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Fact or Fiction: Four five-star QBs this early in a cycle is too many

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman along with Cole Patterson from Orangebloods.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Having four five-star quarterbacks this early in the recruiting cycle is too much.

Dante Moore
Dante Moore (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I actually think we might have waited too long to name Dante Moore and Nico Iamaleava five-stars and I’m at least happy we now have them in that ranking category. All four of these guys including Arch Manning and Malachi Nelson as the two others really are special players with unbelievable talent. The most interesting thing is that Nelson is the only one committed - to USC - so there is still a lot of twists and turns ahead when it comes to elite quarterback recruiting in the 2023 class.

Friedman’s take: FICTION. Normally I’d call this a fact but there could be some NFL stars in this group. Arch Manning is about as well-prepared for the college and NFL game as any quarterback we've seen recently. Malachi Nelson and Dante Moore have impressed at every turn and Nico Iamaleava has undeniable athletic traits that make him a coveted signal caller. There have been a handful of classes with at least four five-stars at quarterback. Each had their hits and misses but, outside of the 2021 class, the others have totaled three first round picks, four national title wins, and five national title game appearances.

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2. Texas is once again the front-runner for top all-purpose back Rueben Owens II.

Rueben Owens II
Rueben Owens II (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. I get that Georgia, Texas A&M, Alabama and others are working hard on Rueben Owens II and that he continues to say his recruitment is wide open but I still think Texas holds the edge for him, he loves the success Bijan Robinson has had there, he could fit perfectly in Steve Sarkisian’s offense and the biggest thing is he wants to play there. We know that because he already committed there but backed off that pledge when all these other national powers came calling. Texas A&M is probably the biggest threat - I don’t buy Georgia as much especially if Justice Haynes ends up there - but I like the Longhorns a lot for him right now.

Patterson’s take: FICTION. Texas is in a great spot for Rueben Owens, who was once committed to the Longhorns before backing up off his pledge, but front-runner might be too strong of a word right now. Georgia has made a big push for the El Campo standout, as has Texas A&M. Those two both present real threats to the Longhorns in the Rivals100 running back's recruitment. All of that said, it is difficult to find a team that has a better chance of landing Owens than Texas. If the Longhorns can close on quarterback Arch Manning and/or wide receiver Johntay Cook, that could be enough to win out in the Owens sweepstakes.

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3. For the second-straight year, an offensive guard might be the best OL in the class as Devon Campbell topped 2022 and TJ Shanahan would top the 2023 rankings.

TJ Shanahan
TJ Shanahan (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. It’s early. And there are a lot of other standout offensive linemen in this recruiting class. But TJ Shanahan could definitely make a run at being the No. 1 OL in this class because he’s so physically dominant and tough and the other thing I love about his game is his competitive drive. The Austin (Texas) Westlake standout who moved there from Florida does not only want to beat his opponent but he wants to make it crystal clear he’s the toughest guy every time he steps on the football field. I love his competitive spirit and it could lead him to being the No. 1 offensive lineman this cycle like Campbell was in 2022.

Friedman’s take: FICTION. I love TJ Shanahan's game and he very well could end up the top offensive lineman in this class but it's still early. I'm excited to see how much progress Francis Mauigoa and Cayden Green have made. Those two tackles have made strong impressions already. Kadyn Proctor is, of course, the only five-star offensive tackle right now and getting him lined up across more high end Power Five prospects will reveal a lot about his ceiling. A few other names people aren't talking enough about are Georgia commit Johnathan Hughley, Samson Okunlola and Logan Reichert. All three of those players have elite traits and could make a run at the top of the position with strong spring performances.