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Take Two: Does Kentucky have an edge for five-star Justin Rogers?

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Justin Rogers
Justin Rogers (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals.com)

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Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.

THE STORYLINE

Last week, five-star Justin Rogers released a top five of Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee and said he would be announcing his commitment on May 20.

The next day the Oak Park, Mich., two-way standout had a conversation with Alabama coach Nick Saban and Rogers announced he now had a top six with the Crimson Tide joining the list.

Kentucky seems to be the team surging for Rogers, who is ranked as the top offensive guard nationally, but he’s also seriously interested in playing defensive tackle in college and the Wildcats are telling him that’s where he could play in Lexington. A special recruit in so many ways, Rogers can play on either side of the ball and also played linebacker in high school last season at 6-foot-4 and 314 pounds.

It seems like wherever Rogers visits that becomes the leader in his recruitment. A couple weeks back, he visited Tennessee and the Vols moved way ahead. Then he visited Kentucky and it pushed up higher. Before his decision, the five-star plans to visit Georgia again. And now Alabama is making a late push after Rogers talked to Saban.

Is Kentucky now the team with the slight edge in his recruitment or is it still too unpredictable heading into his decision?

FIRST TAKE: JUSTIN ROWLAND, CATSILLUSTRATED.COM

“There were five official visitors the weekend he was in Lexington and three of those players have since committed to Kentucky. Rogers and Kentucky are not a new thing. They were the first school that really got serious about him. He’s been camping there every summer pretty much since he’s been a freshman in high school. He’s close friends with Marquan McCall, who was also ranked as the No. 1 player in Michigan a couple recruiting classes ago and he’s at Kentucky now. He’s friends with a walk-on at Kentucky, Tyler Markray, and he’s very close with the coaches from Steven Clinkscale, who recruits Michigan, to Mark Stoops.

“They’ve promised him he could play defense and he really wants to be a defensive lineman and he only sat in on defensive meetings during his official visit. The one thing I would say is every time he takes a visit to a school, that’s where the momentum seems to be. It was Tennessee two weekends ago, it’s Kentucky this weekend. The worry for Kentucky is that he visits Georgia before he makes his decision and Georgia, other than Kentucky, is the school that’s been there for him since the beginning. I’ve got him picked for Kentucky, but nobody would be shocked if it was Georgia and even if it is Kentucky, it’s going to be hard to keep him for seven months.”

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SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“Whoever he commits to early will have to hold onto him and this is going to carry into the Early Signing Period. He just tweeted about Alabama after a conversation he had with Saban. Tennessee he’s been to quite a few times. Kentucky he’s impressed with the visit. You just don’t know.

“I would say Georgia is the one I’m worried about if I’m a Kentucky or Tennessee fan because they are close. Sam Pittman is a great recruiter and he’s going to take that visit there. I’d be worried.”