Fact or Fiction: Tennessee now leads for Daevin Hobbs
Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, Luke Winstel of VolReport.com, Kyle Kelly of InsideNDSports.com and Zach Libby of TheMaizeandBlueReview.com tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
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1. Tennessee now leads for Daevin Hobbs.
Friedman's take: FICTION. Hobbs has been gushing about his trip to Knoxville after seeing the Vols up close. The visit definitely helped Tennessee in its pursuit of the big-time defensive lineman, but I'm not ready to call the Vols the clear leader for him just yet. Hobbs is expected to take multiple official and unofficial visits this fall to each of his top contenders. Tennessee is supposed to get an unofficial visit, but Alabama and Georgia are both on Hobbs' schedule as well. Georgia seemed to prioritize Hobbs earlier than both Alabama and Tennessee and that could pay dividends for the Dawgs down the road. With a commitment expected in late November, there is still a feeling that Georgia could be the team to beat, but the difference between the Dawgs and the rest of the field is very small.
Winstel's take: FICTION. I had a conversation with Hobbs following his visit to Tennessee. He raved about the environment during his official visit weekend, and the Vols definitely helped their case with a ranked win in front of a massive home crowd. It’s clear Tennessee is one of his leaders, but at this point I still think it’s too close to say that the Vols are his sole leader. Alabama and Georgia are pushing hard and are major players in his recruitment.
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2. Notre Dame's offensive linemen commitments are ranked in the right order.
Friedman's take: FICTION. I have no issues with where Charles Jagusah and Joe Otting are currently slotted in this recruiting class, but the big question comes with Sam Pendleton and Sullivan Absher. Of the two North Carolina offensive linemen, Pendleton is inside the Rivals250 and Absher is not, but that could change depending on what we see from them as the season goes on. Pendleton is closer to being ready to play at the next level but Absher's ceiling is higher. Absher is the better athlete of the two but is not an experienced pass blocker. It could also take him a little while to add the strength necessary before seeing consistent playing time for the Irish. That being said, his potential remains intriguing. For now, my answer is fiction but Absher and Pendleton still have a number of games remaining in this senior seasons.
Kelly's take: FICTION. Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has put together an impressive offensive line class in his return to Notre Dame. Jagusah, Pendleton, Absher and Otting each bring a different ability to the program — some with more upside than others. With the Rivals rankings, a minor tweak might be needed. While Jagusah and Otting have settled into their spots, after seeing Pendleton and Absher in North Carolina last week, I would rank Absher slightly ahead of Pendleton.
Pendleton has a defined skill set that should translate well to Notre Dame. He is well built and has the physicality to hold his own against college competition. However, Absher’s athleticism and speed make him a more intriguing prospect. He is already about 300 pounds at 6-foot-7, and looks like he could put on another 20 to 30 pounds without losing his speed. That upside makes him a marginally better prospect than Pendleton at this point in the process.
3. Michigan will end up with at least four commitments from Charlotte's Providence Day High School between now and the end of the 2025 recruiting cycle.
Friedman's take: FACT. There are currently seven players on the Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day roster that are rated as three-star prospects or better, and Michigan is in a great position with a number of these heavily recruited players. I'm a little out on a limb with this answer, but there's a good chance the Wolverines can land commitments from coveted 2023 defensive back Chris Peal, 2024 five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis, 2024 Rivals250 receiver Jordan Shipp and receiver Channing Goodwin (whose stock continues to rise in the rankings).
Peal just took his official visit to Ann Arbor and the Wolverines certainly helped themselves, but this isn't a slam dunk. Georgia, NC State and South Carolina are firmly in the mix. Davis is a key target for Michigan and possibly its top target regardless of class. He's visited the campus three times already this year and it's safe to say the Wolverines occupy the top spot in his recruitment, but Georgia, LSU and a few others are worth monitoring. Shipp is very intrigued with the Wolverines and Goodwin is a legacy prospect that seems to be embracing everything Michigan has to offer.
Another major target for Michigan is 2025 Rivals100 No. 1 prospect David Sanders. Providence Day's offensive tackle has a long offer sheet already, but Michigan was his first offer. It's way too early to make any predictions in his recruitment but the Wolverines are off to a good start.
Libby's take: FICTION. My opinion would be different had Peal, a three-star cornerback, not gone to Georgia last weekend unofficially, which occurred right after he officially visited Michigan. Four commits from Providence Day is just too high of a number. This is despite the fact I remain confident that Michigan will land Davis and Goodwin. If those two were to head north it would place the Wolverines in even better standing with Shipp, who could be visiting Ann Arbor for the third time later on in the fall. If Michigan gets to four, the decisions of both Peal and Sanders will be the deciding factors. But if the Wolverines earn two or three commits, it would still be a success, especially if one just happens to be the No. 3-ranked junior quarterback in the country.