Fact or Fiction: Nebraska is team to beat for four-star QB MJ Morris
Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and analyst Adam Friedman along with social media director Woody Wommack and Nate Clouse of HuskerOnline.com tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
1. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Gabe Powers could still stay at linebacker at Ohio State.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Noah Sewell was 260 pounds at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in the summer before his senior year and he moved so well and covered in space better than any linebacker at the event and he hasn’t needed to change positions. Yeah, Gabe Powers is big and could drop down to defensive end if needed but the Buckeyes have told him he will play linebacker and Powers proved he can stay at that position at the Indianapolis Rivals Camp. Camp settings are not ideal for linebackers anyway but Powers showed he can cover in space even though he is pretty big for the position.
Friedman’s take: FACT. Powers walked into the Indianapolis Rivals Camp on Sunday and most of us that were there immediately said he'd end up a defensive end but then we saw him go through linebacker position drills and make play after play during one-on-ones. His quickness and instincts were much better than I anticipated and he's turned me into a believer. Powers could stay at linebacker at Ohio State and have a very good career there but the Buckeyes are capable of recruiting more athletic outside linebackers. I'm convinced Powers is a special prospect but he could be more of a mismatch against left tackles than running backs in the open field.
2. Walker Howard performed better than Ty Simpson at Rivals Camps this spring.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. This could come down to a face-to-face performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge but we also have to remember that rankings are not only based on one camp or one event but on a collection of work plus projection to college and the NFL Draft. Walker Howard has a lot of tools to work with and even though his accuracy in Dallas was lacking, he did show off great feet, great technique and the ability to put the ball in tight windows. Ty Simpson showed the same in bad weather conditions in Indianapolis. Right now, Walker is a five-star and Simpson is a high four. Like every position, that will be reviewed in the coming weeks but at least at the regional camp level, Simpson had the better day.
Wommack’s take: FICTION. There is going to be a healthy debate when it comes to quarterback rankings, especially when it comes to comparing Howard and Simpson. Howard showed a very strong arm in Dallas, but I have a lot of concerns about his accuracy, which was an issue. As far as Simpson, he was in a less than ideal situation, battling the wind and rain at the camp in Indianapolis. Despite the slippery conditions, velocity wasn't an issue for Simpson, who showed great arm strength as well as the ability to throw on the run. After seeing them both I tend to lean toward Simpson at this point, but hopefully we will get to see them side by side at the Five-Star Challenge next month.
3. After visiting for the spring game, Nebraska is now the team to beat for four-star QB MJ Morris.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I would not be surprised at all if MJ Morris ends up in Nebraska’s recruiting class especially after he had such an excellent visit to Lincoln. The four-star quarterback told me, “I love Nebraska,” and that he’s expected to make a decision in two weeks. The Huskers are right there but I cannot go as far as to say they’re the team to beat because Morris has such a strong relationship with Georgia Tech as well and the family connection to assistant coach Tashard Choice is outstanding as well.
Clouse’s take: FACT. The events leading up to Morris’ visit to the Nebraska spring game, especially the development of Florida State adding its second QB commit for 2022, helped the Huskers tremendously. Then, when you factor in the experience Morris had while at Nebraska certainly have NU sitting in a great place at this point. I don’t think it’s a complete slam dunk that he’s going to pick the Big Red, but it would be unwise not to at least consider the Huskers to be a favorite right now.