Fact or Fiction: Ole Miss leads for four-star QB Jaden Rashada
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove along with Neal McCready from RebelGrove.com and Ryan Young of TrojanSports.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. Oregon will be a serious contender now for five-star DE Jayden Wayne after he visited over the weekend.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Georgia, LSU and Alabama really intrigue Wayne and the five-star defensive end has talked openly about his interest in playing in the SEC. It could be tough to beat those programs because the Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln standout has been interested in them – and treated so well by them – for many months. But if there’s a team that can do it that would be Oregon, especially since Dan Lanning could lean on his experience coaching in the SEC and defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi has the NFL bona fides. There is also something else Oregon can sell: If there is a high school player that plays and looks like Kayvon Thibodeaux at the same stage, it’s Wayne, and Thibodeaux picked Oregon over Alabama and others before becoming an expected first-round pick later this week.
Young’s take: FACT. Wayne has been to Oregon at least three times already since January. That he chose to return this weekend for the Ducks' spring game says plenty about how seriously he is considering the program. Being inside a packed Autzen Stadium, as part of a loaded group of visiting prospects, didn't hurt either. Dan Lanning and his staff are building major momentum on the recruiting trail. Landing five-star offensive tackle Josh Conerly, who like Wayne is also from Washington, earlier this month showed how aggressive and compelling they can be in battling for a top national recruit. Wayne has taken a lot of visits across the country and has plenty to consider, but if Lanning and Tosh Lupoi can sell him on the vision that they're building an elite defense – like the ones they've each been a part of in the past – and that he can get everything he wants relatively close to home, that will keep Oregon in this until the end.
2. Following his weekend visit to Ole Miss, the Rebels should be considered the front-runner for four-star QB Jaden Rashada.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Jaden Rashada can definitely end up at Ole Miss. The offense fits him perfectly, he saw what Lane Kiffin has done with Matt Corral, what he did at Alabama and throughout his career, and playing big-time SEC football appeals to the four-star quarterback from Northern California. There are just still too many moving parts in the quarterback puzzle to clearly say the Rebels are the front-runner. Miami, Oregon and Texas A&M will be the schools to watch but when Arch Manning or Eli Holstein or Dante Moore come off the board next, Rashada could be a top target somewhere else, too.
McCready’s take: FICTION. Ole Miss is in the mix for Rashada, and the Rebels would love to land a quarterback for the future. Rashada is enamored with Lane Kiffin, loves the Rebels' offense and clearly is intrigued with the idea of playing in the SEC. However, Miami and Oregon are still major factors, and Texas A&M offered last week and should get a visit at some point. I can't help but wonder how NIL will play in Rashada's decision, and to this point, Ole Miss has sort of been the Oakland A's (think: "Moneyball") NIL team of the SEC. Maybe that changes soon.
3. Malachi Coleman plays at Lincoln (Neb.) East. After considering many other programs, he will end up with the Huskers.
Gorney’s take: FACT. If I had to pick right now, Nebraska would be the selection for Malachi Coleman although Oregon, Georgia and many others continue to push for the four-star prospect. There is stability in Lincoln, there is opportunity there for someone of his caliber to see the field immediately and his friend Beni Ngoyi has now been offered by the Huskers. Nebraska has clearly made Coleman a top priority and while there are other national programs that definitely want him in their class, I just think too much makes sense for him to stay close and to play at Nebraska in the coming years.
Cosgrove’s take: FICTION. I am going to get beat up for this and I go back and forth on it, but I don’t think Coleman ends up a Husker in the end. That being said, this is not a done deal and Nebraska is still in the race. Coleman’s recruitment has absolutely blown up and he is going to have his choice of school in the end. While he loves the Nebraska program, I also feel that staying in Lincoln will bring attention, pressure and fame that Coleman doesn’t necessarily seem to be a fan of. His recruitment will likely go down to the end, but I see Coleman landing somewhere away from home.