Rivals.com - Take Two: Who leads for five-star WR Julian Fleming?
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Take Two: Who leads for five-star WR Julian Fleming?

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

Julian Fleming
Julian Fleming

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.

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THE STORYLINE

The nation’s top receiver is planning to make his commitment on May 31 and Julian Fleming has Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Penn State as his five finalists.

At one time or another, each of those five power programs looked to be in strong contention for the Catawissa (Pa.) Southern Columbia standout.

The Nittany Lions have the advantage from a location standpoint since Fleming lives less than two hours from campus. Coach James Franklin and his staff have recruited Fleming hard for years.

Visits to Clemson, Alabama and Georgia all went well and definitely gave Fleming something to seriously consider.

But as decision day draws near, it looks as if Ohio State might have the edge for the five-star receiver, which would be a huge recruiting coup for first-year coach Ryan Day and position coach Brian Hartline.

Can the Buckeyes, already with an impressive receiver recruiting haul, still land the five-star Fleming?

FIRST TAKE: MARC GIVLER, BUCKEYEGROVE.COM

“It’s looking very good for Ohio State at this point. It would seem like he would need to change his mind between now and his announcement date. It doesn’t sound like a lot of the other schools involved are particularly confident. Ohio State has been in the top two or three the whole way so it looks like they could pull this out.

“For Ryan Day, this is huge. It’s a big out-of-state win and you’d be beating a powerhouse local program in Penn State and if you look at his other finalists, you’re left with Alabama, Georgia and Clemson, which are arguably the three best programs in the country right now. It’s a big national win and you’re beating a regional power, so it could kickstart a big month of June for them.

“They have a ton of guys on campus for visits in June and that weekend they’re going to have Kendall Milton on campus. It’s a big momentum win if they could get it and it also continues to establish Brian Hartline as a rising star as a recruiter given what he’s been able to do in a year with Fleming, Gee Scott, Jaxon Smith-Njigba. What Hartline and Day are doing with some recruiting wins on offense is pretty impressive.”

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SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“My pick is Ohio State. Alabama is in there, Clemson is a little bit of a long shot and Penn State, which has been in there and was considered to be the favorite for a long time, is now considered a long shot. So Ohio State has to be considered the favorite.

“If the Buckeyes do get Fleming, it speaks to Day’s ability to recruit, it speaks to the brand power of Ohio State. They’ve put so many guys in the first round and they can point to him being the next Michael Thomas.

“Alabama does the same thing, but this kid always struck me as someone who would play in the Big Ten. This would hurt Penn State in a big way. Penn State and Franklin can recruit, no doubt. They’ll get good players. But for an in-state kid like this to leave for Ohio State, that certainly hurts.”