Fact or Fiction: Nico Iamaleava could unseat Arch Manning as No. 1 QB
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analysts Adam Friedman, Clint Cosgrove and Ryan Wright tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. There are five cornerbacks one spot away from five-star status. Bravion Rogers is the best of that bunch.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. This is a loaded cornerback class and Bravion Rogers could definitely end up as a five-star in this class. But it’s too early to say. The La Grange, Texas standout has all the measurables and testing numbers to compete for one of the five-star spots in 2023 and then he backs it up with his on-field performance as well. Still, AJ Harris is really special and I especially think Jahlil Hurley has an excellent chance to move up once we see him more. Rogers will be in the conversation but to say right now he’s the “best of the bunch” is premature.
Friedman’s take: FICTION. Rogers is a beast. He is a dominant cornerback that possesses all the tools to be great at the next level. His 10.6 100-meter speed puts him in elite company and combining that with his legitimate 6-foot frame make him one of the very best cornerback prospects in this class. As this spring progresses, Rodgers could be a riser near the top of the cornerback rankings but this is a stacked group. AJ Harris, Javien Toviano, Tony Mitchell and Jahlil Hurley have all proven to be some of the best the 2023 class has to offer but Rodgers may have the most upside because of his athletic profile. He may not be the best in this group but Rodgers should probably be ranked higher than he is now. His elite speed along with the way he contributes in all phases of the game puts him on the short list to be the next five-star cornerback.
2. If there's one quarterback who could unseat Arch Manning as No. 1 at the position it's Nico Iamaleava considering the offseason he is having.
Gorney’s take: FACT. USC commit Malachi Nelson is extremely talented and Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King’s Dante Moore is incredible as well but Nico Iamaleava is the one quarterback in this class with high-level athleticism and a really high ceiling because he’s just starting to scratch the surface of what he could become. It will be difficult to take out Arch Manning as the No. 1 quarterback but Iamaleava is showing better control this offseason and his athletic and physical makeup is just so rare, if there is one quarterback in this class who could end up No. 1, I’m picking him right now.
Wright’s take: FACT. Taking his game outside California, Iamaleava is showing his talent in the pocket translates against national competition. Making the rounds on the 7-on-7 tournament circuit, Iamaleava is tearing secondaries apart with his smooth stroke and ability to read defenses. Showing off the Saturday arm, and at different angles, Iamaleava is working on the small details of his game looking off safeties, using his shoulder to move defenders, and is checking down to make the best play possible if needed. Arch Manning is extremely talented, and guys like Iamaleava are working to close that gap.
3. The one Midwest offensive lineman with the most five-star potential is OT Cayden Green.
Gorney’s take: FACT. An argument could be made that Cayden Green should already be a five-star prospect and pressuring Kadyn Proctor as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the class. Last summer at the Rivals camp, Green was dominant, he’s physical, massive, tough, can move well and possesses all the qualities of someone who is really a special player at the position. Others will push as well as across the region there are tons of elite offensive linemen, but Green could end up being a five-star for sure.
Cosgrove’s take: FICTION. Cayden Green has five-star potential and that is a fact. Green is fantastic and may have the most potential, but until we see more of him and the other Midwest five-star lineman candidates, I am not ready to say he is the one guy with the most potential. Charles Jagusah, Luke Montgomery, Miles McVay and Joshua Padilla are just a few of the names that could potentially be in this conversation. This class will be ranked a number of times before they graduate and while I do believe Green should eventually be a five-star, I want to continue evaluating this top group of Midwest offensive lineman prospects.