Rivals national recruiting analyst Cole Patterson, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney, Tyler James of InsideNDSports.com and Mark Passwaters of AggieYell.com tackle three key topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.
1. The state of Texas will match the amount of five-star prospects in the 2024 cycle as it did in 2023 (5).
Patterson: FACT. Texas finished with five five-star prospects last cycle, led by Texas A&M signee David “DJ” Hicks. There looks to be a good chance of that happening again in 2024. As it currently stands, there are three five-star prospects out of the Lone Star State: defensive end Colin Simmons, wide receiver Micah Hudson and linebacker Justin Williams. All have backed up that status in their senior seasons. Aside from them, the likes of wide receiver Bryant Wesco, safety Xavier Filsaime, cornerback Kobe Black and athlete Terry Bussey are all in striking distance of moving into that tier by the end of the cycle.
Gorney: FICTION. The 2023 class in Texas was one for the books as some even wanted a sixth five-star in Rueben Owens II and while the 2024 class is also very strong like it almost always is in the state I don’t see five five-stars there yet. So far, the five-stars in Texas are DE Colin Simmons, WR Micah Hudson and linebacker Justin Williams. Those three are pretty locked in and probably won’t move off the five-star line but I could see probably only one more. Maybe it’s wide receiver Bryant Wesco or defensive backs Xavier Filsaime or Kobe Black but my guess as it gets down to it is that we’re going to have discussions over DJ Lagway and Terry Bussey more.
Landing Deuce Knight is the start to a top-five class for Notre Dame in 2025.
Patterson: FACT. Deuce Knight is a huge get for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish beat out Tennessee, Ole Miss and several others for the dynamic signal caller. Knight emerged as a priority target for head coach Marcus Freeman and staff early on, and he rewarded those efforts with his commitment earlier this month. Ranked as the No. 1 dual threat quarterback for the 2025 class, Knight presents Notre Dame with a strong foundation for next cycle that will undoubtably pull other premier talent to South Bend. A top-five class is certainly a realistic outcome.
James: FACT. Notre Dame hasn’t had a top-five recruiting class since 2013, but it might just break that streak with the 2024 class. If it doesn’t. the 2025 class should have a great chance of doing so as well. When you have an elite quarterback like Deuce Knight in the class, it’s so much easier to help recruit elite players around him. What Notre Dame will need to do is make sure it matches that offensive talent with top-end defensive recruits. The buzz around Notre Dame’s program under head coach Marcus Freeman is building again, so the Irish can continue to push recruiting to a higher level.
Texas A&M is the program to beat for Terry Bussey ahead of his upcoming commitment.
Patterson: FACT. Texas A&M leads, but Oklahoma is certainly worth watching as Sooners assistant Emmett Jones has especially made a push for the elite playmaker out of East Texas. Still, the Aggies have been in the driver’s seat in this recruitment since the early stages. It would be a bit of a surprise if the pick isn’t Texas A&M for Terry Bussey on Thursday.
Passwaters: FACT. The Aggies have been in the driver’s seat for Bussey for quite some time and, while teams like LSU have made a concerted effort to change his mind, I haven’t seen any indication that he has. He has strong ties with members of the Aggie coaching staff and he knows he’s a key part of their 2024 plans, which certainly has to have some appeal.