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Fact or Fiction: Miami is the biggest threat to Georgia for Elijah Griffin

Rivals national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman is joined by National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney,'s Jeremy Birmingham and's Marcus Benjamin to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Miami is the biggest threat to Georgia for five-star DT Elijah Griffin.

Elijah Griffin
Elijah Griffin (Greg Smith)

RELATED: Five-star DL Elijah Griffin recaps official visit to Miami

Benjamin: FACT. The five-star thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Miami over the weekend, and Miami has many factors that Elijah Griffin deems important: weather, culture and the opportunity to develop under a hall-of-famer in Hurricanes defensive line coach Jason Taylor. Contenders South Carolina, Oregon and USC simply cannot match Miami in those areas.

Georgia has trended as the clear front-runner, but Miami will push all aspects of its program to entice Griffin to commit to the Hurricanes until he signs. I assume that the premier talent will commit to the Bulldogs if he chooses to pledge during the summer. But that certainly will not be the end of his recruitment.

Griffin's journey seems similar to that of 2025 Miami signee Justin Scott. The Chicago native was favored to pick Notre Dame but committed to Ohio State instead. Eventually, the Hurricanes were able to storm in to flip Scott, and the possibility of a late flip could be the play here again for Miami with Griffin.

Spiegelman: FACT. Oregon, USC, Colorado have all had the five-star defensive tackle on campus, but Miami's recent track record under Mario Cristobal can't be ignored on this topic. Griffin likes what Miami is selling and this official visit represents a massive opportunity for Cristobal and Jason Taylor is trying to sway Griffin away from Georgia. However tall that task may be, the Hurricanes have made big splashes at this position in the past and can't be ruled out.



2. Ohio State is a legitimate contender for 2026 five-star DE Jahkeem Stewart.

Jahkeem Stewart
Jahkeem Stewart (

Birmingham: FACT. There's going to be a lot of naysayers about the Buckeyes' chances here and it's fair to be skeptical but there's no doubt that interest from Jahkeem Stewart is real. He'll visit USC next week and LSU is continuing to make it difficult for him to consider leaving his home state but the interest and visits with Ohio State isn't just perfunctory.

Stewart is almost certainly going to reclassify and that will put a whole new dynamic on his recruitment but nothing will be concrete with those plans for a few more months. The bottom line? Keep watching this one. Ohio State would not have even tried to get involved in this type of recruitment a few years ago but the Buckeyes are a real threat to pull off this coup.

Spiegelman: FACT. Jahkeem Stewart has already visited Columbus a handful of occasions and the staff is feeling cautiously optimistic about their long-term chances with the five star Louisiana. USC made major roads this off-season as well after adding New Orleans native Eric Henderson to its staff. Stewart has been to LSU multiple times and there is still a very high level of confidence that if he signs in December or next year, it’ll be with the in state tigers.

At this point, Ohio State, LSU and USC all fit the bill as legitimate contenders. Despite buzz around the buckeyes and USC, however, I still like where LSU sits long-term



3. Keelon Russell's flip from SMU to Alabama will be the biggest QB flip of the summer.  

Keelon Russell
Keelon Russell (Nick Lucero/

Gorney: FACT. There could definitely be more quarterback flips in this class as Julian Lewis, Deuce Knight and many others are being heavily pursued but if we're restricting the time to only the summer then yes, Keelon Russell will be the biggest one. And it's a major one because Russell could be the right-handed version of Michael Penix Jr. that coach Kalen DeBoer had at Washington. I think he's more like Jayden Daniels, tall and skinny in the pocket who can make all the dynamic throws and then run when needed as an extra threat. There might be bigger quarterback flips later but for the summer, Russell will be the biggest

Spiegelman: FACT: Russell is a Rivals250 quarterback who flipped to Kaleb DeBoer's Crimson Tide, the first massive flip for the new Alabama head coach, who's following in the same footsteps as his predecessor. Russell is not only enormously talented but represents the first hand-picked QB by the new Alabama staff and unsurprisingly, it's one with two state titles in his back pocket and even more upside.

Colorado, Indiana and Auburn are all in play to change five-star QB Julian Lewis' mind, which certainly could rival Russell's flip. I'm not sure there will be a verdict on that one this summer, though. TCU commit Ty Hawkins is being pursued by Oregon and SMU after Russell's flip, but with no visits on deck, it feels unlikely.