Fact or Fiction: Ole Miss will emerge as contender for Arch Manning
Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with national recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman and Mark Passwaters of AggieYell.com tackle topics in recruiting and determine whether or not they believe each statement.
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1. Ole Miss will become a serious contender for Arch Manning by the time his junior season starts.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Lane Kiffin is going to have a major opportunity to impress Arch Manning and his family soon and not only paint the picture of how he’s been successful with Matt Corral but also quarterbacks at Alabama and other stops in his coaching career. We all know Kiffin works well with players at that position and so the Rebels will have a chance if things go well in Oxford. The family connections are obvious. Do I think Arch Manning ends up at Ole Miss? No, not at this point, as Clemson, Texas and others have jumped out front but it’s still early and Manning’s and Kiffin’s relationship is just getting started.
Spiegelman’s take: FACT. Ole Miss will be the seventh visit for Manning and his family this summer as they got a first-hand look at all of the schools with legitimate chances of landing the five-star quarterback. Is there a pecking order? Presumably yes, but the Mannings keep Arch’s interests close to the vest. Moving forward, Manning will attend games throughout the fall. At that point we’ll gain better clarity on which schools are truly in contention.
2. Keithian Alexander is pretty much a lock to Texas A&M.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I do agree that Texas A&M looks like the leader for Keithian Alexander and his relationship with Elijah Robinson and others on staff will go a long way. But when it comes to the five-star defensive tackle, I don’t think anything is close to a lock at this point. Alabama is going to continue to make a run at him and the Crimson Tide could be within striking distance. There were a lot of reasons why Georgia interested Alexander in the first place and those could be revisited. If I had to pick today, I’d say Big Bear ends up in College Station but there could be a long way to go.
Passwaters’ take: FACT. Well, we're dealing with high-stakes recruiting in the NIL age, so is anything a "lock"? But, forced to say, yes, he definitely seems set on A&M. He's taken visits since he showed up in College Station and promptly decommitted from Georgia and there's been no indication that anything has changed. The A&M commits are constantly in his ear and it doesn't even seem like there are all that many teams - maybe UGA and Alabama - trying to sway him. But some thought he would have already committed, so there's that bit of uncertainty there. All the same, if you're hunting the Bear, you'd rather be in A&M's position than anyone else's.
3. Chris Marshall is the most underrated receiver in the 2022 class.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Guys who I think are too low at the receiver position: Ohio State commit Kyion Grayes, Penn State pledge Kaden Saunders, four-star Shazz Preston and Chris Marshall is definitely another one. His recent basketball highlights where he’s a human highlight-reel dunking over people is really impressive. And it makes me think he deserves to be higher especially after he was so impressive at a Pylon event in Arizona this offseason. But I have my eye mostly on Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn’s Barion Brown. He’s under the radar, doesn’t talk much but his game is outstanding, he’s a top target for many SEC programs at receiver and although he’s No. 10 at the position it might be too low.
Spiegelman’s take: FACT. Well, he's one of several receivers across the nation with legitimate points about being underrated. Evan Stewart might be too low at No. 7 and players like Shazz Preston and Kaden Saunders have been exceptional throughout the offseason. Chris Marshall, however, fits that bill. Marshall is a two-sport standout that quickly found his footing on the football field. He's a verified downfield playmaker who creates 1-on-1 mismatches with his athleticism, his ability to out-rebound defensive backs in the red zone and his strong hands. At No. 18 nationally, he might still be a bit under-ranked.