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Fact or Fiction: Ohio State will finish ahead of UGA in 2023 recruiting

Rivals national recruiting analysts Clint Cosgrove and Ryan Wright - along with Josh Henschke from the Maize&BlueReview and Zack Carpenter of InsideNebraska.com - address Ohio State's chances of finishing ahead of Georgia in the 2023 recruiting rankings, Nebraska coaching candidates and whether Michigan will land five-star Nyckoles Harbor.

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MORE FACT OR FICTION: A case could be made for Jackson Arnold as the top QB in the 2023 class | Anthony Hill is a lock to Texas

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100

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1. Ohio State will finish ahead of Georgia in the 2023 recruiting rankings.

Damon Wilson
Damon Wilson (Ryan Wright)

Cosgrove's Take: FACT. This should be a close battle, but unless Ohio State sees additional defections like it saw from Mark Fletcher last week, I see the Buckeyes finishing above the defending national champs at the end of the 2023 recruiting cycle. Ohio State has proven to be a recruiting juggernaut, and even with Georgia residing in arguably the most talent-rich region in the nation, Ohio State has proven its ability to recruit the Southeast with the best of the SEC. Both schools should end up with phenomenal classes, but I see Ohio State winning the 2023 recruiting battle.

Wright’s take: FICTION. Team recruiting rankings are a tenuous thing, especially in the NIL era. Expect flips and the unexpected signings as we near the Early Signing Period. After Fletcher, a four-star RB, reopened his recruiting process on Nov. 16, speculation started to circle around other Sunshine State commits that may have a change of heart. Holding on to Brandon Inniss, Cedric Hawkins, and Carnell Tate will ensure a fantastic class for the Buckeyes, but if there are changes Ohio State’s class will drop.

Georgia is in position to rise significantly up the rankings, but could also kind of hold the line. IMG five-star DE Sam M’Pemba is considered a heavy lean to the Bulldogs, while Ohio State and Georgia are fighting over four-star DE Damon Wilson. UGA is waiting on the decisions of TE Duce Robinson, DT Jordan Hall and WR Anthony Evans, among others. Two other recruits that could bolster the class include flipping four-star Alabama RB commit Justice Haynes and CB Daniel Harris recommitting to the Bulldogs.

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2. Nebraska's next head coach will come from this list: Bill O'Brien, Jeff Monken, Lance Liepold, Chris Klieman or Matt Rhule. 

Chris Klieman
Chris Klieman (AP Images)

Cosgrove's take: FACT. I'm going FACT with the caveat that Klieman is the choice of this group. I have reason to believe that Rhule was the top target, but he may be waiting for a different job or he could choose to sit out the upcoming season. Monken would do well, but wouldn't win over the fan base. Liepold is a proven winner, but the luster is wearing off after a few Kansas losses. O'Brien is another that could do well, but his stock doesn't appear to be rising. The one name that could throw this off is Bronco Mendenhall, who appears to be in the mix as this search goes into its final days or weeks.

Carpenter's take: FICTION. If I was going to say FACT, it would be because I think Rhule or Leipold is the next coach. But the information changes daily, even hourly, really. I have maintained the possibility since the first few weeks of the search that it’s on the table for Nebraska AD Trev Alberts to pull off a surprise and hire someone who none of us are truly thinking about. The search firm Nebraska hired (Collegiate Sports Associates) was at the core of getting Lincoln Riley to USC and Brian Kelly to LSU last coaching cycle. Maybe it won’t be a shocker like either of those hires, but I will go with the field over the names listed.

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3. Michigan will land five-star Nyckoles Harbor. 

Nyckoles Harbor
Nyckoles Harbor (Rivals.com)

Cosgrove's Take: FACT. I do believe there is a strong pull to South Carolina for Harbor, but at the end of the day Michigan may have too much to offer for the nation's freakiest athlete to pass up an opportunity to play for the Wolverines. Michigan is proving to be a yearly contender under coach Jim Harbaugh and it also has a first-class track program, which could become a factor in the track sensation's recruitment. I do believe that South Carolina and Michigan are neck-and-neck as things stand today, but in the end I see Harbor landing in Ann Arbor.

Henschke's take: FACT. Michigan checks every box that Harbor is looking for in a program. Considering the Wolverines have been in on him for quite a while, including some pro-Wolverine figures in his circle, I believe that could be enough to sway Harbor to Ann Arbor when all is said and done.

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