Fact or Fiction: Texas’ 2023 class has two more five-stars

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Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris, national recruiting director Adam Gorney, Matt Clare of RedRaiderSports.com and Cole Patterson of Orangebloods.com tackle three topics and determine whether they think each is FACT or FICTION.

1. Texas’ 2023 class will include two more five-stars in the final Rivals250 rankings refresh.

Malik Muhammad

Malik Muhammad

Harris’ take: FICTION. Arch Manning and Anthony Hill make up Texas‘ two five-star prospects going into the final rankings update, and I only see Johntay Cook joining that group after his strong week in Orlando at the Under Armour All-America Game. That being said, Malik Muhammad and Cedric Baxter are two prospects that are in that five-star conversation, and rightfully so after each put together strong senior seasons along with a solid postseason run.

Patterson’s take: FACT. Between Johntay Cook, Malik Muhammad and Cedric Baxter, the Longhorns have an argument to add not only one, but multiple more five-stars to their duo of Manning and Hill at the rankings update.

Cook made a strong and compelling case for his fifth star at UA All-America practices. The Texas signee is an electric pass catcher that gets open with ease. Muhammad is a lengthy corner with a track background and impressive high school resume to pair. Baxter might be the most well-rounded back in the class and should step right in for Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. Steve Sarkisian clearly added some marquee talent in the 2023 cycle.

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2. Bai Jobe was the biggest stock riser coming out of the postseason all-star games.

Bai Jobe

Bai Jobe

Harris’ take: FACT. There were a couple of concerns going into the All-American Bowl week in San Antonio regarding Michigan State signee Bai Jobe. Would he be able to quickly adjust to the uptick in competition from small private school ball in Oklahoma? Would he have the physical development to compete alongside some of the nation’s best? But those doubts were quickly quieted almost immediately once practices began early in the week. Attacking some of the nation’s top offensive linemen, Jobe rarely lost a rep and was flying around blockers using a combination of finesse moves along with showing some power front and center. In my opinion, no player raised his stock more this postseason than the native of Senegal.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. While Bai Jobe was outstanding and should see a significant bump in the rankings after a great performance in San Antonio, I will stick with Kayin Lee because the Auburn signee was phenomenal all week. The four-star who’s currently rated No. 211 nationally is No. 26 at the cornerback spot. But he’s far better than that and proved it against elite wide receivers all week at the All-American Bowl. Lee can play on an island, is great in coverage, has speed and does a terrific job poking the ball away when it gets to the receiver. Jobe was great but Lee made the biggest impression on me.

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3. Texas Tech will fill most of its 2024 class early in the cycle, in similar fashion to how the 2023 class was constructed.

Texas Tech commit Chandlin Myers

Texas Tech commit Chandlin Myers

Harris’ take: FACT. Similar to how Texas Tech took early commitments in the 2023 cycle that eventually ended up paying off big for the Red Raiders, the 2024 cycle is shaping up to be much of the same in Lubbock. Tech has seven commitments in the class before the 2023 class even has a chance to finalize in early February. Joey McGuire and his staff are building on the momentum they were able to generate in 2023 with prospects that had deep athletic profiles on the track or at camp settings, and they’re turning that into their recruiting standard going forward as a staff. As a result, I could see Texas Tech once again race out to 15 commitments by the conclusion of the track and field season.

Clare’s take: FACT. The coaches already have seven commitments and they are hosting a Junior Day/Top Prospects weekend in early March. The 2024 class will be smaller with 16-18 total spots available, so that is one of the reasons for one weekend at a later date compared to other in-state programs hosting prospects in January/February. The coaches have been hitting the road hard during this open contact period and I would guess they have around 14 commitments after the spring ends.

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