Rivals.com - Fact or Fiction: Texas leads for four-star RB Rueben Owens
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Fact or Fiction: Texas leads for four-star RB Rueben Owens

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney along with Cole Patterson of Orangebloods.com, Andrew Bone of BamaInsider.com and Zack Carpenter of ScarletandGrayReport.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

1. Five-star DE Jayden Wayne is nearly a lock to Alabama after another trip there.

Jayden Wayne
Jayden Wayne (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Alabama is the leader for sure right now. But there are still months to go before National Signing Day and so much can still happen. Oregon is not going down easy here and t could pitch that Wayne is the next Kayvon Thibodeaux. Others are pursuing very hard because Wayne is such a rare athlete and defensive end. Right now, Alabama is the team to beat. The Crimson Tide have intrigued Wayne since early in his recruitment but whenever the word “lock” is used this early, I get nervous.

Bone’s take: FACT. The word ‘lock’ is dangerous with so many different factors that can transpire during the course of a recruitment. Wayne, however, lists Alabama as the heavy favorite to land his signature. He continues to grow more comfortable with each visit to Tuscaloosa. Alabama has the lead. Can it hold it? There is still a long way to go in his recruitment, but things currently look great for the Tide.

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2. Rueben Owens keeps visiting Texas. The Longhorns should be considered the frontrunner.

Rueben Owens
Rueben Owens (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. If Arch Manning picks Texas, Rueben Owens is pretty much a complete lock to the Longhorns. But even if Manning decides on someplace else, I still believe Texas is in a perfect spot to get the re-commitment of the No. 1 all-purpose back in the 2023 class. Owens seems super comfortable at Texas, he visits often and he’s already been committed to the Longhorns so there is definitely high interest there. I’d be surprised at this point if Owens ends up elsewhere although I will never count out Alabama or Texas A&M for a top player.

Patterson’s take: FACT. Texas has done an excellent job of recruiting Rivals100 RB Rueben Owens, who was previously committed to the Longhorns before backing off his early pledge last summer. Alabama and Texas A&M are two other programs that have made things interesting, but the El Campo product seems to be trending the Longhorns' way. Running back coach Tashard Choice has prioritized Owens since being added to the staff in December, and Owens has a great relationship with Steve Sarkisian. Another element to watch is what happens with five-star QB Arch Manning and Rivals100 WR Johntay Cook, two other big Texas targets that are also close friends with Owens. In the end, it is safe to call Texas the frontrunner in this recruitment.

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3. FIve-star receivers Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss could end up in Ohio State’s class after this weekend visit.

Gorney’s take: FACT. From what I’ve been told over the weekend, all the top Florida guys at Ohio State absolutely loved the trip and there could be good news coming in that regard. When it comes to specifically Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss, I still believe the Buckeyes are the team to beat for Tate and have emerged as possibly the frontrunner for Inniss. Alabama and USC are not going to go down easily. I would especially watch out for the Crimson Tide although Ohio State blew them both away. There is a very reasonable argument to be made that the two five-star receivers play for the Buckeyes.

Carpenter’s take: FACT. “Could” is the proverbial word there. There is absolutely no doubt that Ohio State is now in even better standing than it was before both five-star receivers visited this weekend. The Buckeyes’ quarterbacks and receivers put on a pretty electric showcase during Saturday’s practice that Inniss and Tate both attended. And the fact that Ohio State plans on bringing in a receivers class of just two (possibly three) in 2023 bodes well. Especially considering these two are pretty different receiver types who can be used in different ways on the field. After this weekend, one source inside the Buckeyes’ facilities told me that “great steps” were taken this weekend even though it may take awhile to see those steps pay off.

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