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Rival Views: Which 2021 prospect was the hardest to rank?

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 2021 prospect was the hardest to rank and why:

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CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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GORNEY'S VIEW: J.T. TUIMOLOAU

J.T. Tuimoloau
J.T. Tuimoloau (Rivals.com)

One of the hardest things about the COVID-19 shutdown is that evaluations are much tougher because seeing players often, at multiple events, against different competition and most important against elite players is really the best way to formulate an opinion and hopefully get the most accurate ranking on every prospect.

Rankings take time. They take seeing players a whole lot to really determine strengths and weaknesses and forming an opinion that could change over time.

But J.T. Tuimoloau has not done many national events. He did not participate in the All-American Combine in San Antonio last winter. The All-American Bowl in recent weeks was canceled.

Here’s what I know about the five-star defensive end from Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic: He’s freaky athletic for his size. He has an excellent frame to build upon. Even when he flips over and plays tight end, Tuimoloau is special and dominant. He’s also a really talented basketball player, which I love for his future in football.

There is a chance that Tuimoloau is the best prospect in this class because of his size and versatility along the defensive line. He might prove that. But I just hesitate to get so hyped about his ranking since he hasn’t had a senior season and has not been seen against elite competition much in his high school career.

FARRELL'S VIEW: EMEKA EGBUKA

Emeka Egbuka
Emeka Egbuka (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

I’ll also go with a prospect from the state of Washington: Emeka Egbuka. I honestly feel like he could have been the No. 1 prospect in another year. We’ve had limited evaluation opportunities with the physical receiver and he didn’t play his senior season because of the pandemic. He has strong hands, great strength and sneaky speed but watching him physically develop in videos since his junior year has me thinking he could be underrated outside the national top 10.

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