Fact or Fiction: Florida is team to beat for four-star CB AJ Harris

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman along with Jed May of UGASports.com and jason higdon of 1standTenFlorida.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

1. After his weekend visit, Florida is the team to beat for four-star cornerback AJ Harris.

AJ Harris (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACTS Florida has emerged to the top for AJ Harris but the four-star cornerback is also someone who takes visits, loves the school and then coming off a visit high we should revisit it and see where things stand. Still, the Gators have done everything possible to make this happen and the upfront approach from coach billy napper and the addition of Corey Raymond to his staff was huge. Georgia is also right there, Clemson and Alabama are in the picture and I wouldn’t count out a surprise yet, either, but the Gators are in great shape following since second visit in a few months.

Higdon’s take: FACTS Florida was not under consideration with the former staff, but that changed quickly with the addition of coach Billy Napier and position coach Corey Raymond. The addition of Raymond is really what put Florida in the driver’s seat. They have a long-lasting relationship, and the day Raymond was announced as a Florida coach, it caught the attention of numerous top-tier CBs, namely AJ Harris. Everything that Raymond and Napier told Harris about Florida was backed up first-hand when he visited. Nothing is done until the name is signed on the dotted line, but the Gators are in a great position.

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2. After another visit to Georgia, the Bulldogs should be considered the front-runner for five-star QB Arch Manning.

Arch Manning

Arch Manning (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Georgia could certainly have the edge, I just don’t think Arch Manning is going through his recruitment that way – naming a leader, having a front-runner, etc. – like most other prospects. He’s been very deliberate so far and that he should continue through his senior season as he sees a lot of coaching staff movement actually hit the field – and then he should have a better idea where things stand. Georgia, Texas and Alabama definitely look to be in the best shape but a leader right now? I don’t think just yet.

May’s-take: FACTS Georgia’s lead isn’t an insurmountable one, as Alabama, Texas, and others are still very much involved. However, the Bulldogs have to be considered the leaders at this point. Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff, particularly Todd Monken, Buster Faulkner and Montgomery VanGorder, have done an outstanding job cultivating their relationships with Manning. The addition of Mike Bobo to the staff can’t hurt either. The Manning family is taking all factors of these schools into account. Right now, Georgia is checking all the boxes for 2023’s top prospect.

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3. Noah Rogers is better than the No. 10 receiver in the 2023 class.

noah rogers

Noah Rogers (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I like Noah Rogers a lot. He’s a big, athletic receiver with length who showed great hands at the Rivals Camp Series in Charlotte last weekend. The four-star had one of the nicest catches of the series when he caught one deep in the end zone and then tumbled into a sand pit and net used for track and field and still held onto the ball. His speed, size and hands from him are rare. But who would he jump over in the wide receiver rankings? There could be an argument to move him into the 7-8 range ahead of Makai Lemon and closer to Jalen Hale but Lemon and Johntay Cook, currently ninth in the position rankings, are really talented and dynamic as well. The debate will be had and it will be a very difficult one to figure out.

Friedman’s take: FACTS I’m a huge fan of Rogers and came away very impressed after watching him in person for the first time at the Charlotte Rivals Camp on Sunday. He’s an outstanding downfield receiver with great body control and concentration. I liked what I saw from him as a route runner but there were a couple areas where he’ll see obvious improvement as he gets older. The biggest thing that stood out to me was his acceleration of him once he got off the line of scrimmage. Rogers looks and plays like a big-bodied receiver so the way he was able to pull away from some cornerbacks was eye-opening. As for the rankings, there are a couple receivers ranked inside the top 10 that Rogers is better than. As it stands right now, I’d definitely have him inside the top 10. We’ll have to see how the rest of the spring pans out before the rankings are updated in a few months.

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