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Fact or Fiction: Julian Lewis should be No. 1 in the 2025 Rivals250

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney is joined by national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, Brandon Howard of and Matt Moreno who’s covering the Polynesian Bowl this week to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.


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1. Julian Lewis should be the No. 1 player in the 2025 Rivals250 when we refresh it in February.

Julian Lewis
Julian Lewis (

Gorney’s take: FACT. There are bigger and more physically-impressive prospects in the 2025 class but let’s not overthink this one: Julian Lewis has superstar potential and should be the No. 1 prospect even though he reclassified. In the 2020 class, quarterback Bryce Young finished No. 2 overall behind Clemson’s Bryan Bresee and it galls me to this day because we all knew Young was the best player in that group and he ended up as the No. 1 overall pick. My bet is that Lewis is on the same trajectory – an elite, five-star quarterback who is dynamic, intelligent, a great leader and has an incredibly bright future. He’s No. 1 in 2025.

Friedman’s take: FICTION. Lewis is an outstanding talent and developed beyond his years as a passer. Despite his relatively small stature, the USC commit has no problem making throws all over the field. Lewis does a great job making timing throws and putting passes where his receiver can catch the ball in-stride and pick up yards after the catch. It's impressive to see Lewis read defenses and find the open receiver on a consistent basis. Lewis has such a refined skill set at this stage of his career but I don't know that he should be No. 1 in the next update of the Rivals250 and I'm not sure that he'll remain the top ranked quarterback. Current No. 1 prospect David Sanders Jr. is the complete package as a tackle prospect, five-star LSU quarterback commit Bryce Underwood has elite size and arm talent, and five-star Elijah Griffin is as gifted a defensive line prospect as you'll find in this class.



2. Even with the coaching change, Alabama should feel confident in landing five-star Ryan Williams.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams (Karyna Aguilar)

Gorney’s take: FACT. I don’t think five-star receiver Ryan Williams is thrilled assistant coach Holmon Wiggins left for Texas A&M or that coach Nick Saban retired but every time Williams takes a visit elsewhere – Auburn or most recently Texas A&M – we always find him back in Tuscaloosa hanging out with Jaylen Mbakwe or someone else on campus. What are his other options? Auburn only threw for 162 yards per game last season but the Tigers have brought in elite receivers. Texas A&M is an uncertain situation with a new coach. And has the relationship progressed enough with Texas? Confident might be an overstatement for Alabama but I still think Williams wants to play for the Crimson Tide.

Howard’s take: FACT. Alabama seems to be making some progress with Ryan Williams but every team that’s been involved is still very much involved. Williams will take things down to the wire and spend as much time as possible entertaining the process.

Look for Alabama to give Williams several reasons to not only stay at home but to select the Crimson Tide. The DeBoer coaching staff has done a solid job thus far keeping some key figures on the team and in the 2024 recruiting class.

There is a lot of smoke around other programs, especially with all the change taking place, but DeBoer's staff has made him a priority, something that Williams will take notice of, too.



3. The feeling at the Polynesian Bowl is that five-star Terry Bussey sticks with Texas A&M.

Terry Bussey
Terry Bussey (Karyna Aguilar)

Gorney’s take: FACT. If Nick Saban stayed at Alabama and Terry Bussey visited Tuscaloosa in January – and wanted him to play receiver – then this one could have gotten much more interesting. I’m also never, ever going to count out Georgia especially since the Bulldogs will get him on campus prior to signing day. But this would be a major surprise if Bussey flips from Texas A&M as coach Mike Elko and his staff have done a good job with him so far and his hometown is less than a three-hour drive to College Station.

Moreno’s take: FACT. Bussey has an official visit set up with Georgia after this week’s Polynesian Bowl. It is one he is eager to make with some of the staff changes in Athens, highlighted by the arrival of Donte Williams as defensive backs coach. It sounds like he is going to give the Bulldogs every opportunity to sway him from the Aggies, but Texas A&M still feels like it is in the driver’s seat for his signature. He had nothing but positive things to say about new head coach Mike Elko this week, and it feels like he is simply doing his due diligence before making his current commitment official.