Fact or Fiction: Elias Ricks will leave LSU
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. Elias Ricks will leave LSU.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. I just can’t believe this will happen. Why? Because it makes no sense. The rumors about Elias Ricks looking around and thinking about the transfer portal are 100 percent true, but why would he leave Baton Rouge? Ricks' family moved there. He’s being coached by Corey Raymond, a great DB coach, and he had an amazing freshman season. Ohio State or other programs may look attractive and all but LSU is arguably DBU. This is a head-scratcher. I think he stays in the end.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. This remains a fluid situation and there is a very good chance Ricks stays at LSU. He could build off a phenomenal freshman season, he has great coaches there and he’s playing in the SEC, the biggest stage in college football.
But I’ve now heard from multiple sources that Ricks has his eye on Ohio State and is seriously considering a portal move. The Buckeyes really coveted Ricks in high school and tried to flip him for months without being successful. They were the most aggressive team late in his recruitment.
Ricks said Wednesday that he’s at LSU and worried about LSU, basically denying any transfer rumors. I also heard from another solid source that he believes in the end Ricks stays in Baton Rouge. At this point, I believe them.
2. Xavier Worthy sticks with Michigan.
Farrell’s take: FACT. When the talented receiver from California visited Alabama before signing with Michigan, I felt he would stick with Jim Harbaugh. Now it seems he can’t enroll early as expected and rumors are swirling he could be looking to get out of his NLI and join former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian at Texas. I don’t see this happening either. Xavier Worthy will end up at Michigan in the long run.
Gorney’s take: FACT. I don’t think Worthy is pleased about not enrolling early at Michigan and it could be some strain in that relationship but in the end the high four-star receiver wants to play for the Wolverines and sees a huge opportunity there. Being there for the spring is a missed opportunity, but Worthy will have plenty of others once he gets to Ann Arbor and my guess is that it still happens. There are no serious indications that Worthy has reached out to other teams - although Sarkisian did like one tweet - so he’ll stick with the Wolverines.
3. Ryan Hilinski will have great success at Northwestern.
Farrell’s take: FACT. I’ve always liked Ryan Hilinski as a good kid and excellent talent, so I don’t know why he fell out of favor at South Carolina after showing some promise. Now he’s landed at Northwestern and he will be a very good one there as he’s a great fit for what they do on offense. It’s a balanced attack and they want you to get the ball out quick and not make mistakes. He can do that and more.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Hilinski is one of the best kids I’ve ever covered in the recruiting process. He’s been overly generous with his time and his consideration when it comes to interviews and everything else. But he’s heading to a program that just does not light up the scoreboard. The Wildcats haven’t averaged more than 30 points since 2012. Quarterback play has been spotty and riddled with guys throwing too many interceptions. Hilinski is a really talented kid with a great arm and a great feel for the game, so he has the capabilities to have great success at Northwestern, but only if the offense opens up and becomes more inventive in the passing attack.