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Fact or Fiction: Alabama is the biggest threat to flip Keelon Russell

Rivals national recruiting analyst Marshall Levenson is joined by national recruiting analyst Greg Smith, Brandon Drumm of OUInsider.com and TideIllustrated.com's Jack Knowlton to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Alabama is the biggest threat to flip Keelon Russell with Florida, Ole Miss, Oregon, and others involved.

Knowlton: FACT. Alabama's social media team recently sent Russell a video featuring the Kendrick Lamar song "Not Like Us" to announce his official visit. Taking the hint, that feels like a strong statement of the Tide's intentions to flip the SMU commit. With a dwindling amount of uncommitted elite quarterbacks, Russell remains Alabama's top option with the Tide still yet to land a QB in the 2025 class.

Russell appeared to enjoy his late April visit to Ole Miss, while Florida and Oregon will remain in contention for his services. But I expect Alabama to push the hardest and give a strong pitch when Russell arrives in Tuscaloosa next weekend.

Levenson. FACT. There are some heavy hitters in pursuit of Russell, but there are none bigger than Alabama. And despite being committed to SMU currently, the Crimson Tide may have the best chance to enter the season with a commitment from the four-star quarterback. Russell will be in Tuscaloosa a week from now for an official visit, where the Tide staff will roll out the red carpet.

The coaches have already told Russell they plan to show him everything possible that would help him commit to Alabama. Florida, Ole Miss and recently Oregon have put together strong pushes and pitches, but Alabama seems to be biggest contender.

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2. Malachi Toney was the most impressive playmaker at RCS Indianapolis.

Smith: FICTION. Toney was quite impressive all camp long. The Miami commit was a smooth route runner and seemed to run by defenders with ease. He was certainly among the most impressive skill players at the camp.

However, my pick here is new Illinois commit Brayden Trimble. The Illinois native (6-foot, 170) dominated many reps through the camp. He’s not a burner and is more of a long strider. But his route running allowed him to beat a good group of defensive backs. The camp coaches also had high praise for him as a steady performer that was very coachable.

Consistency and highlight-level catches gives Trimble the slight edge for me.

Levenson: FACT. There were quite a few skill players who turned heads last Sunday in Indianapolis. As you make the rotations around the various positional drills and 1-on-1 stations, you don't see every play made during the day. But it seemed like every time I looked in Malachi Toney's way, he was making some miraculous catch or just creating extreme separation in his route.

Although Toney is not all that big of a physical presence at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, his technique and speed make him a tough cover. He also flashed strong hands and body control all day, reeling in some jaw-dropping catches.

Toney's body of work on the day earned him a gold ball.

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3. Oklahoma will land at least two top-100 offensive linemen in the 2025 class.

Bill Bedenbaugh
Bill Bedenbaugh (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Images)

Drumm: FACT. But I type that with some extreme caution. I will explain … As of today, the Sooners get the final visit with top 100 lineman Lamont Rogers. That visit will come on June 18-20. According to sources on the Rogers' side, the fact Rogers will be the only offensive lineman there those three days is a huge deal. He gets all of the attention from the staff and will be treated with more than the token red carpet treatment while in Norman. Add that Oklahoma has emerged as a major, major contender after hitting a few rough patches and there is reason for some cautious optimism in Norman.

That said, his recruitment isn’t that easy and everyone must also watch for is SMU (OV’d May 17), Mizzou (May 31), Texas (June 14), Texas A&M (June 6), as well as FSU or LSU trying to get a visit the last weekend of June.

Then you have five-star tackle Michael Fasusi, top 100 tackle Andrew Babolola and five-star Ty Haywood as well. Oklahoma is hosting Fasusi on June 14 and Haywood and Babolola on June 21. It’s the latter two final visits this spring as of March 25 and the day this is being reported. Oklahoma was also viewed as the leader for all four linemen mentioned at one point or another this cycle, so there is precedence set for the Sooners to be a favorite for multiple top 100 targets already.

Oklahoma will also treat the offensive line in 2025 like it did the defensive line in 2024. That means the Sooners will push the fact Bill Bedenbaugh develops offensive linemen better than almost everyone else in college football. See the NFL Draft and All-Pro teams for reference. Oklahoma did the same with Todd Bates on the DL in 2024 and it worked.

Add that Oklahoma is now playing ball on the NIL front and the Sooners could potentially bat .500 with the top 100 prospects. If Oklahoma can’t, I would venture to guess it lands at least one, along with making a strong push for four-star Darius Afalava, who is also very high on the Sooners’ board.

Should be a fun June to see how all of this plays out.

Levenson: FICTION. There are some big-time offensive line prospects that have had Oklahoma toward the top of their recruitment in recent months. And looking at the group of guys in contention, while I think the Sooners will land at least one, I'm not convinced it will be two, at least as of now. Both Lamont Rogers and Ty Haywood have had big connections to the Sooners. Michael Fasusi is another who has frequented Norman this offseason. Another elite offensive lineman who has a chance to land at Oklahoma is Andrew Babalola.

Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is a high-quality recruiter so the Sooners will be in the running no matter what. But looking around the recruitments, programs such as Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oregon, LSU, Kansas State, Michigan and Alabama are involved in varying degrees. As recruiting goes, there is a likelihood some of these programs are going to win out for elite offensive linemen.

At this time, I feel comfortable saying Oklahoma will land at least one of these prospects.

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