Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with Andrew Bone from BamaInsider.com, Christian Clement from AuburnSports.com and Kyle Kelly of InsideNDSports.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. After his weekend visit to Alabama, the Crimson Tide could emerge as the front-runner for five-star QB Arch Manning.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Alabama could be the pick and this weekend’s trip to Tuscaloosa could convince Arch Manning that the Crimson Tide offer him the best route to high-end success. I just don’t think the five-star quarterback is taking these back-to-back-to-back visits to name a front-runner, play the recruiting game and look for even more attention. Manning is taking a very focused approach to his recruitment and could have a decision ready before official visits but there is still no solid timetable for much of anything yet after seeing Texas, Georgia and Alabama in the last three weeks.
Bone’s take: FICTION. There is a new story each week on Manning and which school may be in the lead for his signature. I think most are jumping the gun when it comes to making a prediction. These spring visits are all about watching practice, breaking down film with coaches, getting comfortable with the campus and also continuing to develop a connection with the staff and players. Reporters will continue to express their belief on which school leads (after each visit), but Manning likely will not have a leader after he completes his spring visits. He will know which schools will receive official visits and have a strong sense on who will remain in the mix until he gets closer to a decision. This is Alabama’s opportunity to host Manning, and hopefully get an idea if the Tide will have a strong chance to add him to his class.
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2. Four-star DE Hunter Osborne recently had a great visit to Auburn. The Tigers are definitely in the top group now.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Hunter Osborne had a phenomenal visit to Auburn and the Tigers absolutely surged up his list but there are definitely three others standing out a little bit more. The four-star from Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt Trussville has Alabama, Clemson and LSU highest on his list and that could be tough to overcome. The Tigers are absolutely going to make a serious run at him and there is definitely an opening because his trip to Auburn in recent days was awesome but those are three tough teams to beat in recruiting.
Clemente’s take: FACTS I would definitely consider Auburn near the top of Hunter Osborne’s recruitment. He had a good relationship with Nick Eason previously, and new D-line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh you have done a good job here building that up, which includes a previous relationship from Brumbaugh’s time at Oregon. Bryan Harsin has made Osborne a priority and it has put the Tigers in a great spot in his recruitment.
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3. Dante Moore had a multi-day visit to Notre Dame earlier this week. The Irish should be considered the front-runner in his recruitment of him.
Gorney’s take: FACTS Dante Moore still has a decent-sized list of programs that he’s interested in and I wouldn’t forget LSU because coach Brian Kelly recently had Moore in Baton Rouge and there is a major connection there from Kelly’s days at Notre Dame but the Irish make a ton of sense here. The word is that Moore prefers staying in the Midwest and Notre Dame would be the team to beat although I wouldn’t count out Michigan by any stretch yet. A multi-day visit to South Bend that went really well is telling and I’d say the Irish definitely has a big edge now.
Kelly’s take: FACTS Before Dante Moore arrived at Notre Dame on Monday, his father, Otha Moore, told Inside ND Sports, “Notre Dame is a very high-looked-at school.” After it concluded, we reported that the five-star had an “unbelievable” visit. The Irish were in the driver’s seat before Moore’s trip and have to feel good about their position afterward. Michigan, Oregon and a few SEC schools will not make the decision easy. However, signs point to ND being in a good spot as Moore works toward a commitment.
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