Fact or Fiction: Jaheim Singletary could be the No. 1 CB

National recruiting director Adam Gorney along with analysts Josh Helmholdt and Sam Spiegelman and Corey Bender from GatorsTerritory.com tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

1. Jaheim Singletary has an
argument as the No. 1 cornerback.

Jaheim Singletary (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I’m sticking with Domani Jackson for the No. 1 spot. We will see more of him since his junior season is just getting under after the COVID-19 shutdown but this offseason he never stopped working, never stopped working out and looks better than ever. He isn’t as long as Jaheim Singletary but Jackson is dynamic, athletic, he runs with every receiver, he’s more physical than any other five-star cornerback and while I like Singletary a lot, Jackson has been so special for so long.

Spiegelman’s take: FACT. We have a loaded crop of cornerbacks in the 2022 class and Domani Jackson, Denver Harris and Singletary could all very easily be the top-ranked player here in a given year. Singletary is long and moves fluidly and moves up and down the field with ease. There’s a thought that Jackson could grow into a safety and Harris is working his way back to form after suffering an injury late in the postseason. That opens the door for Singletary to continue to impress this offseason as we continue the conversation.



2. CJ Hawkins is the most
underrated TE in the 2022 class.

CJ Hawkins
CJ Hawkins (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. CJ Hawkins is not a perfect tight end by any stretch but he has some intangibles that make me believe four or five years from now he could be incredibly special on the college level. First, not many people who are 6-foot-7 move that well on a football field. He runs well, he has good hands and Hawkins has only played one season so the upside is incredible. If Hawkins’ rating was based solely on his current performance, then I’d say he’s probably a high-level three-star. But his ranking is based on expected college performance and NFL potential and that’s why he has an argument as the most underrated tight end nationally. If he’s developed correctly on the college level, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound tight end who can flex out and block is rare.

Bender’s take: FICTION. While Hawkins does boast a very impressive offer sheet, he has a ways to go in terms of his skillset, and understandably so since he has only played one year of football. He is definitely underrated right now, but I would like to see him do a better job of utilizing his 6-foot-7 frame and basketball background to high-point the ball. I would like to see him improve on his fluidity downfield as well; however, with Florida trendily heavily in his recruitment, there might not be a better school to develop him and feature his strengths. He is also a willing blocker who does a good job of mixing it up in the trenches, so there is no doubt Hawkins’ best football is ahead of him. He is just scratching the surface of what he can become.


3. It will be tough to beat Ohio
State for Xavier Nwankpa.

Xavier Nwankpa
Xavier Nwankpa (Sam Spiegelman)

Gorney’s take: FACT. Even if Xavier Nwankpa takes his recruitment through the summer and starts taking visits again, I still think Ohio State is the front-runner here. The Buckeyes have been high on his list for a long time, defensive back help is a big focus for Ohio State and Nwankpa plays with a swagger that fits the program in Columbus. I could see some SEC programs making a serious run and they’re always tough to turn down but Ohio State looks best. Also, Nwankpa played with Tucson Turf in a recent tournament and current Buckeyes commit Kyion Grayes is on that team. That could not have hurt.

Helmholdt’s take: FACT: The one point that gives me hesitation here is that Nwankpa wants to take his recruitment into the summer, at least, so he can take visits, and recruiting can change substantially on a timeline of that length. But, there are just too many ways this recruitment ultimately ends in Columbus. Unlike many of his fellow class of 2022 prospects, Nwankpa was able to visit a lot of campuses before the dead period was instated one year ago, so he has a good idea of what is out there. Ohio State has risen above a competitive field of contenders, and there is a good shot they remain there.

Source: Rivals.com

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