Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman along with Michael Langston from Warchant.com and Ryan Young from TrojanSports.com tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether they believe each statement or not.
1. Arch Manning is the best quarterback in the 2023 class.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I agree that this debate is going to go on for a long time because there are still so many opportunities to see both prospects and there is still a lot of development to be had but it’s going to be hard for me to pass up Malachi Nelson. I know his performance at the Rivals Camp over the weekend might not have been his best. But he’s been so good in so many circumstances especially during a shortened junior season that he has the best argument to be the top-ranked QB. I appreciate all of Arch Manning’s abilities and his family connections but Nelson’s abilities fit perfectly with what the quarterback of the future looks like. I still lean his way as the No. 1 QB in the class.
Spiegelman’s take: FICTION. The debate between five-stars Nelson and Manning as the No. 1 quarterback in the country for 2023 is going to continue through the All-American games that January and into their collegiate careers. After seeing both Nelson and Manning in person, it’s clear that these two signal-callers are at the top of the class and in rarified air. Nelson, who is the No. 2 overall prospect in the class, justified that ranking with a consistent outing at Sunday’s Rivals Camp Series stop in Los Angeles. Nelson carries himself like the face of a franchise and performed like one, too. He showcased his big arm throwing downfield and was crisp, accurate and on-time throughout the event. Manning was outstanding as a sophomore at Newman and looks poised for an even better campaign this upcoming season. This has the feel of another Trevor Lawrence-Justin Fields or Bryce Young-D.J. Uiagalelei atop the rankings.
2. USC will flip four-star APB and Oklahoma commit Raleek Brown.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Raleek Brown is a California kid. He now plays at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei which has a rich tradition of sending players to USC. But I’m still not sold he’s going to flip. It could certainly happen since Brown is going to visit in June, some teammates are going there and the Trojans could use him all over the field in OC Graham Harrell’s offense. But Oklahoma seems like the perfect offensive fit for Brown’s abilities and he has never shied away from leaving home for college. USC has a chance but I’d guess Brown sticks with the Sooners.
Young’s take: FICTION. Not to say it can’t happen, but the odds remain steep, so if we’re making a prediction at this time it would not be in USC’s favor. Brown will visit the Trojans in June and they haven’t let up in their pursuit. If they can convince him and his family that he can accomplish everything he wants closer to home, there’s always a chance — and they’ll keep pushing that pitch. The future of the RB position is really wide open — the likely backfield tandem of Vavae Malepeai and Keaontay Ingram could both be gone after this season – so it’s not hard to sell him on the opportunity for playing time. But more importantly, USC will have to sell Brown on the idea that it has fixed its recent rushing struggles and can truly maximize his potential. There is a chance USC lands him, but it remains something of a long shot.
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3. FSU is going to clean up at Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson with Sam
McCall, Jaylon Glover and eventually Cormani McClain.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Sam McCall is taking some visits but my understanding is that he’s only reaffirming his commitment to Florida State and has been very active recruiting other top players to join the Seminoles. That definitely includes Jaylon Glover, who has been very high on FSU throughout his recruitment even though South Carolina, Georgia Tech and others are involved. Cormani McClain is a wild card because he’s a 2023 prospect and a quiet kid. But that makes me believe he will follow his friends and teammates to Tallahassee and FSU will end up with all three standouts.
Langston’s take: FACT. Right now, I’d say it’s a fact. There’s still some time to go with RB Jaylon Glover, DB Sam McCall and DB Cormani McClain. However, right now FSU sits in a pretty strong spot to win all three battles. McCall seems pretty firm in his pledge and is recruiting heavily for FSU. With Glover, it feels like the Seminoles are the team to beat despite official visits just around the corner. Then with Cormani he made it clear that FSU is the favorite. So at this stage things look good for this trio.
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