Fact or Fiction: The Southeast has the best group of 2024 WRs
National recruiting analyst Greg Smith is joined by fellow national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, Caleb Smith of AuburnSports.com and Jason Higdon of 1stAndTenFlorida as they address three topics related to the Southeast region and decide if they are FACT or FICTION.
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1. The Southeast region has the best group of receivers in the 2024 class.
Smith: FACT. Even if you put Ohio State commit Jeremiah Smith in another region that still wouldn’t tip the scales for someone else. There is a chance that the region could legitimately have four different five-star prospects at wide receiver. Tennessee commit Mike Matthews is already there. Texas A&M commit Cam Coleman is right on the cusp of the honor. Top 40 Miami commit Ny Carr also deserves strong consideration. If those talented players weren’t enough, there is plenty of depth in the group that makes it special.
Friedman: FACT. The Southeast's receivers in the 2024 class are outstanding, and Smith leads the way. He's one of the best receiver prospects we've seen in recent years, but he isn't the only five-star or five-star candidate in the region. Matthews is an elite prospect, and so is Coleman. Carr is right there near the top of the rankings and could also be considered for five-star status. The depth is also there, with players such as Auburn commit Perry Thompson, Florida State commit Lawayne McCoy, UCF commit Bredell Richardson, Miami commit Chance Robinson, Clemson commit Terrance Moore and many others.
2. The Auburn Tigers are the most dangerous team on the recruiting trail as we close out the 2024 cycle.
Smith: FACT. For now. It was very impressive how Auburn finished the cycle last year with Keldric Faulk, Kayin Lee and Tyler Scott, among others. This year threatens to be even better down the stretch for the Tigers. Georgia offensive line commit Micah DeBose and Texas A&M wide receiver commit Cam Coleman are prime flip targets. Freeze and his staff have a shot to land both. Speaking of those Aggies, that’s why I say “for now.” I reserve the right to switch my pick to Texas A&M for the most dangerous team, depending on who the Aggies hire.
Jones: FACT. Under Freeze, Auburn was a relatively dangerous team to finish out last year's cycle, and that was with limited time at the helm. This year, it seems that the Tigers are poised to make another run at some top prospects, and I expect them to find even more success. There's plenty of reasons to believe Auburn is heading in the right direction and the program is generating a lot of momentum on the recruiting trail, which can be dangerous for other programs trying to hold on to the Tigers' top flip targets.
3. Billy Napier should be on the hot seat.
Smith: FACT. After going 6-7 last season, it was easy to just say it was year one for Billy Napier. The Gators had a top 15 recruiting class last year that was solid but not spectacular. Florida performed well early, though, with several true freshmen getting snaps this season. This year was going better for the Gators on and off the field. The team was playing well and Florida was in the hunt to win the recruiting crown for the state.
Now the wheels are coming off.
There have been three high-profile defections from the recruiting class in the last week. The Gators have also lost three straight games. With Missouri and Florida State left on the schedule it will likely be five straight losses to end the season.
Crazier things have happened than a struggling coach at a blueblood program getting fired after two bad seasons and no recruiting momentum.
Higdon: Napier is not on the hot seat. Don't get me wrong, some people believe Napier is firmly on the hot seat, but I am not one of those people. He is 11-12 as the head coach for the Gators with two games remaining on the schedule – a trip to Missouri on Saturday night and in The Swamp vs. Florida State next week.
This is a slow-burn rebuild, and it always has been. Are there impatient fans? Absolutely, but that does not change the fact this thing needed to start from scratch. It is never good to stack losing seasons on top of losing seasons, and the Gators need a win to avoid that from happening. If the Gators drop the next two games, there will be pressure from all sides to prevent a third losing season in a row in 2024 and things could warm up in a hurry.