Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam gorney and national recruiting analyst Ryan Wright together with Rivals social media lead Woody wommack And Matt Moreno of GoAZCats.com address the topics and determine if they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. Having seen him in the state championship match, Julian Armella has an argument for being the No. 1 in the 2022 class.
The taking of Gorney: DONE. I don’t know if Julian Armella is the best offensive tackle of the 2022 class. But I’m not sure anyone is extremely sure who he is – which is why events with the stars will be so important to understand that. There are so many players in the running since the current No. 1 Kelvin Banks to Armella to North Carolina signer Zach Rice to Kiyaunta Goodwin and Alabama signer Elijah Pritchett should also be in the conversation. The offensive tackle is one of the positions that has not yet been decided.
Wright’s Opinion: SCIENCE FICTION. St. Thomas Aquinas ended an impressive 2021 season with a 42-14 win over Tampa Bay Tech by winning the Florida 7A state championship on Friday. Perhaps there was a hangover effect from his late Early Signing Day engagement at Florida State Wednesday, but Armella didn’t look like a five-star tackle or the best player in his position in the 2022 class. He has the size and potential to being a longtime NFL player but still has a long way to go with his development and technique. Against Tampa Bay Tech, he didn’t hold his blocks, missed blocks and took wrong angles to reach the defenders. His first development with the Seminoles could be on the inside, where he can hit and be physical without facing the speed defenders on the outside.
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2. Five-star Tetairoa McMillan made the right choice for her future by filming in Arizona.
The taking of Gorney: DONE. Arizona went 1-11 this season and had some decent receivers led by Stanley Berryhill, but Tetairoa McMillan brings a whole different level of playmaker to the Wildcats’ attack. What makes McMillan so special is that he doesn’t care about records, he cares about going to Arizona and dominating people, being competitive and that push will be a huge catalyst for the Wildcats if they are going to change the schedule. Teams will plan against him and double down on the team and do whatever it takes to slow him down and force the other players to beat them, but McMillan somehow still manages to get his catches and make things happen. Playing the biggest program didn’t intrigue TMac. Playing in the program where he has the best relationships is very important and he has those in Arizona, plus he will be able to compete with his Servite teammates. It was the right choice.
Moreno’s opinion: DONE. When in doubt, follow your instincts. McMillan’s instincts told him Arizona is the place to be, and it’s clear there’s a level of comfort with the Wildcats he just didn’t have with the new Oregon coaches. McMillan was the main target on the scoreboard for Jedd Fisch since the beginning of the year, and the Arizona coaching staff has never stopped recruiting him. That mattered in the end. Plus, you can’t overlook the importance that his three high school teammates also signed with Arizona. In a decision he became the face of the program, whether he knows it or not. This should give him the opportunity to be Arizona’s first player with a notable NIL deal. On the pitch, McMillan will be the focus of the forward attack, and he knows he can succeed with Noah Fifita throwing him passes. Finally, he is not one who has sought the limelight. Tucson will be a great place for him to find solace without being too scrutinized. The hindsight will always be 20/20, but this seems like the right choice for McMillan.
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3. Travis Hunter could be considered one of the best players to come from an HBCU.
The taking of Gorney: DONE. To say that Travis Hunter will be one of the few players ever from an HBCU is quite presumptuous considering the long list of outstanding NFL players from those schools. By doing some research for this question, I knew it Jerry rice And Walter Payton and some others who have played in an HBCU but the list is amazing with seashell art, Jackie Slater, deacon jones, Steve McNair, Michael Strahan And Shannon Sharpe being some of the names that stood out the most. However, Hunter can join that group. His athletic abilities and directorial skills are so extraordinarily special that he will become a star at the college level and beyond. It’s an incredibly interesting storyline that Hunter chose Jackson state over Florida state or moved to Georgia which was also rumored and I think he can have a phenomenal career there.
The taking of Wommack: SCIENCE FICTION. This is a really tough question to answer, especially since I love Hunter’s game as much as anyone else and I expect him to be a star at Jackson State. But to be among the best players from an HBCU he would literally have to be one of the greatest players in football history and a lock for the Hall of Fame. While I am confident in our assessment, so many things have to go right for this to happen. Let’s not forget that HBCUs have a long and historic history of producing elite talent. From Walter Payton (Jackson State) to Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State) to Shannon Sharpe (Savannah State) and Michael Strahan (Texas Southern) the number of stars that will come from HBCU in football history is incredible. Hopefully Hunter has the ability to put his name among those greats, but it’s hard to project that early in the process.