Fact or Fiction: FSU is now team to beat for TE Jaleel Skinner


Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, along with Michael Langston from Warchant.com and Corey Bender from GatorsTerritory.com, tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether or not they believe each statement.

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1. Florida State is now the team to beat for four-star TE Jaleel Skinner.

Jaleel Skinner

Jaleel Skinner (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Florida State is definitely a major contender for Skinner, and the Seminoles have moved way up in recent days. But I just don’t think FSU is the team to beat yet in his recruitment. Florida is right there and he told me years ago that if Clemson offered he might commit on the spot. That didn’t happen, but it does speak to his interest in the Tigers. Plus, Clemson is about an hour from his house. FSU is definitely a major contender now and he could definitely end up in the class but there are some other top ones as well.

Langston’s take: FACT. Although there are plenty of visits still left for Skinner the momentum is real for FSU with Skinner. He grew up a fan of the Noles, and he’s now been on campus for three days and he’s set to officially visit the Noles for the big Notre Dame game. You absolutely can’t count out Florida, Clemson or others. But ever since the A.J. Duffy commitment this one has picked up steam. Travis Hunter hinting at a commitment only fuels that.

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2. Florida is emerging as a real contender for five-star DE Mykel Williams.

Mykel Williams

Mykel Williams (Rivals.com)

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Williams took a visit to Gainesville. That is good news for the Gators and it is a relationship that could continue to develop, but I’m not sold Florida has become a real player in his recruitment just yet. If he comes back for an official visit during the season, The Swamp on a big-game Saturday is one of the best environments in college football. But Georgia has long been considered a major contender, plus he has longer relationships with Georgia Tech, Kentucky and others. Florida could emerge, but I don’t think the Gators are that high just yet.

Bender’s take: FICTION. It’s fiction as of now. The Gators were previously not included in the five-star prospect’s top 10, but the fact UF received his first visit coming out of the dead period certainly gives you something to think about. Time will tell here. Williams isn’t sure if he will be returning to Gainesville for an official visit, but he did say the Gators will be included in his top group when/if he releases another list. UF is “relentless” in its pursuit and not recruiting him like the majority of the other suitors, so it sounds like the Gators could be the program recruiting him the hardest. It’s too early to get a true feeling for where the Gators stand, so it’s fiction for now.

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3. Strong-side defensive end is the best position group in the 2022 class.  

Dani Dennis-Sutton

Dani Dennis-Sutton

Gorney’s take: FACT. The talent at the top and the depth at strong-side defensive end is really impressive, and while there are some other positions that are almost as equally impressive, I’m taking this group. Mykel Williams, Dani Dennis-Sutton, Caden Curry, Shemar Stewart, Gabe Dindy, Omari Abor, Quency Wiggins, Nyjalik Kelly and others are high on the list and many have an argument for five-star status. Trevion Williams is someone who emerged at the Rivals Camp in Dallas and he has big-game potential, and then Anthony Lucas out of Arizona continues to move up the list because he’s such a physical specimen. The strong-side defensive end group is outstanding this year.

Friedman’s take: FICTION. I love the guys at the top of the strong-side defensive end rankings, but I’m still higher on the cornerbacks this year. There are four five-stars at cornerback right now and just one at defensive end, but each position has a number of players that could end up as five-stars down the line. Domani Jakcson, Denver Harris, Jaheim Singletary and Will Johnson are outstanding and all of them are in the top 15 in the nation. Even if that does change in the coming rankings update, cornerback will likely be the better position, according to the rankings.

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