Rivals.com - Fact or Fiction: Ohio State will be trending for Devin Brown
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Fact or Fiction: Ohio State will be trending for Devin Brown

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman along with Eric Lammers from ScarletandGrayReport.com and Austin Price of Volquest.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Rueben Owens II has five-star potential and could be the best overall running back in the 2023 class.

Rueben Owens II
Rueben Owens II (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Reuben Owens II is definitely one of the best backs in the country and at a position that is losing some value for NFL Draft status, I still think he has five-star potential. But I’m going to side with Justice Haynes and Richard Young as the two best backs in this class with Owens right there in the picture. All three have five-star potential for sure and it will be an interesting offseason to compare and contrast all three because they’re all special players.

Spiegelman’s take: FACT. Owens blends size, speed and explosiveness from not only a traditional running back, but as a receiver and puzzle piece that offensive play-callers would go wild with. He’s eclipsed 2,500 yards as a junior in another stellar campaign and showing new elements of his game each week during El Campo’s postseason run. Right now Texas A&M has put itself in a good spot along with Texas, Georgia, USC and Oregon.

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2. Ohio State will be trending for Devin Brown after his weekend visit to Columbus.

Devin Brown
Devin Brown (Nick Lucero/Rivals)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. This is such a tough call because there are a ton of moving pieces here but my best guess right now is that Devin Brown ends up elsewhere. I would not be shocked at all if Brown ends up committed to the Buckeyes following his weekend trip; I would not be stunned at all if he takes this all the way to the early signing period and announces his decision then. With the USC coaching situation up in the air and especially with Graham Harrell unlikely to return, it’s improbable that Brown stays in this Trojans’ class. But Texas is a very serious option, Ole Miss is as well and with Ohio State’s loaded quarterback room I don’t see it happening. If some rumors are true that Quinn Ewers could be looking elsewhere, then all bets are off.

Lammers’ take: FICTION. Going against a quarterback guru like Ryan Day in this situation will probably leave me with egg on the face, but I am just not getting the feel that Ohio State is ultimately where Brown ends up. The fact that Quinn Ewers is there and CJ Stroud is having a Heisman worthy campaign will push Brown towards a program with a more immediate and wide open competition at the QB position. I have it on relatively good authority that Brown isn't feeling USC anymore regardless of who they hire, which to me has this one trending in one direction: Texas. They have a wide-open quarterback room going forward and obviously geographically much closer to where Brown is originally from. Things could always change and perhaps Ohio State's QB room has a makeover in the near future but right now as things stand I think Brown's recruitment is trending more toward Texas.

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3. Tennessee is now by far the team to beat for four-star running back Justin Williams.

Justin Williams
Justin Williams (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. “By far” might be strong wording but it certainly appears that Tennessee is quickly emerging as the front-runner in Justin Williams’ recruitment. The four-star visited Knoxville last weekend, he’s going back this weekend and another trip is possible but he might be committed before then. Auburn and Alabama have been reaching out and showing interest but the Vols have the edge here and unless something changes, I’d say Williams ends up in this Tennessee class.

Price’s take: FACT. Williams is fresh off his visit to Knoxville last weekend and his subsequent decommitment from West Virginia. Now he is coming back up again this weekend for another unofficial visit before an official in December. He is a level-headed kid who is big on relationships and the one he has made with running backs coach Jerry Mack and head coach Josh Heupel have Tennessee positioned well.

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