Fact or Fiction: Penn State had the most successful recruiting weekend
Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, Richie Schnyderite of HappyValleyInsider.com, Jed May of UGASports.com and Tyler James of InsideNDSports.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. Penn State had the most successful weekend of any team.
Friedman's take: FICTION. This past weekend was the first major official visit weekend of the year for the 2024 class and dozens of teams added important prospects to their recruiting classes. Penn State finished out the weekend with commitments from visitors Deryc Plazz, Xavier Gilliam and Rivals250 defensive back Dejuan Lane. Three commitments from weekend visitors is a pretty impressive total, but there are other programs that could claim to have had more success. USC landed commitments from visitors Jarvis Boatwright, Hayden Treter, Dakoda Fields and Kameryn Fountain. Pittsburgh landed four commitments too, but as of this writing only Allen Bryant and Davion Pritchard have announced their decisions.
But, as NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo explained earlier this year, success and failure can be defined in different ways. Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas and many others hosted double-digit, high-end targets and they were able to improve their standing with plenty of those prospects, even if they didn't secure as many publicly known commitments.
Schnyderite's take: FACT. Penn State landed three prospects in one day this past Sunday as the Nittany Lions landed Plazz (OL), Gilliam (DL) and Lane all in less than 12 hours.
Now, not only did they land three commits, but they landed three very good commitments. Plazz is a borderline four-star and could get a bump in the next update. Gilliam, who is the lowest ranked of the group, is due for a bump as his film is very impressive. And last, but not least, is Lane, who is the best of the three and hits like a ton of bricks. These were three really good grabs for Penn State and not many other programs landed one solid commit, let alone three.
2. Georgia now leads for Dylan Stewart.
Friedman's take: FICTION. Stewart isn’t in any rush to make a decision, but his visit to Georgia this weekend was highly anticipated given the potential for the Bulldogs to make a move in his recruitment. I do think the Bulldogs helped themselves but to call them the leader at this point would be a bit premature. South Carolina, Miami, Tennessee, Ohio State and many others are very much in the mix for Stewart and all of them expect to get Stewart on campus at least once between now and when he's expected to make a decision this fall.
May's take: FICTION. Georgia does on-campus recruiting well, and there’s no reason to think Stewart’s visit went anything other than smooth. However, I still wouldn’t call Georgia the leader at this point. With Oregon, Ohio State, South Carolina, Miami and others there are many contenders involved. It looks as if Oregon and Ohio State might have the momentum at this point. Georgia isn’t dead by any means, but I don’t believe the Bulldogs lead right now.
3. Notre Dame retook the lead for Guerby Lambert.
Friedman's take: FACT. Lambert has been very high on Notre Dame since pretty much day one of his recruitment, but changes to the coaching staff slowed the Irish's momentum. Ohio State has made a move, but getting Lambert back to South Bend this weekend was huge for head coach Marcus Freeman and his staff. It’s fair to call Notre Dame the leader right now, but if the Irish do in fact lead, it’s not by much. Ohio State is a major contender, while Penn State and Boston College are also lurking. Don’t expect a quick decision from Lambert, but once his official visits finish up this month he could be on commit watch.
James's take: FACT. Early indications are Notre Dame made a strong impression on Lambert during his long-awaited first visit to campus. But it’s just the start of Lambert’s official visit schedule, so there’s no telling how he’ll feel in a few weeks. It’s hard enough to figure out when he’ll be making his official visits to the other top schools Lambert is considering Boston College, Ohio State and Penn State. Reports have indicated he could be at either Boston College or Ohio State this coming weekend. Lambert doesn’t drop a lot of clues about his recruitment, but the Irish have reason to be confident for now.