Aggies could have a slim lead here. Oregon is the dark horse since it was his dream school and coach Dan Lanning is going after big fish in the 2023 class, and then Texas cannot be counted out yet.

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There are still so many ways Okunlola’s recruitment can go and he’s famously quiet about frontrunners for him, but Miami, Alabama and Michigan State are three to watch. It gets a whole lot more interesting for the Canes now that Okunlola could team up with Francis Mauigoa in that class, Alabama has done incredibly well developing elite offensive linemen and then Okunlola is not against staying in the North and he loves the staff in East Lansing. Georgia and Oregon could be two others to keep an eye on as well.

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There are a lot of teams trying to make a run at the five-star receiver, but Texas A&M still sits in a fantastic position. He has talked with NFL receiver Mike Evans about playing for the Aggies and the big outside receiver sees a seamless fit there. But Miami is coming on strong for the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan standout and the Hurricanes always have to be watched with local prospects especially under coach Mario Cristobal. Georgia, Pitt and others are in this, too.

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With all the elite players committing to Texas, the Longhorns could make this very interesting but it still feels like Texas A&M is the team to beat. A recent tweet to Dante Moore, who was being recruited by the Aggies, said “You know where home is brotha” and if that didn’t mean go to College Station, what was the impetus behind it? The Aggies look good here with Texas, Georgia and others still in it.

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A commitment date could be coming soon from the four-star safety out of Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek and the chatter is that this is now becoming more of a Georgia/Alabama battle for his services. Ohio State is still definitely right in the mix with some others, but it wouldn’t be a shock if this boiled down to an SEC battle.

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The #SheltonStays campaign has started in earnest for the four-star receiver to commit to LSU and it would be a major surprise at this point if he doesn’t stay in Baton Rouge. The coaching staff has made him a massive priority as have current commits and players. It feels like there is some orchestration around getting Sampson in the class. Alabama, Florida State, Texas A&M and others are on the list, but he’s LSU’s to lose.

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He’s a Georgia legacy with his father playing there and the Bulldogs coaching staff has made Haynes a major priority, so it would be really surprising to know have Haynes commit to that program at some point. Ohio State is trying very hard and Haynes likes the running back history there and at Alabama and Florida are battling, too. Still, if it’s not Georgia that would be a shock.

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Alabama looks like it has surged for the four-star linebacker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones but this one is not settled yet. Florida is battling hard for the in-state prospect, Miami could be making a run and Georgia had been the frontrunner much earlier in his recruitment. The Crimson Tide could definitely hang on here, but the Gators and Hurricanes aren’t going to let Bryant go without a fight.

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The No. 1 tight end caught passes from current USC quarterback Caleb Williams and Trojans five-star pledge Malachi Nelson at the Elite 11 and it did look like a natural fit. Playing with Arch Manning at Texas could be a major draw, too, and then Georgia and Alabama cannot be dismissed, either. A trip to Oregon later this summer is possible as well. Baseball will also play a significant role in Robinson’s decision.

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The four-star defensive end does not say much about his recruitment but visits could be an indicator of what he’s thinking, with Ohio State, USC and Oregon getting trips this summer. He also wants to visit Alabama soon. Uiagalelei is also seriously involved in music, so USC would make a lot of sense for many reasons, but the Buckeyes are battling hard here as well.

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Alabama is still considered the frontrunner, but Oregon really interests Young a lot and multiple visits to Eugene plus the recent commitment of five-star quarterback Dante Moore will not hurt. Georgia rounds out the top three, but it’s hard to beat the Crimson Tide for a running back they really want.

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Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina are the top five for Collins, but he’s an in-state prospect, his family are reportedly Alabama fans and the Crimson Tide have made him a priority - and maybe an even bigger priority after Peter Woods committed to Clemson. So, Alabama makes a ton of sense here. Florida has made a huge impression, as has South Carolina, but the Crimson Tide rarely lose out on top targets.

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Reading Bisontis is difficult sometimes, but it looks like Texas A&M, Michigan State and LSU have emerged as the three to watch most closely. He’s a four-star offensive lineman from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep, so Rutgers is going to battle here, but it feels like those three schools mentioned above have taken a step forward.

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Some SEC visits and offers have really intrigued the St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers standout but this still looks like a Midwest battle between Notre Dame and Michigan. The Irish are definitely in his top two and Michigan has made him a priority as well, so while Alabama, Georgia and others are under serious consideration it could boil down to the Irish or the Wolverines.

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Playing with former Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley teammate Travis Shaw at North Carolina could be a major draw, but the No. 2 defensive tackle in the class has said so many positive things about Georgia that it’s hard to believe he won’t end up in Athens. Plus, the Bulldogs have developed so many elite defensive linemen that Jarrett sees that as well and it would be a surprise if he ends up elsewhere.

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Nebraska would be crestfallen if it couldn’t keep the Lincoln (Neb.) East standout home because he’s so valuable all over the field and his length and athleticism make him so special. The Huskers are definitely battling, but many others are trying to come in and poach the four-star athlete as USC, Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia and Ole Miss have made the biggest impressions.

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Alabama and Georgia are still the main players for Smith, who has visited both schools often and his recruitment feels like one that will come down to the wire with those two powerhouses battling it out. The word is that the Crimson Tide could hold a slight edge but he’s also close with Montgomery (Ala.) Carver teammate Jaquavious Russaw, which might give Georgia the edge.

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The four-star defensive end from Venice, Fla., has been a little difficult to read with Alabama definitely in a good position, along with Georgia and Ohio State in the mix. But the in-state schools of Miami and possibly Florida could be right there as well. Wilson might not even be certain of which schools absolutely lead at this point as he works through his recruitment.

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A decision should be coming in the next couple weeks, and while Wisconsin remains in the top three this is starting to feel very much like a battle between Ohio State and USC for his services. From the Buckeyes’ success to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Jim Knowles, Ohio State is sitting pretty. But every time Curtis goes to USC, he loves it even more.

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Georgia coach Kirby Smart, co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann and others are aggressively recruiting Russaw to the Bulldogs and he said the “coolest moment” of his official visit to Athens was when he saw his mother and sister enjoying the place. That’s going to be tough to beat but Alabama, Auburn and others are still battling for his services and it will be interesting to see if he and teammate James Smith pick the same school or go their separate ways.

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Tennessee, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Michigan State were some of the schools mentioned by Akana as having piqued his interest, but Texas, Nebraska and some Pac-12 programs will be in the mix as well. With more than 50 offers, Akana has taken his time to narrow his list and should have a top group soon. But he remains wide open.

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Texas has to like its position very much with Muhammad as he wore a Longhorns sleeve during the recent OT7 event in Las Vegas and while that’s not the end-all, be-all of recruiting it’s at least a sign he has heavy interest in the program. His recent official visit to Austin went really well, too, and it’s not lost on Muhammad how many elite players are committing in that class. But Texas A&M is going to get him back on campus in July and then it might be decision time. Alabama remains in his top three. Texas would be the pick today.

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With a commitment planned for Friday, Notre Dame is in the pole position here and the Irish could be tough to beat. He had an excellent visit to South Bend, has hit it off with the coaching staff and he would have a Texas connection there with four-star WR Braylon James committed. Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma have been in this as well.

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Originally from New Jersey, the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout does like Penn State, but Florida could be the team to beat in his recruitment. He has talked highly of the Gators and their new coaching staff and a recent visit there went really well. LSU, Tennessee, Florida State and Texas A&M are in the running, too.

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Before Arch Manning committed to Texas, it looked like Georgia could be the spot for the four-star receiver. But when Manning committed to the Longhorns over the Bulldogs and Alabama, Texas made up major ground for Hale and could be considered the team to beat right now. By no means is Georgia out of it but there is some ground to make up with Alabama staying in his top three as well.

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Texas could be in the lead position for the four-star defensive end from Austin (Texas) Westlake but Oregon should absolutely not be counted out here and some believe the Ducks might even be the team to beat. That would be huge for coach Dan Lanning to go into the Longhorns’ back yard and get someone as skilled as Vasek, but Texas won’t take this lightly. Oklahoma is also hanging around.

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Lyons’ recruitment could come down to USC and Stanford and while the Trojans definitely want Duce Robinson, the four-star from Folsom, Calif., is absolutely a top target as well. Ohio State, Utah, BYU and Alabama round out Lyons’ top six, but the question he has to answer is whether to head closer to home and play at Stanford (which has done well with tight ends in years past) or pick USC and play in Lincoln Riley’s offense.

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Ausberry has been a tough one to read but there has been a lot of Notre Dame chatter and the Irish could be an interesting school here. Along with Notre Dame, LSU is definitely one to watch and Auburn is definitely involved as well since his brother, Austin, just signed there, although the Tigers have some room to make up.

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On July 7, the four-star receiver tweeted that news was coming soon and whatever it is, Florida should be involved with it. The Gators look strong in Mizell’s recruitment right now (it doesn’t hurt that his mother went to undergrad and law school in Gainesville) and Florida has always been high in his recruitment. Mizell doesn’t talk recruiting much, so a surprise could be in store, but it would be a surprise if Florida doesn’t win out.

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On Wednesday, the four-star linebacker from Friendswood, Texas, tweeted that news is coming, so that will be something to watch. Texas and USC are definitely two programs involved in his recruitment and those two could be battling it out, and after his visit to Los Angeles, Shelby said the Trojans have “pushed themselves to the top.”

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Reichert likes position coach Brad Davis at LSU, he loved his trip to Oregon and has connections with the Michigan and Oklahoma staff, among others, but it would be a surprise if the Raytown, Mo., four-star offensive lineman doesn’t end up at Missouri. When we talked about his top list, Reichert said relationships are so important to him and arguably his strongest ones are in Columbia.

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Saturday is the commitment day for the four-star linebacker from Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit, with Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma as the top three. The Buckeyes have been battling in this forever and the Sooners stay on the list but it would be a shocker if Bowles doesn’t end up picking the Bulldogs this weekend.

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Texas is the team to beat for the four-star linebacker from Marlin, Texas, but until he picks the Longhorns - and then actually signs with them - nothing is finalized. Texas A&M will stay in this and he’s from Alabama, so there is interest there along with Oklahoma, but the Longhorns are sitting pretty for his pledge.

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In May, Aguero said a lot has changed in his recruitment and after back-to-back visits it looked like LSU was surging for him. Ohio State, Miami and Florida were also highly mentioned. Whether that was a smokescreen or things changed back, Georgia is looking excellent once again for him and the Bulldogs could be out front again.

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A top three is coming out Tuesday for Vickers, with Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and others as some of the schools he’s mentioned most recently. For a while, the Crimson Tide looked to be in the best shape for the Tallahassee (Fla.) John Paul II Catholic standout, but the Seminoles and Sooners, along with others possibly, are battling hard as well.

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Texas A&M still looks like its in the driver’s seat for the four-star athlete from Shiner, Texas, but Brooks is on the quieter side, so there could be something else going on in his recruitment as well. But that’s probably unlikely as the Aggies have been strong here for a while and it would be a surprise if he ends up elsewhere, although Michigan and some other schools have been mentioned.