Competitive National Recruitment Analyst Adam Friedman, Caleb Alexander of GamecockScoop.com, Zach Libby from TheMaizeandBlueReview.com and Poison May of UGASports.com deal with the three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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MORE FACT OR FICTION: Nebraska bounces back from loss to Northwestern

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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1. South Carolina has the best DL class in the country.

Zavion Hardy

Zavion Hardy (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Friedman’s view: FICTION. This is really splitting hairs because South CarolinaThe class of four Rivals250 defensive line commitments is outstanding. But for the sake of argument I will say fiction because there are several other schools running here. Florida has a total of six defensive line commitments, with five of them rated four stars. The Gamecocks have four defensive line commitments and all are in the Rivals250, but none are in the Rivals100. Florida has two Rivals100 defensive linemen in Kelby Collins and Will Norman. And while South Carolina has more Rivals250 defensive line commitments than Clemson, the Tigers have more four-star commitments than their hometown rival.

Alexander’s View: FACT. While there are arguments for some blue bloods like Clemson and Alabama have the best D-line class yet, huh Shane Beamer and his staff did a very impressive job with the 2023 D-line class. Months ago, Desmond Umeozulu and Zavion Hardy seemed like the type of four-star recruits you’d love for South Carolina to show up in their top five possible programs. But it was certainly too early in the Beamer era for the Gamecocks to actually land them. Yet here we stand at the end of the summer with four four-star commits along the defensive line — and all ranked in the Rivals250. If all four last until signing day, it will likely be the best D-line class for South Carolina since 2011, when the Gamecocks landed two four-stars — and, of course, five-star Jadeveon Clowney. It should be noted that this class could be better than this one.

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2. After seeing the five-star port of Nyckoles on Friday night, it should be placed higher.

Friedman’s view: FICTION. It was great to see Harbor back on the football field last weekend. There’s no question he’s a special prospect who could be a difference-maker on both sides of the ball at the next level. There weren’t many chances for him to get involved in the run defense, but he made his presence felt when the quarterback dropped back to pass. Offensively, Harbor didn’t make many catches, but he created plenty of opportunities for his quarterback to get him the ball. Despite the scary moment when he ran into the goal post and reached for a deflected pass, Harbor looked very comfortable on his back in football pads.

At the moment, it is difficult for him to move up the rankings. He’s already ranked No. 9 in the Rivals250, and the four players ranked ahead of him are quarterbacks. Position value becomes a more important factor at the top of the Rivals250, and while he’s an exceptional athletic talent, it’s hard to rank Harbor ahead of the players already ahead of him as he projects into the NFL draft.

Libby’s View: FACT. Last week’s loss wasn’t a perfect example of why Harbor deserves to be higher in the Rivals250 in 2023. That the five-star recruit only had a few weeks to make the transition from track to football before going up against a top DMV program was an indicator that Harbor’s full-scale potential will be seen later this fall. But in the brief moments Harbor shined Friday, he provided feats of athleticism that colleges like Michigan have, LSU and South Carolina willing to accept him regardless of position.

There isn’t a more dangerous weapon on any side of the ball in the Rivals250 top 10. Harbor can be used as either a tight end or edge rusher. If we go by his performance against Gonzaga College alone, then his trajectory is more suited to the defense. When rushing off the tackle, Harbor absolutely dominates with his 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame. He is the fastest player off the line and can push linebackers back several yards with a simple bull rush, powerful punch, hip movement and dive. But with his electric speed and accumulating development in areas like route running, Harbor could absolutely earn All-American honors on offense. The sky’s the limit for the Washington, DC native.

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3. Monroe Freeling is the biggest commitment Georgia has received from South Carolina State since AJ Green.

Friedman’s view: FICTION. Freeling is a great prospect and very much needed Georgia2023 recruiting class, but the Bulldogs have been a constant presence in the Palmetto State. In the years since five-star receiver AJ Green signed with Georgia in 2008, they have acquired a number of talented players from South Carolina. Earlier this year, former Columbia (SC) Spring Valley star linebacker Channing Tindall was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He was third on Georgia’s national championship defense in tackles and was named to the All-SEC second team. He was part of Georgia’s 2018 class.

Mayo’s View: FACT. States aside, Freeling has emerged as a must-have target for Georgia in the class of 2023. The Bulldogs have three transfers on offense but appear to have the floor to match up with five stars TJ Shanahan and Samson Okunlola. Freeling gives Georgia another Rivals250 tackle to complement Bo Hughley, Joshua Miller and KJ Smith. At a position of need in this class, Freeling’s commitment to the Bulldogs is huge.

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