Fact or Fiction: Notre Dame is a lock for four-star Niuafe Tuihalamaka

National recruiting director Adam Gorney and Rivals analyst Sam Spiegelman along with BAMAINSIDER.COM’s Andrew Bone and BLUEANDGOLD.COM’s Mike Singer tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

1. Despite Steve Sarkisian’s
success so far in recruiting, Texas will still only land two or fewer of the
top-10 in-state prospects.

Devon Campbell (Sam Spiegelman)

Gorney’s take: FACT. First-year coach Steve Sarkisian has been doing an outstanding job recruiting for the Longhorns and especially with in-state prospects but as it stands now it’s probably likely the highest-end recruits could head elsewhere. Texas has already had a lot of recruiting wins and many others are coming – plus some current commits could move into the top 10 – but the list now could be tough for the Longhorns. Devon Campbell and Bryce Anderson are probably leaning to Texas right now but Denver Harris is more than likely going to the SEC. Texas A&M is going to get others and Oklahoma will dip in, too. That’s not to say Sarkisian won’t recruit well, because he has and he will, but the highest-end in this class will spread out to different schools.

Spiegelman’s take: FICTION. Sarkisian is having immediate success and wasting zero time getting to work on his 2022 class. He’s picked up quality early commitments from Jaydon Blue, the state’s top running back, and added four-star wide receiver Armani Winfield and safety Bryan Allen Jr. Texas is in great shape with several of the state’s top-10 players, including five-stars in Harris, Campbell and Kam Dewberry and Anderson. Additionally, Evan Stewart — another one of Sark’s recent gets — has the potential to finish as a top-10 prospect in-state for sure.

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2. Kevin Coleman could be the next
Jaylen Waddle at Alabama.

Kevin Coleman
Kevin Coleman (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

Gorney’s take: FACT. I was not entirely sold on this comparison over the last few months but after seeing Kevin Coleman at the Pylon 7v7 tournament in Arizona two weeks ago, it’s completely possible. Coleman has a leaner frame but probably has an inch on Waddle and should definitely fill out once he gets to college. Texas and Oregon are battling for Coleman and I heard Tuesday night that Florida State is working hard to get the five-star receiver, but Alabama is the leader at this point. Jaylen Waddle was crazy dynamic but Coleman has a similar playing style and could fill that role nicely for the Crimson Tide.

Bone’s take: FACT. Explosion, acceleration, speed are just a few assets which made Waddle one of the best overall athletes for the Crimson Tide. He is rare so it’s hard to make comparisons, but Coleman is in the ballpark based on film. How he develops during the course of the next few years is up to him. Alabama is heavily recruiting Coleman in hopes of adding him to its ridiculous arsenal of talent at the receiver position.

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*****

3. Notre Dame is a lock for
four-star LB Niuafe Tuihalamaka.

Niuafe Tuihalamaka
Niuafe Tuihalamaka

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Lock? Not quite. But pretty close. The former USC commit also has Stanford, Texas, Oregon and Arizona State in his top five and Niuafe Tuihalamaka is serious about a great education along with an outstanding football program, too. It feels like Notre Dame has the big edge in his recruitment and if a visit happens then the Irish could lock him up. A recent Zoom call with coach Brian Kelly was definitely big. Stanford is closer to home and Texas is really intriguing along with the Pac-12 schools but I’d say the Irish could be really tough to beat.

Singer’s take: FICTION. I have a Rivals FutureCast pick in for Notre Dame to land Tuihalamaka, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say lock. This feels like a Notre Dame vs. Stanford battle, which won’t be easy for the Irish to win considering the pandemic and proximity to home, but Brian Kelly and Co. are pushing all of the right buttons here.

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Source: Rivals.com

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