Rivals national recruiting analyst Ryan Wright, UGASports.com writer Jed May, Canesport.com site publisher Gary Ferman and InsideNebraska.com site publisher Zack Carpenter tackle three college football recruiting topics relating to the Southeast.
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1. Georgia won’t land a top-five class in 2023.
Wright’s take: FACT. The recruiting cycle is still in its early stages, but it is still odd seeing Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs outside the top 10. Being the defending national champion should have players lined up in the 2023 class, but it hasn’t started happening yet. Georgia is seemingly on every elite recruit’s top schools list, and history says the Bulldogs will be a top-five finisher, but there is a gut feeling teams such as Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee and USC may bump up into that space. Let’s not forget about Alabama and Texas A&M also vying for a spot at the top. This year is shaping up to be a unique recruiting cycle in which the NIL heavily factors into decisions.
May’s take: FICTION. Georgia might be sitting at 11th in the team rankings at this point, but the Bulldogs are due for a move up. They are among the final two or three schools for several of the nation’s top prospects, including Samuel M’Pemba, TJ Shanahan, Caleb Downs and Justice Haynes, just to name a few. A possible commitment from No. 1 overall prospect Arch Manning wouldn’t hurt the cause, either. It’s still early in this cycle, which gives Georgia plenty of time to land more commitments from top prospects and move into the top five.
2. The Hurricanes will land three or more four-star players from Miami in the 2023 class.
Wright’s take: FICTION. For clarification, there are currently 11 players in the 2023 class from Miami ranked as four-stars. The Hurricanes have one in Robby Washington, and Lamont Green (FSU) and Nathaniel Joseph (Clemson) are off the board. Ryan Bullard and Sedrick Irvin Jr., a one-time Notre Dame commit, are wild cards. Daniel Harris may end up at Michigan, and William Fowles is iffy for Miami, with Florida State, A&M and Georgia coming after him. Antonio Robinson listed 15 top schools in June and Miami was one of them, and then Rueben Bain is looking at Miami with heavier interest in Auburn and Alabama.
Ferman’s take: FACT. Commitments are coming slowly for Miami in this cycle, but that doesn’t mean that the Hurricanes won’t show up in December. When you look at the list of four-stars that Miami is engaged with, it’s easy to find three that project to Miami. You can start with Washington, who is already committed. I would say Bain and Jalen Brown are very likely to commit to the Canes. Miami is firmly in the mix for Joseph, who remains committed to Clemson. Fowles and Stanquan Clark are two other candidates that Miami has been working hard with and gaining ground. Are they all slam dunks? No. But we like the chances of three being on the final commit list
3. Nebraska will land more 2023 prospects out of the Southeast than Michigan.
Wright’s take. FICTION. It seems every other player in the Southeast is interested in Michigan. Many of the official visits might end up being paid vacations, but the Wolverines are getting their message out there and recruits are responding. Michigan has an early 2-1 edge over the Cornhuskers, with Benjamin Hall and Raylen Wilson tied to the class. I can see Michigan landing four more from the region in the coming weeks.
Carpenter’s take: FACT. The answer here will wind up being close, and it could even wind up being a tie. But I’m taking the Huskers. Nebraska doesn’t have an overwhelming presence in the Southeast (Florida and Georgia), but neither does Michigan right now. The Huskers are trying to establish a stronger foothold in the area, and that took another big step with their massive official visits the weekend of June 3-5. Nebraska hosted 13 official visitors, five of whom made the trek from Georgia, and each of them was making at least their second trip to Lincoln in the past six months: Kayin Lee, Barry Jackson, Johnathan Hughley, Adonijah Green and Dontavius Braswell. I don’t expect the Huskers to land multiple commitments from that group of five, but I won’t be surprised if at least one of them picks Nebraska.
That one commitment would add to the Huskers already having one Southeast commit in the fold in Miami cornerback prospect Dwight Bootle II (compared to two Southeast commitments right now for Michigan). Nebraska is also on the docket for official visits from Oklahoma receiver commit Keyon Brown and IMG Academy defensive end Cameron Lenhardt.