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Southeast Spotlight: Toughest questions about the rankings

Carnell Tate
Carnell Tate (

Only two rankings updates remain for the 2023 class and one of them is just around the corner. This week the national recruiting analysts give an overview of the toughest questions they faced in this rankings update. Up next is the Southeast region.

THIS SERIES: Toughest rankings questions in the East | Mid-South


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CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100


Who is the top receiver in the Southeast: Carnell Tate or Brandon Inniss?


Height and blazing speed versus power and athleticism. Narrowing down the skills between Tate and Inniss is seemingly impossible. Both are amazing playmakers, and the top two receivers in their class. Either player can change the momentum of a game with one move on any given play and, lucky for Ohio State, they are both headed to Columbus for college.

By the numbers, Inniss had the bigger season, securing 58 passes for 1,107 yards with 13 scores in 13 games. Tate’s statistics were also impressive, although he played in just eight games. The slash line includes 37 receptions for 750 yards with eight touchdowns.

Inniss also made a big contribution on special teams, returning 10 kicks for 297 yards and 17 punts for 178 more all-purpose yards.



Who is the best defensive end in the Sunshine State?

Samuel M’Pemba, Damon Wilson or Keon Keeley: Which is the most dominating and skilled defensive end? That is a tough question.

M’Pemba is still raw for the position, but he has unlimited upside. Keeley has the burst and the long frame that will give college offensive tackles fits. Wilson has the skills and size, with more room to improve his overall game.

By the numbers and strength of schedule, Wilson outperformed his peers with 76 total stops, six tackles for loss, six sacks and six QB hurries. Keeley had 40 tackles, but was credited with a mind-blowing 23.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. IMG did not release full-season stats for their Ascenders. Through four games, M’Pemba had 20 stops, three tackles for loss and four QB hurries without a sack.


Who are the top players behind AJ Harris in the state of Alabama?

The high school football talent flowing out of the state of Alabama is unreal. There has always been a plethora of gifted players in the Yellowhammer State, but the 2023 class is special. When we last evaluated the 2023 class, cornerback AJ Harris was at the top, followed by quarterback Chris Vizzina. Did Vizzina, a Clemson commit, do enough to keep his spot, or did the long list of terrific players in-state move up?

A strong argument can be made for how the order should play out among the top 12 to 15 players in the state of Alabama. Kelby Collins, Jahlil Hurley, Tony Mitchell, James Smith, Keldric Faulk, Peter Woods, Jaquavious Russaw, Wilkin Formby, Yhonzae Pierre, Dakaari Nelson, Jeremiah Cobb, among others, all proved they were elite four-star prospects. The college programs landing any of the listed prospects have got some talent coming to campus next fall.


Is Justice Haynes a five-star?

A much-debated question among the analysts with an eye toward the NFL Draft is whether there are still five-star running backs out there who may go in the first round when their time comes? Buford (Ga.) tailback Justice Haynes has had as amazing of a career as one can have on the high school playing fields. Haynes has more than 7,400 career rushing yards and 91 TDs on the ground, and he topped the 1,500-yard milestone this season.

Playing in Georgia’s 7A classification, the Alabama commit has impressed with a 127.3 yards-per-game average while collecting 19 rushing scores. Showing off some all-purpose talents, he also converted four receptions into 125 yards.