There has been a significant increase in the intensity of the hiring process over the past few weeks. The Early Signing period is less than three months away, and teams are scrambling to grab a spot as the last non-committed players complete their visit.
Here’s a close look at some of the most intense recruiting battles going on in the Southeast right now.
The college football world wanted him, but McClain was down three schools with Alabama and Florida in the lead. McClain has been to Florida several times to develop a comfortable level in Dan Mullen The era has moved on Billy Napier and the company. There is no denying the development on the Tuscaloosa field, which is a strong attraction for the five-star star.
Nick Saban and his staff have big weekend hiring plans on October 8 when Tide faces the Aggies. Alabama will have a chance to make it happen when McClain makes it official later that week.
Once Notre Dame commit may have a change of heart on a return to South Bend, but this is shaping up to be a two-team race between the SEC and the Big Ten bluebloods. Keeley made his official visit to the Irish in June and ended in August about two weeks after his unofficial visit to Alabama. Popular thinking is that Alabama closed with a Tampa five-star defense… but then there’s Ohio State. Several Buckeyes payroll coaches can speak of NFL talent-producing and defensive line coaches Larry Johnson who was able to stick out his chest a little bit wider thanks to his success.
Keeley made a trip back to Columbus over the weekend to see Wisconsin routed 52-21. That weekend, McClain will be officially in Tuscaloosa, as will Keeley. Alabama is in a great position to add two high-achieving five-stars to its 2023 category. But a visit back to Ohio State could keep the Buckeyes ahead.
Of the 2023 rookies who know what they’re looking for after making numerous campus visits, none can be as seasoned as M’Pemba. From the coach’s handshake and tours of the campus and facilities, M’Pemba seems to have seen it all. On September 21, M’Pemba narrowed his interest to four with official visits to Georgia, LSU, Miami and Tennessee.
Of the four, M’Pemba made spring visits to Miami, Georgia and Tennessee with the hurricane hosting him again in late July. The Bulldogs brought him onto campus on September 10 for the Samford competition. UGA feels like the team to beat in this race.
The top five for Wilson are Alabama, Georgia, MiamiOhio State and Texas. On September 5, Wilson hinted that he was about to make a decision after making an official visit to Ohio. The four-star student of Florida’s Venice High School had an extended informal visit to Georgia in June and an official to Alabama on June 17. For now, Texas and Miami appear to be out of business. .
The Buckeyes took Wilson to school in mid-April. Wilson liked enough of what he saw afterward for the official visit. Ohio State’s way of winning and the defensive line coach Larry Johnson are points of interest to Wilson. Notably, Wilson and Keeley made an official visit to Columbus together and are friends from off the grid.
Whoever lands Johnson, that big moment could come at the last minute of the Early Signing Stage. After an informal meeting in mid-April with Ohio State, Johnson made a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes. Remaining committed, Johnson brought in officials Oklahoma and Ohio State. After an unofficial late-July day with the Gators, Johnson gave up. The water cooler talk has Miami and Florida fighting for it for Johnson with the Gators ahead. To Johnson, he seems open to the process, willing to wait it out before committing again.