Fact or Fiction: Justin Scott will be the next five-star from Illinois

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Rivals recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove along with Tim O’Halloran of EdgyTim.com, Eric Lammers of NittanyNation.com and Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

1.

Justin Scott will be the next five-star prospect out of Illinois.

Cosgrove’s take: FACT. There is little question in my mind that Justin Scott will be the next five-star prospect out of Illinois. Some will argue that it’s a bit premature to crown Scott as the next man up when the state has a pair of 2023 five-star candidates in offensive linemen Miles McVay and Charles Jagusah. I do feel McVay and Jagusah have a legitimate shot at becoming five-star prospects. But I believe that if either of them is minted a five-star, it will happen closer to next year’s signing day. Scott on the other hand has a very real chance of being awarded his fifth star when our next 2024 rankings update is released. He is as physically and athletically gifted as they come at his size, and the crazy part is that he has only played one year of varsity football.

O’Halloran’s take: FACT. Becoming one of the 10 names from the state of Illinois to be named as a five-star star recruit since 2002 by Rivals is a big deal. If anyone outside of say East St. Louis 2023 four-star offensive tackle Miles McVay (who I feel still has an argument for five-star consideration) has the pedigree to become the next five-star, it’s Justin Scott. While I don’t think Scott is a five-star right now, the fact is down the line I agree that he has a terrific shot to reach rarified air in becoming a five-star. Scott, at least for today, still has work to do. Scott’s biggest knocks are lacking overall live game experience along with just not yet being tested at the highest level. I’m excited to see Scott’s game continue to develop over the next several months, including seeing Scott become a more confident and physically dominant player. All of the ingredients are in place for Scott to become a five-star.

ILLINOIS STATE RANKINGS: 2023 | 2024

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2. After not signing an in-state player ranked in the top five since 2020, Tennessee will sign at least two of the top five players from its state in the 2023 class.

Ty Lockwood

Ty Lockwood (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Cosgrove’s take: FICTION. I do believe that Tennessee is doing a great job on the recruiting trail and I have heard recruits talk about the Vols more in the past few months than I had in previous years combined. I also see the Vols signing a fantastic 2023 class, but I do not see them landing more than one of the top five players from the state as things stand right now. Ty Lockwood is the state’s current No. 1 prospect and has already committed to Ohio State, so unless Tennessee can flip him, that only leaves four recruits in Caleb Herring, Adarius Redmond, Max Carroll and Luke Brown up for grabs. It will be a tough task to beat Georgia and others on Herring. Redmond does have Tennessee in his top five but also seems to favor Penn State and Georgia. Tennessee should have a legitimate shot at Carroll, but Vanderbilt will put up a good fight. Brown’s recruitment continues to evolve and he remains open, but Tennessee was absent from the top eight he released in January.

Lammers’ take: FACT. Talking with numerous prospects recently throughout the state, the buzz for the Vols and this class in particular does appear to be real. A lot of times they are mentioning the high-powered offense that Josh Heupel has brought to Knoxville and the excitement that comes with scoring points in bunches. However, another perhaps just as valuable point often being discussed is the genuineness that this Vol staff has been showing and the relationships they are building because of it. Caleb Herring, Max Carroll, Trevor Duncan, Justin Brown and Brycen Sanders are just a few in-state names that the Vols are right in the thick of things for. Those players are all in the top 10 for the state and it is very reasonable to believe as the rankings evolve throughout the year the Vols will certainly end up with two, if not more.

TENNESSEE STATE RANKINGS: Class of 2023

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3.

Missouri should feel confident about landing both Rivals100 offensive linemen Miles McVay and Cayden Green.

Miles McVay

Miles McVay (Rivals.com)

Cosgrove’s take: FICTION. I’m going fiction here with the caveat that Missouri has a CHANCE to land both. I am also fairly confident that the Tigers will end up with at least one of the two nationally recruited offensive linemen. As it sits right now Miles McVay is probably the more likely of the two to land at Missouri. While McVay can pretty much go anywhere in the country, he also seems continually drawn back to the Missouri program. McVay has multiple friends and former teammates on the team, including five-star Luther Burden whose signing changed the way area recruits view the Missouri program. Cayden Green released a top five of Nebraska, Miami, Oklahoma, Missouri and Michigan at the end of March. While Green has great things to say about each of his finalists, I predict that the decision comes down to Missouri and Oklahoma, with the Sooners having the edge right now. He was born in Oklahoma and has been an Oklahoma fan since he was young.

DeArmond’s take: FICTION. Don’t get me wrong, I think Missouri’s got a shot. But they’re both going to be heavily recruited national guys. At this point, we feel better about Missouri’s chances with McVay (very good) than we do about Green (possible, but less likely). Obviously getting both would be a huge coup for Eli Drinkwitz, but if the Tigers can keep one of them at home and then add Raytown’s Logan Reichert — which we’d speculate is likely — it has to be considered an excellent haul on the offensive line.

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