Rivals.com - Fact or Fiction: Spencer Rattler will top Sam Ehlinger's numbers
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Fact or Fiction: Spencer Rattler will top Sam Ehlinger's numbers

National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.

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1. Michael Johnson Jr. will be a Power Five impact transfer.

Michael Johnson, Jr.
Michael Johnson, Jr. (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Farrell’s take: FICTION. Former Penn State quarterback Michael Johnson, Jr. was once a four-star prospect for us who showed a lot of promise as a youngster but he didn’t develop as expected and lost that fourth star. We got a lot of grief for that three-star ranking, but we had questions about his arm strength, size and field vision. He can be a very solid Group of Five quarterback, but I don’t see him making a huge impact at the Power Five level.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Johnson had more than 30 offers in high school with Oregon, Miami, NC State and others very involved in his recruitment so many programs should be involved in the transfer process and Johnson could still have a big career ahead of him. He was log-jammed on the depth chart at Penn State and didn’t have the patience to stick it out to compete for the starting job after Sean Clifford leaves. That might prove to be a mistake, but Johnson has the dual-threat ability to transfer within the Power Five and make a significant contribution at the right school.

2. Spencer Rattler will put up better numbers this season than Sam Ehlinger.

AP Images
AP Images (AP Images)

Farrell’s take: FICTION. Spencer Rattler is a former five-star and will be the next man up in the Oklahoma offense, so big things are expected. But can he put up bigger numbers than Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger? I don’t think so.

Last season, Ehlinger passed for 3,663 yards and ran for another 663 while accounting for 39 touchdowns. If you factor in a year of development for Ehlinger, you have to expect even bigger things and those are very lofty numbers for Rattler to match. An experienced Jalen Hurts destroyed those numbers with more than 3,800 yards passing and more than 1,200 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns, but to expect that kind of performance from a first-year starter is a bit much. I have Ehlinger putting up better numbers, but not by much.

Gorney’s take: FACT. This is not a rip on Ehlinger because I believe he’s one of the best quarterbacks in college football, but Oklahoma’s offense is just more conducive to chunk plays and quickly scoring points, so I’m going to give the slight edge to Rattler.

My guess is that Texas limits designed runs for Ehlinger to keep him upright and Rattler is going to be very comfortable running the Sooners’ offense. Texas has some really talented receivers, but not as many game-breakers as Oklahoma, which has a lot of former five-star receivers who could have breakout seasons. Ehlinger is great, but the Sooners have been unstoppable on offense and Rattler should be great.


3. Indiana recruiting is on the rise.

Donaven McCulley
Donaven McCulley (Nick Lucero / Rivals)

Farrell’s take: FACT. Donaven McCulley is a very good four-star pickup at quarterback for Indiana and the Hoosiers have two four-stars and six three-stars in a small class so far. Tom Allen has things quietly rolling for Indiana and it’s not talked about enough. Last year's class was highlighted by Rashawn Williams but ranked 47th with 20 commitments, which is about average for Indiana. It seems they have taken a step up this season.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Over the last decade, Indiana finished fourth once in the Big Ten team recruiting rankings and seventh twice. Those have been the best finishes for the Hoosiers during that stretch and they currently find themselves No. 12 in the conference with the second-fewest amount of commits. Indiana might be recruiting a little better across the board - and the commitment of McCulley is huge - but the conference as a whole is more aggressive and recruiting better as well. Still, too many talented in-state players are headed elsewhere. Tom Allen deserves a lot of credit and the Hoosiers are getting better, but I’m not sure recruiting is ticking up all that much.