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Fact or Fiction: Mario Williams is the best of the new 5-stars

Mario Williams
Mario Williams (

National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

MORE: Five-star countdown for 2021 class | Who should be next 5-star QB?


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1. Mario Williams is the best of the new 2021 five-stars.

Farrell’s take: FICTION. While I obviously love Mario Williams as a player and think he can be the next elite slot receiver in college football, I am enamored with the upside of Tunmise Adeleye as a dynamic big edge rusher. Those big athletes are harder to find than elite wide receivers and Ohio State has a pretty good track record with defensive ends. Williams is rated higher for now, but watch out for Adeleye.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Williams dominates everywhere he goes, he has a great competitive fire to dominate everywhere he goes and no defensive back has proven he can slow Williams down. With that athletic and playmaking ability, Williams is arguably the top receiver in this class and so he’s the best of the new five-stars. I also love Sam Huard and think Adeleye and OL Donovan Jackson are really talented, but Williams is a surefire five-star as he has all the tools to be really special.

2. LSU got another key player from the Midwest.

Farrell’s take: FACT. LSU doesn’t recruit the Midwest that often but when they land a player he usually pans out. Running back Corey Kiner is the latest and he should be a great fit in the LSU offense as a power back with speed and pass-caching ability. He runs with natural leverage and he’s hard to bring down. Spencer Ware and Ethan Pocic are two good examples of Midwest pulls for LSU and Anthony Bradford has potential as well. Kiner could be the next one.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Kiner reminds me of Clyde Edwards-Helaire in many ways as he’s a short, compact running back with excellent speed who can bounce off tacklers and keep moving. So it’s huge that LSU was able to go into Ohio and the Midwest region to land the four-star running back considering so many top programs were also recruiting him. Let’s also not forget that while LSU doesn’t recruit the area a ton, Joe Burrow is from Ohio and I’m sure a lot of players in that region have closely watched his success with the Tigers. LSU can be even more dangerous if it can be in the Midwest for a lot of top players and even pull some to Baton Rouge.


3. Tennessee will be a real factor in Maryland now.

Farrell’s take: FACT. The Vols had a good weekend, landing four-stars KaTron Evans and Aaron Willis from St. Frances and this could just be the start. St. Frances is clearly a power program in the state and produces a ton of D-1 prospects and you can bet other big-time players in the state will pay attention to their commitments. This is how pipelines begin.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. None of the top prospects in the state of Maryland chose Tennessee in the 2019 recruiting class and none of the top 13 in 2020 did, either. The Vols have been recruiting exceptionally well there in the 2021 recruiting cycle but it’s premature to say Tennessee is going to be a real factor in the state over the next few years. Alabama and Clemson still get in there regularly and Maryland is also going to get its fair share of kids to stay home because coach Mike Locksley is a great recruiter. Tennessee fans should be thrilled with the job coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have done in Maryland and really everywhere else, but it’s still a little early to believe the Vols can go into that state and pick and choose top prospects.