Rivals Rankings Talk: Analysts predict landing spots for top prospects
It’s time to make some predictions. The Rivals team of analysts have been talking to prospects and they’ve been to numerous games already this season and there are still a lot of elite prospects to talk about nationally. In this daily dose of rankings content, the analysts break down the top prospect in their region and make a prediction on where those players will sign. Since Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell doesn’t have a specific region, he gets the top-rated uncommitted recruit:
ROB CASSIDY, SOUTHEAST ANALYST: Donell Harris
Donell Harris' recruitment has been a tricky one because he reclassified late in the offseason and eliminated a number of his options because of it. These days, it seems Florida, Miami and Texas A&M are the major players.
It seems Harris has forged a tight bond with Jimbo Fisher, so I'll take the Aggies for now, but nothing on this front is certain. Harris' recruitment is fickle and could turn on a dime as schools look to fill holes.
MIKE FARRELL, NATIONAL RECRUITING DIRECTOR: Justin Flowe
Justin Flowe was rumored to be close to committing to Clemson during the summer at one point, and I think the Tigers still lead. USC is interesting because it looks like the Trojans are going to turn it around under Clay Helton or fold as the season wears on, and either could change his recruitment, especially if a big hire is made.
But right now the pick is Clemson.
ADAM FRIEDMAN, MID-ATLANTIC ANALYST: Jalen Berger
We've talked a lot about Rivals100 running back Jalen Berger over the last few months and things seem to be pretty much in the same place. Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers are the main contenders but LSU is hanging around. Berger's recruitment likely won't hit another gear until later this season when he takes his official visits. A commitment certainly isn't around the corner. He is scheduled to announce his commitment in early January at one of the all-star games and there is a lot that will develop between now and then.
I think he'll probably end up at Ohio State but this prediction could easily swing another direction.
ADAM GORNEY, NATIONAL AND WEST ANALYST: Kelee Ringo
Kelee Ringo has a top five of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas, but it has been long believed that two teams - the Bulldogs and the Longhorns - have the distinct advantage in his recruitment. The five-star cornerback told me he’s in the process of setting up his official visits and that will be an important next step for the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro standout to figure out what’s best for him. Georgia probably has the edge in his recruitment because Ringo loves the coaching staff there, he’s been recruited hard by those guys, the Bulldogs develop defensive players every year and they’re in the title hunt.
Texas cannot be counted out, but Georgia is probably the front-runner.
JOSH HELMHOLDT, MIDWEST ANALYST: Antonio Johnson
In the immediate aftermath of his de-commitment from Tennessee at the end of July I talked to people close to four-star safety Antonio Johnson who felt the Volunteers were still the team to beat. Today, the Volunteers are barely in this recruitment. Alabama, Texas A&M and Kentucky are all being discussed as potential official visit destinations. An interesting recent development is Johnson listing Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska as contenders, with unofficial game-day visits to those schools possible this fall.
The latest information I have, though, suggests this recruitment could come to an end soon, even before official visits are taken. If that comes to fruition, you have to like Texas A&M's chances best.
CHAD SIMMONS, SOUTHEAST ANALYST: Arik Gilbert
This one could still have a few more twists and turns, but for now Alabama is my pick. This was all Georgia this time a year ago, and even early in 2019, but things started to shift early in the spring and now as we enter the fall the in-state school is likely running third on Gilbert's list. Alabama has convinced Gilbert that he can be the next O.J. Howard or Irvin Smith and be in line to make a lot of plays in its offense. Tennessee has to be considered a true contender, and a sleeper to keep an eye on is Clemson. The Tigers had Gilbert on campus over the weekend, and Dabo Swinney and his program have jumped back in this race.
A decision will likely come late in the season after all five official visits have been taken, but at this time all are chasing Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
SAM SPIEGELMAN, TEXAS, LOUISIANA ANALYST: Zachary Evans
There are a lot of unknowns surrounding the nation's top-ranked running back. Commitment has certainly been a thought for Evans, especially after a busy spring and summer full of visits, which included stops at LSU, Georgia, Alabama and Texas A&M. The five-star has eyes for the SEC and is a priority for each of the aforementioned programs. He has official visits lined up for the remainder of the fall and each of the schools has been in the driver's seat at different junctures of his recruitment.
I could see Evans at LSU or Georgia, and even Texas A&M making a late push for the in-state prospect, but the Dawgs have been trending ever since a positive visit in July.
WOODY WOMMACK, SOUTHEAST ANALYST: Jordan Burch
Jordan Burch is one of the toughest players to read that I’ve covered in my time at Rivals as he doesn’t give interviews and news surrounding his recruitment is tough to come by. But if I had to make a pick I would go with Clemson.
The Tigers have the in-state advantage and with they way they’re performing on the field and the way they’re recruiting it’s the safest pick at this point.