Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with national recruiting analysts Nick Harris and Ryan Wright and Tom Kakert of HawkeyeReport.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. Alabama commit Eli Holstein will win more national titles than any five-star QB in the 2023 class.
Gorney’s take: FACT. History is on Eli Holstein’s side as Alabama has won three of the last seven national championships and the four-star from Zachary, La., is definitely talented enough to lead the Crimson Tide back to the promised land. I don’t think Holstein is as talented as the four five-star quarterbacks in this class but Alabama recruits so incredibly well across the board that he’s going to be surrounded by superstars. Malachi Nelson is an interesting choice here since Lincoln Riley might be awakening a sleeping giant at USC and if Arch Manning goes to Georgia then all bets are off but right now I think Manning ends up at Texas, which still has a long way to go before winning a title.
Harris’ take: FICTION. The elite talent in the 2023 quarterback class stretches far and wide, and when it comes to who I am betting on to have the most decorated college career, I’d have to say Malachi Nelson. While Alabama is the ultimate dynasty that we may have ever seen in college football, the talent around the country is starting to catch up. You also have to factor in Arch Manning, who could make Georgia or Texas a national contender once he is ready to touch a college football field, along with Dante Moore. There isn’t a wrong answer here in my opinion given Eli Holstein’s talent and his potential to win big at Alabama, but Malachi Nelson is the one I see raising the crystal ball trophy during his college career.
2. Five-star OL Kadyn Proctor’s top five is a head fake. He still ends up playing at Iowa.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There are some factors and considerations here that could play a role in his decision-making process as Oregon is definitely playing a bigger factor in his recruitment but when things settle down and it’s time to make a decision, I still think the five-star offensive tackle ends up at Iowa. Kadyn Proctor is an in-state prospect, he’s been to Iowa City so often and his former teammate Xavier Nwankpa just signed with the Hawkeyes and that should play a major role as well. Like almost every elite prospect, Proctor has a lot to consider and his official visit schedule is a little quirky – do we seriously believe he’s going to Arkansas State? – but cooler heads will prevail and that favors the Hawkeyes.
Kakert’s take: FACT. There were plenty of worried Iowa fans on the message boards when five-star offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor announced his five official visits and it didn’t include the Hawkeyes. Was the in-state standout now moving on from potentially playing for Iowa? Nope. Far from it. Proctor will take four official visits in June, including one to Oregon, who I believe is the main competition for Iowa in this recruiting race. He will also take an official visit to Michigan to start the season. But, one thing to remember, Proctor has been to Iowa City a lot. At least eight times and maybe more. It’s an easy drive from his home in Pleasant Hill to Iowa City on Interstate 80 and he will likely make that trip for either the Iowa State or Michigan game this fall and my guess is he makes his decision shortly after that final trip.
3. Four-star RB Richard Young is going back to Oregon for an official visit. The Ducks are a serious contender in his recruitment.
Gorney’s take: FACT. I do think Alabama leads for Richard Young and it’s hard for elite running backs – or players at any position, really – to say no to the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban and his staff have made Young a top priority and those players often end up in Tuscaloosa. I’ve always gotten the sense that Young would stay somewhere in the Southeast but the high four-star is making his second cross country trip in as many months and that has to say something. The new Oregon coaching staff has been influential, NIL considerations are helping the Ducks in recruiting and there is a serious level of interest between both parties. However, I still think Young ends up in the SEC.
Wright’s take: FICTION. Being one of five makes Oregon a contender but how serious remains to be seen. The feel has been this is a two-team race between Georgia and Alabama for Young. With Justice Haynes being from the Peach State and a legacy, and an amazing tailback, speculation is he signs with the Bulldogs. If Young wants to go to Alabama, it is there for the taking. Oregon is a great program with a lot to offer, still, it is difficult for most teenagers to move clear across the country away from their family. In the Ducks’ favor, Young’s coach James Chaney said the four-star liked Oregon more than expected during his late April visit to Eugene.