Rival National Recruitment Director Adam Gorny What a look Dion Sanders Jackson is doing at State, some of the top quarterbacks who have made the biggest impression Steve ClarksonHow the QB Retreat and Tennessee have calmed down again over the weekend.
More Gorny: Recruiting rumors match
2023 Ranking Class: Competitors 250 | Team | Location | State
2024 Ranking Class: Rival 250 | Team | Location | State
Transfer portal: Story / Coverage | Message board
Rival Camp Series: Information for the 2022 series
1. DEION means business
Jackson State Coach Dion Sanders The biggest surprise in the history of recruitment came when No. 1 Travis Hunter flipped from Florida State to Jackson State on National Signing Day. Sanders hinted that he was “going to surprise the world” and for once that prediction not only proved true but supported hyperbole.
Hunter has superstar potential in Jackson State, but let’s not forget the 2022 class high four-star receiver Kevin Coleman and other talented players.
Sanders is back in it to start the 2023 group with the recent commitment of four-star receiver Isiah Kendall. The Newport, Ark., Standout was watching Indiana seriously and other Power Five programs wanted to camp her this summer where more offers could come.
But a source close to Kendall told me: “Dion influences people.”
There are many interesting stories surrounding Sanders: Can he get elite players in the 2023 class? What if he gets shot at a Power Five program recruiting and coaching? Elite four-star receiver Janet Cook, who tops the list with Jackson State, could really follow in the footsteps of Hunter and Coleman.
Many top recruiters have said something about playing as one of the best of all time, taught by someone who did it at the highest level, and it’s true – which college head coach has Sanders experience playing? If success comes at Jackson State, it will be interesting to see if he gets a shot at the Power Five level.
He must have the credentials to make it happen.
2. The hot debate is coming on the massive receiver
Classes of the 2023 rankings will be rescheduled this week, and I still don’t know how the position of the wide receiver is going to shake, especially after seeing the top three in class at the Steve Clarkson QB Retreat in Santa Monica last weekend.
The current No. 1 receiver is Brandon Inis and he is a full fledged professional. Always open, catches everything, maybe not an absolute burner but he is such a good root runner that he makes room against anyone.
Then there’s No. 3 receiver Colonel Tate who watched the episode and was outstanding before playing with Inis this offseason in the Los Angeles Pylon event. That weekend, Tate showed why he is a five star with great speed, insane hands and the ability to make tough catches so easy. It was during that event that he arguably established himself as the best receiver in the class.
And then there was Hykim Williams at the Clarkson event and he was the Adonis of this receiver group. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds all, the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranhan prospect looks great, so smooth and like someone who can dominate the outside with an elite quarterback.
There are others – Shelton Sampson, Zakaria Brunch, Jalen Brown and others – who will be in the conversation. But watching Inis, Tate and Williams this weekend really made me think about how this is all going to play out.
3. Rocky Top Paluja is a hit whatever
Tennessee hosted some of the best players nationally for Rocky Top Paluza over the weekend and it was a hit. Knoxville is again a destination, the Vols already have a promise from a five star quarterback and the program has a pulse under the coach again Josh Huppel.
Vols are usually able to recruit but it seems different. Nico Imaleva is an elite genius, serious about playing in five-star receiver Colonel Tate Tennessee, 2024 five-star quarterback Jadin Davis says Vales must be one of three teams to make his favorite list, four-star OL Francis Mauigua Tennessee is too high on his list and it Let’s go.
Four-star Christian Connor was in Knoxville this weekend and said the tour was “extraordinary”, the culture was “incredible” and there was energy around the program. The Tennessee coach told three-star OL Lucas Simmons that they were looking for a certain type of player and that he fit the mold.
“They have the same goal in mind and that is to bring Tennessee back to the top of college football,” Simmons said.
We all know the row of SEC killers. We all know Tennessee is not the king of the mountains yet. But things are getting better at Knoxville and this weekend’s event was another sign of that.