Fact or Fiction: Barion Brown is now a lock to Kentucky
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Ryan Wright along with Conner Clarke of GatorsTerritory.com, Justin Rowland from CatsIllustrated.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. Barion Brown is now a lock to Kentucky.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. It does not look like Alabama is going after Barion Brown any longer as other wide receiver targets have emerged and that is absolutely great news for Kentucky. But Ole Miss is lingering as well. The Wildcats have done a phenomenal job recruiting Brown and showing the four-star he’s a top priority. Plus, Kentucky’s offense has transformed to be more receiver-friendly and that’s good news when coming after the Nashville Pearl-Cohn standout. However, Ole Miss has an even friendlier offense to receivers and that’s something Brown will consider. It looks very good for Kentucky but it’s not a sure thing yet.
Rowland’s take: FICTION. Lock is a really strong word and honestly I wouldn't use it in this case. But I do think they're in the best position to get him and it's probably farther along than most realize. Brown visited for Kentucky's win against Florida and they have a pretty strong case for him. They just targeted Wan'Dale Robinson, their WR1, 17 times against Georgia. They're telling him that if he goes to Kentucky he's going to get a lot of touches and good touches because he's on a different level compared to what they have signed in the past at receiver. Liam Coen and Scott Woodward have done a great job of getting a better reception from Brown and with Alabama no longer appearing to be the frontrunner I think they're in the best position.
2. Florida DL coach David Turner was at Walter Nolen’s game on Thursday. The Gators still have a realistic chance to land him.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Tennessee, Texas A&M and Georgia are the top three for Walter Nolen but his father told me that’s not a final three and it’s telling that the five-star is visiting Alabama this weekend. If Nolen gets back to Florida at some point this season or before decision day, then absolutely the Gators could still be in his recruitment. It’s probably a long shot at this point but Turner is not going to waste his time on the road by going to Nolen’s game if the staff didn’t think they still had a shot to land him. I would not get too caught up in Nolen’s top list because he’s still seriously considering others. Florida should be one of those schools.
Clarke’s take: FICTION. Though Florida looked like the front-runner early on in Nolen’s recruitment things have since fallen off. Walter kept the Gators out of his top three that he released back in August even though he proceeded to visit Gainesville for the Alabama game just a few weeks later. Nolen said all the right things to the media when they got a chance to talk to him after the game but it just felt like a free trip to me. Nobody truly knows what Walter Nolen is going to do as his recruitment changes with the direction of the wind, but with the way his recruitment has taken a turn since early June and the uncertainty of the defense staff at Florida I don’t see them having a realistic change to land the elite defensive tackle out of Tennessee.
3. Sam Horn is the most underrated quarterback in the 2022 class.
Gorney’s take: FACT. All the stats add up, Sam Horn passes the eye test and it’s been clear after watching pretty much every quarterback ranked ahead of him that the Missouri commit should be even higher in the rankings. Where he’s placed is a matter of debate for the rankings meetings but I would have no problem seeing him fifth at pro-style quarterback which should move him up about 20 spots nationally. Horn has a great arm, he’s an excellent decision-maker and he’s heading to a program at Missouri that should accentuate his skills. Others could move up as well but at the high end, Horn is the most underrated.
Wright’s take: FICTION. Sam Horn is one of the best in the 2022 class. He has a fluid release, gun for an arm, reads defenses and is a student of the game. Being the seventh-rated QB in his class, Horn is appreciated for his talents. Could he be ranked higher, dropping a couple quarterbacks ahead of him down? Yes. Are there other quarterbacks in this class that might be under-appreciated and ranked below him that will go on to have fantastic college careers? Yes.