June 15, 2024

College football recruiting: Penn State, Texas A&M, more have major targets up for grabs as June rolls on


The first big weekend of the summertime college football recruiting calendar is down, but there’s still three left to go. We saw a ton of big news materialize following last week’s visits — Georgia landed five-star linebacker Zayden Walker, while Alabama flipped four-star quarterback Keelon Russell from SMU

What does this weekend have the store? As they say in recruiting: Follow the visits — commitments usually follow. 247Sports experts from coast to coast break down the biggest visits they’re tracking during the June 7-9 recruiting weekend. Do not expect the Class of 2025 recruiting rankings to look the same a few days from now. 

Top-10 recruit Elijah Griffin returns to Coral Gables 

“Five-star Elijah Griffin, the nation’s top-ranked defensive lineman and No. 8 overall prospect, will take his first official visit to Miami this weekend. Griffin took his first visit to Coral Gables in March. Led by the efforts of defensive line coach and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Jason Taylor, the Hurricanes have been a mainstay contender for Griffin since. Mainstay isn’t synonymous with front-running, however. 

Georgia is the clear-cut leader even if Griffin hasn’t said such outright. The ‘Dawgs are not expected to host Griffin on an official visit until the fall — closer to his late-fall or winter decision timeframe. But look for the Peach Stater to take an unofficial visit to Athens (and possibly Clemson) this month or next. USC will host Griffin on an official visit later this month. It won’t be simple to dethrone the ‘Dawgs, but Miami will take its shot this weekend.” — Anna Adams, 247Sports

Can Wolverines get ball rolling?

Michigan convinces 4-star DL to cancel Miami visit

“Michigan was able to get Palatine (Ill.) four-star defensive lineman Jaylen Williams to come off of his planned Miami visit and instead set one with the Wolverines. That is a key development in Michigan’s chances to make good on their Crystal Ball lead for Williams, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound combo lineman who has played inside and outside. The nation’s No. 20 defensive lineman still plans to visit Tennessee and Nebraska officially and is coming off of an unofficial with Texas A&M and may set an official with the Aggies. Miami is probably no longer in the picture. 

Williams has long held Michigan in high regard and has a connection with Wolverine commit Nate Marshall, a fellow Illinois defensive lineman. The key here is that he’s quickly built a relationship with new defensive line coach Lou Esposito, who took over later in this recruitment but has steadied the ship from Michigan’s end. Michigan’s class ranked No. 41 a week ago. Because of other schools moving up, Michigan now ranks No. 47. It would love to see a commitment get the ball rolling.” — Allen Trieu, 247Sports

Notre Dame looks to strike gold — again

Fighting Irish covet elite California ‘backer

Could the Notre Dame Fighting Irish land an elite California linebacker for the second cycle in a row? This weekend could be pivotal for Marcus Freeman in that endeavor when Top247 prospect Madden Faraimo makes it to South Bend for his official visit. The physical defender from San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra Catholic is planning a summertime decision and has trips remaining to Ohio State (June 14) and Texas (June 21) after kicking off the hectic stretch with a stop at Washington (May 31). 

Nearby USC is also involved — just like it was with former Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco star Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa — but the Irish got the job done there and could take many of the same angles with the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Faraimo, who ranks No. 12 overall in the state of California for the 2025 class.” — Blair Angulo, 247Sports

Ohio State eyes a building block for No. 2 class

6-foot-7 OT Jackson Lloyd wastes no time returning 

“This is the first official visit set for Carmel (Calif.) offensive lineman Jackson Lloyd and it will take him to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are the most recent school to offer the 6-foot-7, 290-pounder, but Chip Kelly was the first coach to do so when he was the head coach at UCLA. Alabama has him set for an official visit next weekend and he’ll wrap with a visit to USC, but the Buckeyes get the first shot, just three weeks after he took an unofficial visit to Columbus in mid-May. The feeling has been that Alabama has been in the lead for a while, at least since Kalen DeBoer took over there; Washington was high on Lloyd’s list a year ago. 

Ohio State’s offer to Lloyd in March netted the Buckeyes a quick, unofficial visit and now the first official visit puts them in a good spot to make a late surge for the nation’s No. 146 prospect. The Buckeyes currently have the No. 2 class nationally but that includes just one offensive lineman committed, so Lloyd would be a huge boost.” — Brandon Huffman, 247Sports

Penn State wants to replenish WR room

Lions try to snare first Class of 2025 wideout

“None of the three receivers Penn State brought in via the portal or high school in the 2023 class are in the program, it lost leading returning receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith to the portal in the spring and the class of 2024 players are not ready to take on a significant role. It is why the Nittany Lions brought in Ohio State transfer Julian Fleming to lead the group this year but a game-breaker is yet to develop on the roster. Which means fans are eager for something good to materialize at the position in 2025. 

Penn State has 13 commitments and its class sits No. 10 in the nation, but it is light on receivers. The only receiver committed is Brooklyn Erasmus Hall’s Lyrick Samuel. However, a priority target will be on campus in Norfolk (Va.) Norcom’s Matthew Outten, a four-star prospect who is listed as the No. 5 athlete in the nation but is being recruited as a receiver. 

Conventional wisdom says Penn State could go a long way in securing a commitment with the weekend visit with Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Maryland also involved. It is imperative Penn State receivers coach Marques Hagans and offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki put on a great show for Outten.” — Brian Dohn, 247Sports

Can Texas A&M close deal with 5-star? 

Aggies could punctuate big weekend

“Texas A&M is set for a big weekend with several of the top prospects in the country, but this truly feels like an opportunity to close the deal with five-star Galveston (Texas) Ball linebacker Jonah Williams. The Aggies have been picking up steam in this recruitment throughout the spring, and sources we talk to are most bullish on the Aggies to land the dynamic defender. In fact, I just changed my Crystal Ball prediction for Williams from Oklahoma to Texas A&M

Baseball could play a huge role in his recruitment as Williams is a legitimate MLB prospect on the diamond, and the Texas A&M baseball program, which hosts a Super Regional this weekend, is one of the best in the country at the moment. Mike Elko and the Aggies currently own the nation’s No. 7 class, and closing the deal on Williams could kick off what Aggie fans hope to be a big summer on the recruiting trail while providing Elko with his second five-star in the 2025 cycle.” — Mike Roach, 247Sports

USC has ground to make up with in-state star

Final chance for Trojans and 4-star LB Noah Mikhail

“This is an extremely important weekend for the USC Trojans when it comes to the recruitment of La Verna (Calif.) Bonita Top 100 linebacker Noah Mikhail. The 6-3, 227-pounder, who ranks as the No. 83 overall player in the class of 2025, is closing in on a June 30 decision. His final three includes USC, Oregon, and Texas A&M. Mikhail heads to College Station next weekend and then wraps things up in Eugene the weekend after that. 

Early on, most had Mikhail pegged for USC. Things eventually changed and Oregon gained steam. After visiting this spring, it was Texas A&M that had the momentum. Most see this as a race between the Ducks and Aggies, so the time is now for USC to do all it can to get this one back in their favor. This is his final visit with Lincoln Riley and his staff, so we’ll see if the Trojans can make a convincing pitch. USC has the No. 5 class in the nation and Mikhail would be an excellent addition.” Tom Loy, 247Sports


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