Rivals national recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove, along with national recruiting analyst Greg Smith, Brandon Drumm of OUInsider.com and Charlestone Bowles of InsideNDSports.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. Missouri is a legitimate threat to Oklahoma for the commitment of five-star DL Williams Nwaneri.
Cogrove’s take: FACT. Many eyebrows were raised when I submitted a FutureCast for Williams Nwaneri to Missouri earlier this week. I made my prediction without knowing Nwaneri’s final destination, but many recent happenings make me believe the Tigers have not only become a legitimate contender, but are seriously closing the gap on the Sooners as we close in on an announcement. I believe Oklahoma still has a slight lead for the five-star, but the gap is closing and could eventually turn in Missouri’s favor by the time he announces.
Drumm’s take: FACT. Of course Missouri and Eli Drinkwitz are legitimate contenders and pushing the Sooners for the five-star DE Williams Nwaneri. Mizzou has made it a close race, and Nwaneri has visited Columbia several times. When you add that it’s closer to his home than Norman, they reportedly have a nice NIL package and the Tigers’ staff has built a solid relationship, it’s easy to see why Mizzou has pushed OU to the brink here.
That said, as of today, I still favor OU with him constantly stating his best relationships are with Oklahoma DL coaches Miguel Chavis and Todd Bates, along with six plus visits to Norman, OU’s NIL prowess lately, and several LSN teammates and KC area buddies in Norman and/or committed to be soon. Just feels like Oklahoma is the team to beat, but not by much right now.
2. Notre Dame will sign a five-star in the 2024 class.
Cosgrove’s take: FACT. Landing an uncommitted five-star may not be the likeliest path for Notre Dame to sign one of the nation’s most elite players, but I chose fact because I believe at least one of the current Irish commits will be awarded Rivals most prestigious rating once this class is signed. There are typically 32 five-stars in each class and only 20 players have received that distinction thus far. Irish quarterback commit CJ Carr sits at No. 21 making him the most likely candidate of the current commits. Then you have Cam Williams at No. 49 and Brauntae Johnson at No. 58 who both have five-star upside and while they have some ground to make up, both should be in the conversation come our final rankings release for the 2024 class.
Bowles’ take: FACT. The Irish will sign a five-star in the 2024 recruiting class by the time pen is put to paper on National Signing Day. However, the five-star recruit won’t come from any player that isn’t already in the class. Notre Dame’s coaching staff will do everything they can to flip Ohio State 2024 five-star defensive tackle Justin Scott, but I believe the Chicago (Ill.) St Ignatius College Prep product sticks with his commitment to Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes. Quarterback commit CJ Carr, currently the No. 21 overall player in the rankings, has a chance to solidify himself as a five-star with a strong senior season. Wide receiver commit Cam Williams and linebacker commit Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa are also contenders, but I feel most confident Carr earns that elusive five-star rating. The Irish haven’t signed a five-star quarterback since Gunner Kiel in the 2012 recruiting class.
3. Nebraska will sign a top-15 class in 2024.
Cosgrove’s take: FACT. The Huskers currently sit with the No. 21 class and while there are programs like Alabama that will likely to jump them in the rankings, there are also programs in front of Nebraska that they are likely to fall. A top-15 class is far from a guarantee, but I love the way Matt Rhule and staff have attacked things on the recruiting trail, and if the Huskers can close the way they did during the 2023 cycle anything is possible. While there aren’t a ton of big name targets left on the board who also have Nebraska towards the top of their list, there are difference makers like offensive lineman Grant Brix that are in play and could give the class a bump. There are also numerous current commits who could be in line for a ratings bump making a top-15 class achievable if everything comes to fruition.
Smith’s take: FICTION. Nebraska is putting together a nice class in Matt Rhule’s first full cycle with the Huskers. They are in the mix to land four-stars Grant Brix and Devoux Tuataga but there aren’t enough highly-ranked prospects out there for them to finish in the top 15. There are players in the class that could get bumped but I see the Huskers landing in the top 20 this cycle.