Fact or Fiction: Indiana needs to add a transfer QB when portal opens
Rivals national recruiting analysts Clint Cosgrove and Cole Patterson – along with Alec Busse of TheHoosier.com and Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com – address a possible QB addition for the Hoosiers, whether Missouri commit Tionne Grey is on flip watch and whether the SEC will continue to lure a surprising number of Midwest recruits in the 2024 class.
MORE FACT OR FICTION: Landing Dylan Raiola would cement Georgia's No. 1 spot in the 2024 team rankings
1. Indiana needs to add a transfer QB when the portal opens.
Cosgrove's take: FACT. There is plenty of young quarterback talent on the Hoosiers' roster, but at the same time there is very little game-day experience under center. Tayven Jackson, who I absolutely loved coming out of high school, transferred in from Tennessee and he is expected to battle fellow redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby for the starting spot. While there may be talent there, the big issue is the fact that the two have combined for a total of 10 passing attempts in their college careers. Indiana is absent of a senior scholarship quarterback, and in a year that could make or break Tom Allen's tenure at Indiana, I think it would be wise to find a portal quarterback with extensive experience under his belt.
Busse's take: FICTION. Indiana added Jackson, a former top 100 recruit, in the previous portal window, and the former high four-star recruit in the 2022 class should be ready to play after redshirting as a freshman at Tennessee last season. Jackson is an Indiana native - and the brother of Hoosier basketball All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. He has impressive size, pocket awareness and field vision, which made him a talented runner in high school in addition to showing some quality arm strength and accuracy on deep balls. There could be some growing pains for Jackson this season, but the Hoosiers should be confident in Jackson leading the offense this season.
2. Missouri commit Tionne Gray is on flip watch following a recent visit to Oregon.
Cosgrove's take: FACT. Gray burst onto the scene this off-season after coaches were able to eyeball him in-person, and his recruitment blew up seemingly overnight as a result. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound lineman is exceptionally athletic with all of the tools to eventually become a first-round draft pick, so it comes with little surprise that schools are continuing to pursue him heavily. While I do feel that his heart is in Columbia, Gray committed shortly after his recruitment blew up and prior to experiencing the full recruiting process. I do believe Missouri ends up being his destination in the end, but the amount of recruiting activity he is going to receive – combined with the potential for additional schools getting Gray on campus – makes him a potential flip candidate for me.
DeArmond's take: FICTION. The first lesson you learn in recruiting is that anything is possible, and you never say never. But this one would surprise me. Gray has taken more visits to Columbia than just about any prospect in the 2024 class, and the Tigers are putting an emphasis on keeping the in-state guys in state. It’s early, and guys rated as highly as Gray are certainly going to take visits, but it would come as a surprise if he flipped.
3. The SEC will continue to lure Midwest prospects with more than 13 recruits signing SEC letters of intent come signing day.
Cosgrove's take: FACT. With NiTareon Tuggle's commitment to Georgia this week, the SEC has six commits from the Midwest in the 2024 class. While getting an additional eight may seem like a tall order, the SEC's recruiting of the region has skyrocketed as of late. Then you add in the addition of an Oklahoma program that recruits the region heavily, and I see the potential for 15 or more Midwest recruits signing SEC NLIs. Williams Nwaneri, Justin Scott, Ryan Wingo, Jaden Reddell, I'Marion Stewart and Marquise Lightfoot are just a few of the many names that have a good chance of ending up in the SEC.
Patterson's take: FACT. The SEC is the king in recruiting, and that is not changing anytime soon. Missouri sits in prime position to take advantage, thanks to geography, but Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas A&M have put more of an emphasis on the region, too. The conference will have competition for some of the top prospects that the Midwest has to offer, but the SEC is in the mix for Wingo and Nwaneri, to name just a couple.