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Fact or Fiction: Clemson is losing hope on landing Arch Manning


Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman along with Ryan Young of TrojanSports.com and Conner Clarke from GatorsTerritory.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

1.

Following Saturday’s poor performance and dismal crowd at The Coliseum, five-star cornerback Domani Jackson is definitely not headed to USC.

Domani Jackson

Domani Jackson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. I could be way off here but I now fully expect Domani Jackson heads elsewhere. He was at Alabama and saw a big-time environment and the development speaks for itself there. He’s going to Michigan this weekend and he’s going to see an outstanding game between the Wolverines and Ohio State in a packed Big House. And then on Saturday he was at a half-filled (or half-empty) Coliseum where USC got torched by UCLA. A new coach is going to come in and sell his vision but will it even be believable? Jackson has wanted to play for USC for so many reasons but what he wants to do and what’s best for his future development might be two different things. Maybe I’m completely wrong but I think he’s headed out of state.

Young’s take: FICTION. I mean, he obviously could end up elsewhere, but I don’t think it’s a done deal until USC hires a new head coach, formally retains Donte Williams as cornerbacks coach and the Trojans are able to truly pitch Jackson on the vision for the future. I won’t be surprised at all if he ends up at Alabama. At this point, the burden of persuasion is on USC to pull him back from Tuscaloosa, but I just don’t believe that he will officially cross off the hometown team — the school he knew for years he wanted to commit to, where so many of his friends play — before seeing the full picture emerge.

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2.

Following Isaiah Bond’s decommitment, the expectation should be for Florida’s recruiting class to implode.

Isaiah Bond

Isaiah Bond (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Florida will lose guys and Isaiah Bond definitely hurts a whole lot because his athleticism and speed are special and could have been such an asset to the Gators. He will probably end up elsewhere in the SEC and that’s going to hurt Florida a lot down the road. But I just don’t see the class imploding. Four-star Jayden Gibson is the biggest fish because he’s such a unique receiver with that size and smooth playmaking ability and then the staff will have to lean on four-star quarterback commit Nick Evers to keep the guys together. If they bolt then all bets are off but the nucleus of this class could stick because playing for Florida is still held in very high regard. It’s not a great class but I do see some main pieces staying.

Clarke’s take: FACT. Before the firing of Dan Mullen, Florida’s 2022 recruiting class was on pace to be the worst class in the last 20 years of the program. Since his firing, Florida has lost commitments from Rivals100 athlete Isaiah Bond and three-star defensive back Jamarrien Bert, with several other prospects announcing that they will remain committed but consider other options. Whoever the new coach is will have about two weeks at most to try and keep what remains of the class intact before early signing day, as well as try to establish relationships with uncommitted prospects and get them to sign with Florida off of just two months worth of contact. Regardless of who is hired, that is a tall task for any college coach. I would expect to see at least one, if not more decommitments before the Early Signing Period. Florida’s recruiting is definitely going to get worse before it gets better.

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3.

Clemson’s offer to QB Christopher Vizzina shows the Tigers are not as confident in landing Arch Manning.

Christopher Vizzina

Christopher Vizzina (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Sam has a better read on Arch Manning’s recruitment than anybody but I want to offer my two cents here as well and say Clemson is still squarely in his recruitment and the Christopher Vizzina offer does not matter all that much. Every other program that is recruiting Manning has offered other quarterbacks and while Clemson is unique in how it handles offers and when it offers kids, it still needs to cover all bases when it comes to landing a quarterback in the 2023 class. The Manning recruitment is the highest of stakes and there could only be one winner. If it’s not Clemson, the Tigers need a second option and to not chase one later and Vizzina would make a whole lot of sense.

Spiegelman’s take: FACT. Fact: The Mannings have kept their recruitment quiet, but it’s unorthodox for Clemson to break its way and offer another QB while still focused on another. Manning was Clemson’s top QB target and he visited last month for the second time in his recruitment, which also included a workout over the summer. However, Georgia, Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas might be pointing up after Clemson made its move for Vizzina over the weekend. Right now, Manning has Newman challenging for a spot in the Louisiana Division III state championship game so his focus isn’t on his recruitment, but Dabo Swinney’s offer says it all.

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