Rivals.com - Fact or Fiction: Georgia is starting to take a lead for Arch Manning
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Fact or Fiction: Georgia is starting to take a lead for Arch Manning

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman along with Blair Sanderson of HawkeyeReport.com and Josh McCuistion of SoonerScoop.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Oklahoma is the clear leader now for four-star RB Jovantae Barnes.

Jovantae Barnes
Jovantae Barnes

Gorney’s take: FACT. From what I’ve been told, Oklahoma remains in very strong shape with the four-star running back from Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines. A lot of the credit goes to position coach DeMarco Murray for continuing to recruit Jovantae Barnes hard through a coaching transition and lots of uncertainty. USC is right there as well and I’m told Florida State is closer than a lot of people think. If I had to pick right now it would be the Sooners.

McCuistion’s take: FACT. Oklahoma definitely has had to weather some serious punches, particularly from USC, which made a big late run thanks to Lincoln Riley's move to the West Coast. However, it wasn't Riley's relationship that was the focal point for the Sooners. It was that of Oklahoma running backs coach, and fellow Las Vegas native, DeMarco Murray. The Sooners retaining Murray, over multiple overtures from the Trojans, is a huge win for the program and will be the key piece should Oklahoma close the deal with Barnes.

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2. Georgia is starting to take a slight lead for 2023 five-star QB Arch Manning.

Arch Manning
Arch Manning (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I’m not entirely sure it’s an open race, but I’m just not buying all the Georgia hype just yet. I would say Alabama and Georgia might be separating themselves a little bit but that comes from third-party sources and not directly from the family. Once all the coaches are in place and the five-star quarterback has a chance to settle in and focus, Georgia could definitely emerge as the front-runner. But I don’t think anyone is there just yet.

Spiegelman’s take: FICTION. There’s been no indication of any team being in the lead for Manning since his fall round of visits. According to those with knowledge of the situation, the Mannings are going to take a closer look at teams after this coaching carousel comes to a close. For now, it feels like no team has separated from the pack and it’s still an open race into the offseason.

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3. It's nearly a lock that five-star 2023 OT Kadyn Proctor will follow teammate Xavier Nwankpa to Iowa.

Kadyn Proctor
Kadyn Proctor (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. There is no doubt that having teammate Xavier Nwankpa pick Iowa helps the Hawkeyes with Kadyn Proctor. And the home-state team was always one of Proctor’s favorites to begin with anyway. Iowa is in very good shape but I don’t think it’s a lock that Proctor ends up with the Hawkeyes as Ohio State, Notre Dame and a bunch of SEC programs are also involved. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Proctor ends up at Iowa. But others are not out of this yet.

Sanderson’s take: FACT. I don't love the term lock because certainly Proctor is his own person and will make his own decision in due time. But I have always felt Iowa's chances are very good there, even more so than we did with Nwankpa. So the Hawkeyes landing one teammate only continues to add to their momentum with the other and now they have an additional recruiter on their side as well.

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