Rivals.com - Fact or Fiction: Walter Nolen should be the top-ranked 2022 DL
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Fact or Fiction: Walter Nolen should be the top-ranked 2022 DL

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney and national recruiting analysts Adam Friedman and Sam Spiegelman along Blayne Gilmer from UGASports.com tackle three recruiting or rankings topics and determine whether they believe each statement.



Monday: Five-star countdown

Tuesday: Rivals250 unveiled | Meet the new five-stars

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings


1. Walter Nolen should be the top-rated DL in the 2022 class.

Walter Nolen
Walter Nolen (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. This is a difficult one because I like both Walter Nolen and Travis Shaw very much and both are top-five talents in the class. But I’m going to give the slight edge to Nolen because he has proven his abilities on a national level and no one could slow him down. At Future 50, the five-star defensive lineman dominated again and while I like Shaw’s game on Friday nights, he doesn’t attend all the national camps and compete against the best of the best all the time. Both are great but Nolen has a better resume.

Friedman’s take: FICTION. I'm in the minority here but Shaw is the more dominant, reliable and versatile defensive lineman of the two. Shaw is coming back from a minor shoulder injury he sustained during his state championship run in the spring season but all indications are he'll be back for this season and there shouldn't be any lingering effects. Nolen is dominant and as talented as they come in the 2022 class but, at least to me, Shaw is more of a sure thing.


2. Jaheim Singletary, Denver Harris, Domani Jackson, Will Johnson: That is the right order for the five-star cornerbacks.

Jaheim Singletary
Jaheim Singletary (Sam Spiegelman)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Domani Jackson tying the state record in the 100-meters pushes him to No. 2 on my list as Denver Harris has to prove he’s back full force before he can have that spot back. I have no problem with Jaheim Singletary No. 1 at the position. With his length, competitiveness and playmaking ability, that is no issue. And I have no issue with Will Johnson being the fourth cornerback although he’s a talented kid who should be great at Michigan. He’s still a five-star so we like him a lot. But I would flip-flop Harris and Jackson, let it play out through the season, see them again in the all-star games and then make a final decision.

Spiegelman’s take: FACT. Entering the season, Singletary has a small edge over Harris, Jackson and Johnson -- in that order -- as the top cornerbacks in America. Singletary has shined throughout the offseason and has a strong case as the top player at his position. Harris has been rehabbing a knee injury and will be ready to kick off his senior season at the end of the month.

He maintained his spot as the No. 2 cornerback after a junior campaign for North Shore, Texas, in which he captured District 21-6A Defensive Player of the Year honors. Jackson matched an impressive California state record with a 10.25-second 100-meter this offseason and also showed well at The Opening.

Johnson, the fourth five-star at the position, rounds out the group after a brilliant junior season playing on both sides of the ball. All four have a chance to finish first at this position depending on how their final seasons of high school football plays out.


3. Big Bear Alexander named Georgia in his top two. The Bulldogs have a real shot to get him back in their recruiting class.

Keithian Alexander
Keithian Alexander (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FACT. Keithian Alexander committed to Georgia for many reasons in February but mainly because he loved the coaching staff. It looked like his recruitment would be pretty cut and dry but like so many elite prospects, Alexander had second thoughts regarding his decision and he opened back up. That allowed Texas A&M and other programs to get in the mix and now something interesting has happened that Alexander has UGA and A&M as his top two teams. Just by that list of top schools, Georgia does have a real shot to land him but there is an unpredictability to his recruitment so right now it could go either way. The Aggies probably lead but anything can still happen with him.

Gilmer’s take: FACT. Of the big three defensive tackle targets for Georgia, Bear Alexander is the one they have the best shot to land. With it being a final two and Georgia having earned his commitment once before, the Dawgs certainly have to feel like they’re in this. At this point my FutureCast still remains for Bear to the Aggies, but UGA isn’t folding the tent and will be in this one for the long haul.