Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with recruiting analysts Sam Spiegelman, Josh Helmholdt and Adam Friedman tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether or not they believe each statement.
1. Cade Klubnik is the second-best quarterback in the 2022 class.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Cade Klubnik could very well end up among the top two quarterbacks in the 2022 class but there is definitely an argument that could be made for others. Walker Howard is currently a five-star so Klubnik would have to earn that ranking and then go ahead of Howard in the position rankings or Howard would have to lose his fifth star. And let’s not forget dual-threat five-star Gunner Stockton, who doesn’t do many offseason events but is still a talented prospect. There are many other names in this discussion and Klubnik might end up among the top two but it’s not absolutely certain right now.
Spiegelman’s take: FACT. This isn’t an easy debate either. Conner Weigman has a cannon for an arm and he’s extremely mobile. Howard has a fantastic release and has a big arm to challenge downfield. Devin Brown is accurate and can squeeze passes into very tight windows. However, Klubnik has a fantastic skill-set and is an elite athlete with a body of work that catches the eye. Off the field, he’s a diligent worker, checks all the boxes and is driven to win. With two state championships under his belt and now an Elite 11 MVP trophy, Klubnik has a strong case as the No. 2 passer in the country and is squarely in the five-star discussion entering his senior year.
2. Penn State is the leader for Dani Dennis-Sutton heading into his decision later this month.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Dani Dennis-Sutton has great relationships with the Penn State coaches and players so I wouldn’t be as sold if the five-star defensive end was waiting through the fall to make his decision. That way he could visit Georgia and Alabama for game weekends and then really have a much better feel. But Dennis-Sutton is planning to commit later in July and that means he’s probably picking where he’s most comfortable right now and has the best relationships and that’s with Penn State.
Friedman’s take: FICTION. Penn State could very well be the leader for Dennis-Sutton but Georgia is right at the top too. It doesn’t seem like Dennis-Sutton is totally locked in with his decision yet and there could be some movement behind the scenes. The relationships between Dennis-Sutton and the Penn State coaches and players are stronger than any other school but Georgia has everything Dennis-Sutton is looking for too. It will be a very hard decision for him to make and there isn’t much time for these two teams to jockey for position.
Brenan Vernon’s commitment to Notre Dame over Ohio State and others was a complete surprise.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Ohio State looked like the pick and the Buckeyes have done this before – taken a phenomenal in-state prospect’s commitment, locked him up and the drama was over from there. In a recent interview, Brenan Vernon said the recruiting process wasn’t all that far along with Notre Dame but after a recent visit went incredibly well it started to dawn on him that playing for the Irish would be something he’d like to do. Much in the mold of Jack Sawyer, who committed to Ohio State and never looked around, I thought Vernon was next in line. But give Notre Dame a ton of credit for coming in, not giving up and it paid off.
Helmholdt’s take: FACT. I can admit it surprised me. Vernon kept his recruitment as close to the vest as any prospect in this 2023 class, so I don’t believe anyone outside his inner circle had a strong pulse for how things were progressing. What I can say surprised me the most, though, was the timing. Ohio State has a high success rate at keeping top in-state prospects at home, but when there is a Jackson Carman-type who chooses to go out of state, it often happens later in the process. Notre Dame was also able to do this in the 2021 class with Lorenzo Styles Jr., though, so maybe we’re seeing a trend start.