Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Nick Harris along with Andrew Bone of BamaInsider.com and Jerit Roser of TigerDetails.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
New offers from Alabama and LSU have altered Julian Sayin’s recruitment and the SEC powers will be seriously considered now.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Let’s wait and see what Arch Manning does because if he picks Alabama it’s unlikely Julian Sayin or any elite 2024 quarterback will follow him to the same school. I’ve been told Sayin is especially going to take a much closer look at LSU now with Texas, Georgia, Notre Dame and others still getting serious interest but there’s no doubt that if Alabama really pushes for Sayin there will be mutual interest. The 2024 five-star is methodically going through the recruiting process and now with Alabama and LSU offers, there could be lots of changes as to which team ends up on top.
Bone’s take: FACT. Alabama has established itself as a premier destination for elite quarterbacks after the recent success at the position which has included a pair of first-round draft picks (Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones) and a Heisman Trophy winner (Bryce Young). Tagovailoa and Jones were also Heisman finalists. Sayin seems likely to take a summer visit swing to the SEC as he mentioned being very intrigued by the offer from the Crimson Tide. A trip to Tuscaloosa, the opportunity to see everything Alabama has to offer and meet with the coaches will likely move the national powerhouse into contention for the five-star recruit.
2. Eli Holstein should get more five-star consideration in the rankings.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Based on stats alone, Eli Holstein should absolutely be in the five-star discussion because he threw for 29 touchdowns and rushed for 14 more but we all know rankings aren’t based on only stats. Still, as we talk so much about Arch Manning and his destination or Nico Iamaleava and his Tennessee commitment or how Malachi Nelson will fit in Lincoln Riley’s offense or whether Dante Moore will go to Notre Dame or head to the SEC, Holstein has been lost in the shuffle a little bit. It’s more than likely he ends up at Alabama, he’s a phenomenal talent and while having five five-star quarterbacks in one class seems like a lot, Holstein should definitely be in the discussion. A big summer could help even more.
Harris’ take: FICTION. Holstein is aptly rated as a high four-star prospect and as the No. 51 ranked recruit in the country. That being said, his potential to rise is much higher than arguably any other quarterback in the country as he puts together the pieces of an elite signal-caller ahead of an important Elite 11 camp and his senior season. Should he be a five-star in the new June rankings release? Not quite yet. Do I think he can make an argument at Elite 11 to put his name among the elite passers for the next rankings release? Certainly so. Consider it a big proving ground for one of Louisiana’s best.
3. Shelton Sampson has a busy summer ahead with lots of visits. He will still end up at LSU.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Shelton Sampson is not a lock to LSU because Alabama is making a serious run and Florida State could be a really sneaky threat because he has so many connections to the Seminoles including his former coach there now but top players from Louisiana often go to LSU and the five-star receiver has been a priority for a long time. Coach Brian Kelly might not be the closer here as Sampson is tighter with others on staff but that’s perfectly fine and should work out well. If Dante Moore goes to LSU, that helps the Tigers’ chances even more. If he doesn’t, I still think LSU is sitting pretty.
Roser’s take: FACT. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shelton Sampson Jr. ends up at any one of three or four programs. The SEC West trio of Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M have long loomed the largest, and I wouldn’t overlook Florida State where his former high school coach Gabe Fertitta is now an analyst and another Louisiana native, running backs coach David Johnson, has had success landing talent from their home state. But, if we’re betting now, I still think the likeliest landing spot for the Baton Rouge Catholic receiver is just three miles down the street. The hometown Tigers were on Sampson early — which was clearly meaningful — and the new staff has continued to prioritize him. And it’s a program he grew up admiring, where he’s spent more time during his recruitment than any and has a strong pipeline from his high school. I think LSU survives a heated race for the talented pass-catcher.