Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analysts Adam Friedman and Eric Lammers along with Ben Parker from CardinalSportsReport.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. After all is said and done, four-star WR Noah Rogers will end up at Ohio State.
Gorney’s take: FACT. NC State quarterback commit Lex Thomas is a friend and others close to Noah Rogers could end up in the Wolfpack’s recruiting class but since his visit in mid-April to Ohio State, the Buckeyes now seem to have an edge in his recruitment. The longer this goes the more I actually think it favors NC State since he’s right up the road from Raleigh and could get an even better feel for that program in the coming months but Ohio State has definitely made a significant move in his recruitment and is now the team to beat. Thomas and others close to the NC State program have some work to do.
Friedman’s take: FACT. This is a tough one because NC State has the strongest and longest relationships with Rogers but if the Buckeyes want Rogers, they’re going to get him. It looks like the want him and it feels like he wants to go there. The visits to Clemson, North Carolina and Ohio State in June will tell the story of how the rest of his recruitment will play out but I think Rogers would be a Buckeye if he signed today.
2. Ranked fifth in the team recruiting rankings, Tennessee has been the biggest surprise so far this cycle.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Not only has Tennessee landed commitments from some outstanding prospects – including in-state defensive standouts Trevor Duncan, Nathan Robinson and especially Caleb Herring along with five-star California quarterback Nico Iamaleava – but the Vols are seriously involved with some of the other best prospects in the 2023 class. Francis Mauigoa is seriously looking at Tennessee, five-star receiver Carnell Tate has the Vols among his top schools, former commit Tony Mitchell is re-engaged with that staff and then Branden Strozier and Chandavian Bradley has Tennessee toward the top of the list. This is a team that hasn’t won 10 games in over a decade but there is significant momentum with Josh Heupel taking over. Ranked fifth in the team rankings, it has been an impressive start that might only get better for the Vols.
Lammers’ take: FICTION. Quite frankly I am not all that shocked to see Tennessee ranked where it is. The Vols had positive momentum coming out of the 2021 season, especially with that offense. Then you land someone like Nico Iamaleava to be the headliner of your class early in the following recruiting cycle, which helps draw others to Knoxville and you have the perfect ripple effect if you are the Volunteers. The coaching staff’s ability to connect with prospects is something that also consistently comes up when talking with recruits and the Tennessee brand of course still holds strong. Add all that up in addition to the new landscape of college football recruiting with NIL and I would actually be more surprised if Tennessee wasn’t high up in the rankings.
3. Stanford should feel confident it will land four-star QB Dylan Lonergan after he released his top five.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Stanford offers so much both on the football field, on the baseball field and academically. The Cardinal are definitely among the favorites for Dylan Lonergan but I see them as No. 2 in his recruitment right now. South Carolina is the biggest threat, it’s only a few hours down the road and playing in the SEC for a program on the rise under Shane Beamer is under serious consideration. This one is still too close to call and could be why Lonergan is visiting both schools in June but I’d give the Gamecocks a slight edge right now.
Parker’s take: FACT. Stanford has let Dylan Lonergan know he’s their top quarterback target in 2023 and that if he comes, he’ll be the guy that they’ll build around. On top of that, the baseball team is elite, giving him a real opportunity to compete for a national championship. Those two factors plus the world-class academics should have the Cardinal feeling confident.