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Three-Point Stance: Duce Robinson, Bryce Young, 2026 West prospects

Duce Robinson
Duce Robinson

In this edition of the Three-Point Stance, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney looks at the latest with 2023 five-star Duce Robinson, why Bryce Young should be the No. 1 quarterback taken in the NFL Draft and five 2026 prospects in the West who are already getting significant attention.


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1. Waiting for Duce Robinson


April 1 is supposed to be the deadline for the lone holdout of the 2023 class, five-star Duce Robinson, to make his decision.

It has basically come down to USC and Georgia for the Phoenix Pinnacle star, who is also weighing the MLB Draft and a future in baseball.

The first signing day in December passed with no resolution. Then we went through the February signing period with no determination on his next stop, and the family has not felt those arbitrary dates as important to the five-star tight end making his decision.

There is also the factor that Robinson was not able - because of offseason baseball or other responsibilities - to take as many visits as almost everybody else in his class.

The feeling heading into mid-March is that USC has climbed back to the top, although there is only cautious optimism around those that think he could end up with the Trojans.

From sources, USC is selling a split-out role for him, not one with his hand down which he did a little too often during the Under Armour week, and the idea of playing a Drake London-type role could be intriguing.

The name DK Metcalf has been thrown around during Robinson’s recruitment, but mainly used in a similar way – as a big outside receiver who is traditionally the size of a tight end but has the athletic and playmaking ability as a receiver.

Georgia is certainly right there as well. Winning back-to-back national titles and using tight ends in various ways from Brock Bowers to Darnell Washington and beyond helps. Robinson has loved his time in Athens – the big-time college town feel that also gets a ton of exposure.

So we wait. Robinson should have a decision soon and while USC looks to have a slight edge, bigger surprises have happened in recruiting.


2. Bryce Young should be No. 1 QB in this NFL Draft

Bryce Young
Bryce Young (AP Images)

Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is over and all the hyperbole and discussion is over, it’s time to get back to reality: Bryce Young is the best quarterback in this draft class.

An argument can be made for CJ Stroud. The Ohio State quarterback is special. He did great things in Columbus and he had an awesome combine at which he threw pristine passes. I get it. If the first quarterback off the board is Stroud, I can understand why NFL execs would have made that choice.

But Anthony Richardson does not make sense, and he would be the biggest risk, by far. He’s only really played one full season, during which the former four-star completed under 54% of his passes with 17 touchdowns and nine picks. Sure, he’s a big-time running threat - but is that what anyone wants out of their franchise QB in the NFL?

Yeah, Richardson was awesome at the combine. A complete freak show who jumped out of Lucas Oil Stadium. Quarterbacks jumping a lot these days?

Then you have Young. Stories over his height have wrongly been written since his middle school days. Is it now some kind of shock that he’s not Andre the Giant?

It does not matter. Young torched the best teams in the country when he was at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. He torched everybody - and quickly earned Alabama coach Nick Saban’s respect and trust - in Tuscaloosa. Stat-wise, he completed just under 66% of his passes with 80 touchdowns and 12 picks in his college career.

He’s not Kyler Murray, and it’s been written by Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports about how that comp is lazy. Young is more like Russell Wilson when Wilson was very, very good and stories weren’t written about his personal office in the Broncos facility and his parking spaces outside of it.

Just watch these quarterbacks play. Young is phenomenally smart, plays with a coolness rarely seen and is insanely talented. If NFL teams get caught up on Richardson’s combine numbers – and they were astounding – it would be a mistake. Young is the best QB in this draft class.


3.  Five 2026 prospects to watch

It’s crazy – and somewhat absurd – how much the recruiting process has been fast-forwarded during recent cycles, but rising sophomores in the 2026 class are already on the clock. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I only follow them. So, in that vein, here are five top prospects in the West who should be national names.

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei receiver did not get many opportunities in his freshman season because the backlog of elite players at his position was too long, but Dixon-Wyatt has already landed offers from Georgia, Penn State, Texas and others. He has length, ball skills and great hands, and the reports from this offseason have been stellar so far.


Orange (Calif.) Lutheran got blown out at powerhouse Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco this past season, but Ili was all over the field and made his presence felt as a linebacker who could cover and hit. He’s going to be an elite prospect down the road. A handful of teams have offered already, including USC and Stanford, as it’s clear he has the athletic ability to be a special player in the coming years.


Want to feel old? Matt Leinart’s son could be the next big thing at powerhouse Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Of course, that would happen after 2024 four-star Elijah Brown heads off to college. Cole Leinart is a super-talented 2026 quarterback who already has more than a handful of offers, with Arizona, Colorado, Utah and others involved. He has the size and arm – although not a lefty like the old man.


The 2026 linebacker from Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger is already 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds and hits like a truck, so there is only upside from here. Moala is an impressive-looking player who can cover, come down and lay the wood and he helps lead the defense even this early in his career. It’s why Auburn, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, USC and a number of other schools have offered.


O’Neal has bounced around high schools a little bit early in his career, but he backed up five-star Malachi Nelson at Los Alamitos, Calif., and that is an incredible mentor to have, since Nelson signed with USC. O’Neal is now at Newport Beach (Calif.) Newport Harbor, and he has size, a monster arm and a huge future ahead of him.