Fact or Fiction: Gunner Stockton has locked up his five-star ranking
National Director of Recruitment Rivals Adam gorney with national recruitment analysts Adam friedman and Sam spiegelman and social media manager Woody wommack cover three topics and determine if they believe each statement.
1. After another great performance last weekend, Georgia QB’s entry Gunner Stockton locked in his ranking as a five-star.
Gorney’s point of view: FICTION. Only a handful of Class 2022 prospects have locked in their five-star status as the rankings will remain very fluid throughout their important senior seasons and even bigger events where he’s better at every position. I really like Gunner Stockton’s game, from his leadership skills to his defense reading and reaction skills, his double threat abilities not only as a runner but also as a runaway pitcher and his attitude of failing. never say to die. But I haven’t seen an elite passer so far compared to other quarterbacks in this class. Being ranked below five-star status is hardly a blow to anyone’s abilities and Stockton is still one of the best quarterbacks in that class. Do I see a future first round though? I still need to see more to determine one way or another.
Friedman’s point of view: FICTION. Stockton lit up the scoreboard last weekend and Georgia fans should be very excited to put him in uniform next year. He’ll end his high school career with one of the best stats in Georgia high school football history, but his five-star status as a prospect is on hold. Stockton has a lot of knack for the arms, but what really stands out is how he is able to quickly see what the defense is trying to do and deliver the ball to the right receiver. Looking at the strip, the vast majority of Stockton’s passes are quick screens or deep routes out of the game action. In games, he didn’t throw the short or intermediate crossing routes very often. deep timing or those very difficult second level passes. Five-star quarterbacks need to be able to throw those passes with ease and with a high completion percentage. Stockton’s athleticism adds a special wrinkle to his game and defenders struggled to keep him from big chunks of yards with his legs. As for Stockton’s standings, nothing will be finalized until the All-Star games of the playoffs, so there is a lot more to assess between now and then.
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2. Cormani McClain could make his case as the best cornerback in 2023.
Gorney’s point of view: FICTION. I really think Cormani McClain is one of the best cornerbacks in the 2023 class and he could be a five star in the long run as we see everyone in this class but I still prefer AJ Harris because of his physical abilities. There is no doubt that McClain is having a phenomenal start to his junior season and he is a playmaker at the cornerback position. I really like its playing and its length. Harris, however, is already physically dominant, he can push receivers out of their way, he can run with anyone, he closes and can jump to hit or collect passes. I really like McClain; I just think Harris is ousting him right now.
Wmmack’s opinion: MADE. After you get to watch McClain perform in person, you can see why so many schools appreciate him so much. He’s basically brand new to the cornerback position, but he already has the kind of instinct you can’t train. In his first two games of the season, he forced five turnovers and he has several breakouts. His ability to read and react without taking unnecessary risks is what defensive back coaches like to see from a prospect. Add to that his height, length and athleticism and he has the makings of an elite prospect.
3. Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei is the best team in the country – and that includes IMG.
Gorney’s point of view: MADE. I understand that Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei is a private school and therefore has some built-in recruiting perks that public schools do not have, but this question is whether it is the best team in the country and I would say yes. Not only does Mater Dei have elite players in almost every position, but he’s so well trained, so closely linked throughout the program that he hardly ever makes big mistakes and plays fantastic football together. IMG has more top players across the board, but a lot of those players have only been playing together for a few weeks, not years. This may not be a discussion of Mater Dei or IMG as there are many other great programs in the country including the enemy Bellflower (California) St. John Bosco conference, but I guess if Mater Dei and IMG lined up on Friday night, Mater Dei would emerge victorious.
Spiegelman’s point of view: MADE. He certainly has a case, and after each of his top-notch rookies have played games en route to a loss on the off-balance Duncanville Road, it’s hard to imagine a more talented team in the country. Offensively, he’s equipped with home-run threat Raleek Brown and CJ Williams able to move the sticks in the passing game. Defensively, there are a handful of players in the top seven, including Malaki Te’o who can cover a ton of ground at linebacker and David Bailey, who is a force out of the rim, as well as a pair of Pac- 12 in high school, including five-star Domani Jackson, who had a six pick to open this game. It was such a convincing victory in one of those national leanings in recent memory.