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Rival Views: Which 2019 4-star will Rivals regret not being a 5-star

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Jordan Whittington
Jordan Whittington (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate which four star in the 2019 class should have been a five star.

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FARRELL'S VIEW: Jordan Whittington

I’ve always been a big fan of Texas signee Jordan Whittington, who could easily play defense as well as offense and I thought at the beginning of this cycle he would end up as a five-star. His versatility, size, strength and ability to fight for the football are all special, but the lack of elite speed kept him just outside of that five-star range.

But, as we have learned, speed isn’t always the key to a five-star wide receiver and Whittington has the 50/50 ball ability and reliable hands to be a great receiver at the next level. And let’s not forget, he can and will get faster at the college level and it’s not like he’s slow now. He doesn’t get a ton of separation, but still makes all the plays and I just think he’s a can’t-miss kid because if offense doesn’t work out, he’ll just kill people on defense.

GORNEY'S VIEW: John Emery

There has been only one recruiting class since 2004 that did not have at least two five-star running backs - and now there will be a second since only Trey Sanders is listed with that special ranking to close out the 2019 class.

In 2004, Adrian Peterson was No. 1 nationally and thus tops in the running back rankings as well. A guy named named Marshawn Lynch from Oakland finished second in the position ranks, finishing No. 28 overall in the country.

This running back group in the 2019 class is too good to only have one five-star.

On film, John Emery is something else. He’s a dynamic runner, patient behind his blockers, and incredibly difficult to tackle. He’s a playmaker catching passes out of the backfield and he’s an unbelievable blocker as well. For someone who already weighs more than 200 pounds, it’s fascinating to see his burst and the ability to run away from defenders.

Plus he’s going to LSU. Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice come to mind. They were recent five-star running backs. There were others from the early 2000s. I just think if Emery showed up to an all-star event and looked the part, he would’ve been a five-star without much question.

He’s just too good and too special. In a few years, I definitely think he could be in the conversation as the first running back taken in the NFL Draft after a terrific college career.