Fact or Fiction: Jackson Arnold, Austin Novosad, Huskers in Louisiana
Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris, national recruiting director Adam Gorney, Kyle Kelly of InsideNDSports.com and Greg Smith of InsideNebraska.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. Jackson Arnold has done enough this summer to earn five-star status.
Harris' take: FACT. Among a group of established quarterbacks at Elite 11, Jackson Arnold proved his worth and then some over the course of multiple drills and competitions. Going into the event, I felt like he was in a solid head-to-head battle with Christopher Vizzina as to who was the better signal-caller, and Arnold came out of the event as the no-doubt favorite. Pairing that with his electric junior film curbs my concerns that arose when he struggled a bit during 7-on-7 action both at Elite 11 and Future 50, but there have been plenty signal-callers in the past that have not done well in 7-on-7 environments who have gone on to be first-round draft picks.
Gorney's take: FICTION. Arnold will definitely be under five-star consideration after his strong showings at Elite 11 and Future 50. The two hang-ups that we have are that there are already four five-stars in the class and during 7-on-7 segments at both big events he did struggle. Still, that does not discount his performances at both Future 50 and Elite 11 and they will propel him into the five-star discussion.
2. Notre Dame is quietly surging for Austin Novosad.
Harris' take: FACT. When the idea of Notre Dame was first brought to the table for Austin Novosad, it didn't look like the Irish would have a fighting chance because of the timing of the offer and a decision date expected to come soon. However, the offer caused Novosad to push back his decision process and give Marcus Freeman a chance to win him over, and the Irish staff are taking full advantage. It's starting to become clearer where Novosad will visit next week, and if I had to guess I would see him making a swing through South Bend before checking on Texas A&M and Baylor one more time before making an August decision. But with the information we have that the offer from Notre Dame has caused him to delay his decision, we can only look at the writing on the wall as to where his head may be.
Kelly's take: FICTION. Although there has been open dialogue between Notre Dame and Novosad, I am not yet ready to say the Irish are surging. 2023 wide receiver commits Jaden Greathouse and Braylon James have made their intentions to add Novosad to the class known, but there is still work to be done for him to end up as their quarterback at the next level. A campus visit next week would go a long way toward the Irish being considered a serious contender. It’s critical for Notre Dame to get him on campus the last week of July or it might be looking elsewhere at quarterback.
3. Nebraska will land at least one more commit from the state of Louisiana in 2023.
Harris' take: FACT. The recruiting job that Mickey Joseph has done for Nebraska since his arrival has been huge as he has already brought in a pair of four-star commits from the state of Louisiana in Ashley Williams Jr. and Omarion Miller, and it doesn't look like he's done just yet. Ryan Robinson Jr. remains a legitimate contender to be a Nebraska commit, and there are multiple offers that continue to go out. Even if those fail to pan out, the Huskers staff could still circle back in The Boot late in the cycle to fill any remaining spots. That would be similar to the 2022 cycle, when they signed Decoldest Crawford late in the game. If I had to make a bet at this moment in time, I could see Nebraska having at least four signees in the 2023 class from the state of Louisiana.
Smith's take: FACT. Nebraska will have to fight to keep the two Louisiana natives they have already in the class. Both Miller and Williams are players that local schools won’t back off anytime soon. The connections that wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph and running backs coach Bryan Applewhite have in the state run deep and that will help the Huskers land at least one more prospect from Louisiana. Robinson and Rivals100 four-star offensive lineman Zalance Heard are the next two being recruited hard by Nebraska. Each took official visits to Nebraska this summer.