Fact or Fiction: Dakorien Moore should be the No. 1 WR in 2025
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with national recruiting analysts John Garcia, Jr. and Cole Patterson and Paul Strelow of TigerIllustrated.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. CLEMSON NEEDS TO RETHINK THE WAY IT RECRUITS WIDE RECEIVERS TO STAY RELEVANT AS A NATIONAL POWER.
Gorney’s take: FACT. I don’t necessarily think this is a question about going to the transfer portal or chasing receivers with NIL deals but more of a philosophical change that needs to happen: Clemson needs more undersized slot receivers to give a more fast-paced feel and threat to the offense.
The Tigers have fallen in love with recruiting these 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 outside receivers with length and it’s understandable why. But without that inside speed threat – and more of them – the offense becomes predictable and stale. Plus, there have been as many hits as misses on those bigger, slower outside guys over the years.
Clemson has not signed a receiver under 5-foot-11 since Amari Rodgers in 2017. He was pretty versatile and reliable. I’m not against going after Justyn Ross, Joe Ngata and Bryant Wesco, but the Tigers need more shifty, undersized receivers.
Strelow’s take: FICTION. Do the Tigers need to be better at receiver? Absolutely. Were mistakes made in evaluation and scholarship allocation that left them lacking the last two seasons? Yep.
Here's believing it premature to chalk up Monday night's porous offensive showing as a definitive continuation of insufficiencies; other factors precluded them from having many opportunities. But they are who they are at receiver this year, and this question frames what they can do for the future.
Help appears on the way in Midlothian (Texas) four-star Bryant Wesco and Tampa (Fla.) Catholic's TJ Moore, both of whom have the upside and potential of the alphas we've grown to characterize as Clemson standard. Also looks like they hit on three-star freshman Tyler Brown. The intimation above is that the Tigers ought to aggressively court the transfer portal, and we get why. But scoring one of the select few big fish would require an overhaul in program philosophy, not just a strategic recruiting tweak.
Clemson employs NIL, to be clear. Money-making opportunities exist. But it has steered decidedly clear of recruitments where price tag, bargaining and negotiation are involved, and there's a principled drive behind seeking players invested in more than who's offering the biggest bag. Let's put it this way: That's not how the premium transfer portal receiver acquisitions have taken shape. Clemson might have to eventually get in that game. But this receiving class suggests the Tigers can get by without doing so if they are better in other areas.
2. FLORIDA STATE WILL SIGN AN IN-STATE FIVE-STAR.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Despite Florida State’s recent success, the Seminoles have no five-star in-state commitments and only one of the top 18 players in the Florida state rankings is committed there. That is surprising but it’s still a long way to go until signing day and the 'Noles have done phenomenally well recruiting elsewhere – including South Georgia – to have one of the best classes in the country.
The best options could be flipping Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna teammates Zaquan Patterson and Joshisa Trader but five-star WR Jeremiah Smith was in person to see FSU transfer receiver Keon Coleman have nine catches for 122 yards and three TDs against LSU’s secondary. If Ohio State position coach Brian Hartline gets a head coaching job after this year and leaves Columbus, things could get really interesting.
Garcia’s take: FACT. FSU is the talk of the state of Florida, on-the-field at least and recruiting has begun to follow suit. The class is already strong and technically, its highest-ranked in-state commitment in Charles Lester III is in five-star range right now if he remains on the border of the top 30 nationally (currently No. 31 in the Rivals250). In terms of adding a five-star between now and December, especially on the heels of the dominant win over LSU, I'd keep an eye on the pass catchers.
Of course everyone wants Jeremiah Smith, who is committed to Ohio State but attended the FSU-LSU game, and FSU has moved into the top threat position for him if he wants to stay in state. The other top contender was once trending FSU's way in Joshisa Trader, who is committed to Miami yet planning on taking official visits to each of his finalists (including FSU) this season. Zaquan Patterson also had FSU buzz before picking UM, so there could still be plenty ahead for Mike Norvell's pursuit of keeping a five-star within state lines.
3. DAKORIEN MOORE SHOULD BE THE NO. 1 RECEIVER IN THE 2025 CLASS.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Should be? That’s tough to say. There’s no question through this offseason and early into his junior campaign, the LSU commit has done phenomenally well and has put himself in the conversation as the best receiver in the 2025 class.
But Alabama commit Ryan Williams is right there as well. While he didn’t blow me away on his national TV game he still had a strong performance. He might not be as make-or-break as Dakorien Moore, but Williams might be the most consistent receiver in the 2025 class and he can come through in a variety of ways whether in the short or deep game. This is going to be one of the most heated debates of the 2025 cycle as both Williams and Moore, and to an extent Colorado commit Winston Watkins, are all special.
Patterson’s take: FACT. Dakorien Moore is off to a tremendous start to his junior campaign at Texas power Duncanville. Through two games, Moore has accumulated seven receptions for 288 yards and three touchdowns against quality competition in Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff and Rockledge (Fla.). But more than the box score, Moore has simply made things look easy. He wins down the field, in the short game and after the catch. Moore is a polished route runner and a reliable pass catcher. He's as explosive of a player as there is across the nation and is a tremendous blocker, too. The 2025 cycle is loaded at receiver, but Moore has made a strong case to be No. 1.
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