Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and recruiting analyst Adam Friedman along with Joseph Hastings from BuckeyeGrove.com and Mike Singer from BlueandGold.com tackle three topics in recruiting and determine whether or not they believe each statement.
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1. J.T. Tuimoloau should be considered a heavy Ohio State lean at this point.
Gorney’s take: FACT. There are always a lot of questions when it comes to J.T. Tuimoloau’s recruitment because even when he talks about his favorite schools he doesn’t say much to make you believe he’s leaning one way or another. But I still believe Ohio State is the front-runner. Getting coached by Larry Johnson is a big deal and there are rumors a silent commitment might have been made while he was in Columbus. I would not be shocked if Tuimoloau went to Oregon. That makes a lot of sense. But right now I’d consider him a heavy lean to the Buckeyes.
Hastings’ take: FICTION. First off, I want to be clear that I’m not saying Tuimoloau shouldn’t be considered an Ohio State lean. I am simply saying he should not be considered a “heavy” lean with his decision right around the corner. Tuimoloau and his family have not let anything leak out when it comes to his recruitment, and their interactions with the media have been few and far in between. As a result, it is hard to get a clear picture as to what recent events have meant for each of the schools recruiting him.
Did things go so well with Oregon that they rose up to the top and effectively canceled the Alabama official? Is this one truly down to Ohio State and Oregon, or are his other two options — USC and Washington — legitimate contenders for his services? Too many questions lurk in this recruitment for me to say anything definitive, but I do lean toward the Buckeyes at this time.
2. After visiting North Carolina over the weekend, the Tar Heels lead for Travis Shaw.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. I’ll believe it when I see it. North Carolina is doing a fantastic job recruiting Travis Shaw and the Tar Heels are very much right at the top with Clemson for Shaw’s services but to say they lead, I’m not sure about that just yet. Especially if Shaw waits to make his decision until later in the recruiting process, Clemson still has a lot of time to seemingly make up some ground and Georgia cannot be counted out yet either. If North Carolina lands the five-star defensive lineman, I wouldn’t be shocked. But I’ll never count Clemson out especially for a local prospect and one who has been so interested in the Tigers before.
Friedman’s take: FACT. Longtime favorite Clemson seems to have lost momentum in the days since Shaw’s visit for the “Elite Retreat” three weekends ago. Georgia and North Carolina have hosted him on consecutive weekends since his trip to Clemson and both trips have really impressed Shaw and his family. At this point, the sheer number of times Shaw has been to Chapel Hill combined with the momentum the Tar Heels have picked up from his time on campus this weekend points to North Carolina leading at the moment. There is no set decision timeline but since naming his top four earlier this month, Shaw’s recruitment has sped up dramatically. A commitment could come at any time but he isn’t afraid to wait to make sure he is picking the right school.
It would be a major surprise if five-star OL Zach Rice picked Notre Dame.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. After his weekend visit to South Bend, I wouldn’t call Notre Dame the favorite but the Irish are now squarely in this recruitment. Not only did Zach Rice and his family have an excellent visit to Notre Dame but the offensive line tradition and development cannot be overlooked. I still think North Carolina and Virginia have the edge in Rice’s recruitment but Notre Dame has come in and won lots of recruiting battles and I would definitely say the Irish are right near the top after this trip.
Singer’s take: FICTION. I don’t think it would be a major surprise if he picked Notre Dame considering he has the Irish in his top five and took an official visit there this past weekend, but he seems more likely to end up elsewhere at this point in time. Notre Dame absolutely impressed him and his family during his official visit, and the Irish have some momentum heading into a few weeks of a dead period as they got his last visit of June. Will it be enough to earn his commitment though? We’ll have to see.