Fact or Fiction: The Vols should hire Hugh Freeze
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
1. The Vols should hire Hugh Freeze.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. There’s no way Tennessee should take a chance on a coach who was run out of the SEC because of recruiting violations to replace someone who was just run out of the SEC for recruiting violations. Hugh Freeze had better success as a coach, but the optics here would be bad. The Vols need to stay away.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Freeze made some major errors in judgment and it cost him his job at Ole Miss but he has done exceptionally well at Liberty and I believe in second chances. Tennessee is actually a perfect situation for Freeze because there will be so much scrutiny and oversight on the program now after Jeremy Pruitt’s indiscretions that it would be near impossible to cheat - and any sniff of that would get the coach booted.
Tennessee’s offense was deplorable this past season and Freeze is an offensive-minded coach who would be able to recruit there. Yes, Freeze has a past and because of that it’s unlikely Tennessee would hire him, but the school should give it serious thought.
2. Justin Fields should have returned to Ohio State.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Todd McShay and Mel Kiper both said Justin Fields should return for another season at Ohio State and I disagree. Why, because Dwayne Haskins has already flamed out as a first-year starter from Ohio State? Fields has two years under his belt as a starter and will be a top-10 pick and he shouldn’t pass up the opportunity because he struggled in a couple of games. That’s ridiculous.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Why would Fields come back when he’s going to be one of the first quarterbacks drafted and probably among the first picks? That just does not make any sense. He’s pretty much done all he can at the college level, he’s clearly put himself in the early first-round conversation and there’s just no need to come back. Just because Haskins went to Ohio State and didn’t perform well in the NFL, it’s ridiculous to think Fields will follow the same path. The former five-star should head off to the NFL and start down his pro football journey with no regrets.
3. Wanya Morris is the win Oklahoma needed.
Farrell’s take: FACT. Finally some good news out of Norman! After whiffing on prospects like Emeka Egbuka, Bryce Foster, Tristan Leigh and Camar Wheaton down the stretch, beating out Texas A&M for the coveted transfer portal tackle is great news. The reputation of offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh won out here and it’s just the type of momentum the Sooners need.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Yeah, it was a rough patch down the stretch for Oklahoma when it comes to the 2021 recruiting class but Wanya Morris’ decision to join the Sooners from Tennessee is just another example of how the transfer portal is transforming and revolutionizing the recruiting process in college football.
Morris has two years of game experience in the SEC. He’s going to be able to step right in and contribute immediately for the Sooners. This isn’t just some high-level recruit who needs to learn the ropes. The transfer portal is crucial, it’s not going anywhere and Oklahoma is smart to be taking advantage of it.