Fact or Fiction: Jahkeem Stewart would be No. 1 in 2025 class as well

Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney is joined by national recruiting analysts John Garcia Jr. and Marshall Levenson along with Jason Higdon of to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.


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1. If Jahkeem Stewart reclassifies to 2025, he should be the No. 1 player in that class as well.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Stewart would definitely be in the discussion because he has been dominant for years in games and on the camp circuit, and he has the measurables already that compare well with elite NFL defensive linemen. But I’m siding with NFL Draft history here and going with a quarterback at No. 1. Six of the last seven No. 1 NFL Draft picks have been quarterbacks and QBs over the last 20-25 years have been regularly the top pick. If we think Julian Lewis is the best quarterback in the 2025 class, or if it ends up being Bryce Underwood or someone else, I’ll lean on history for the top spot.

Levenson’s take: FACT. It is tough to go against Julian Lewis at this point, or even Bryce Underwood, but I'm siding with Stewart as No. 1 if he makes the jump to the 2025 class. The measurables Stewart has posted compete with what we've seen from the premier pass rushers at the NFL Combine in recent years, even coming out on top against some of the best in the NFL.

While Lewis was ahead of Stewart in the past before his own reclassification, at this point in the process there is still more growth in the tank for Stewart. Stewart will add more weight in the future as well as honing in his pass rush arsenal and versatility along the defensive line.

There is more from Stewart we have not seen to this point that will add to his game and projection, while I am not sure we see the same from Lewis in the same time frame. The conversation for No. 1 should he reclassify will be a tough one, as they are easily the best two players at the most premium positions in football.


2. Billy Napier's job status is in real trouble not only with a challenging 2024 schedule ahead but now this Jaden Rashada lawsuit.

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Gorney’s take: FACT. Billy Napier is a very talented coach and what also makes him unique is that he loves to recruit so I’d hope Florida would give him time to implement his system and let him get to work, show some patience, but I doubt it happens. I lived in Gainesville for three years and I know this for sure: Florida fans want a national title contender – and no excuses. Two-straight losing seasons to start his tenure in Gainesville is not good. The Gators have three-straight losing years for the first time since the 1940s.

That opener against Miami is huge for so many reasons. But the rest of the season is big as well. On top of that, Rashada’s lawsuit just muddies the issue even further. I wish Florida would give Napier more time even if things don’t go well this season but I’m not sure the fan base will allow it.

Higdon’s take: FICTION. Florida has one of America's most-challenging schedules, which gets more demanding in 2024. The Gators must get off to an excellent start to the season. For the Gators to have a winning season, they need to get off to a 5-0 start because the back end of the schedule is brutal.

Florida opens with Miami, Samford, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Mississippi State, with a combined record of 31-31 in 2023. Next up are Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, LSU, Mississippi and Florida State, with a combined record of 65-19 in 2023.

Is the schedule challenging? You better believe it is. Is Billy Napier in trouble? The noise from Gainesville is always loud if you are not playing in Atlanta in the SEC Championship Game but Napier is not in trouble due to a strict schedule. Napier is not in trouble because of a lawsuit claiming they offered $13.5 million, which is silly even to comprehend. Jaden Rashada was never getting that kind of money from the Gators, which is why he is not a Gator.



3. Florida is the best state for receivers in the 2025 class.

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Gorney’s take: FICTION. Florida is good (always good) but I’m giving the nod to the Texas players after seeing both groups through this offseason. Five-star Dakorien Moore might be way, way better than any receiver in this class. There is a ton of top-end talent with Andrew Marsh, who catches everything, and a physical presence like Michael Terry and then a bunch of depth as well whether it’s Daylan McCutcheon or Kaliq Lockett, who might be vastly underrated and could be due for a bump. Of course, Florida always has a nice haul at receiver but I like the Texas guys a little more.

Garcia’s take: FACT. Not only are there eight Rivals100 wide receiver recruits from the Sunshine State, but the depth is also present with eight more from Florida tabbed as four-stars at the position. Texas, of course, is right there with similar numbers including each state currently holding a five-star on their side. Both states hold plenty of diversity within the strong group of pass-catchers, but the Florida prospects closer to the top are also trending a bit higher with each update.

Winston Watkins may be the best slot in the class, Jaime Ffrench is among the most polished, Dallas Wilson among the most freaky, Naeshaun Montgomery is among the smoothest and few are as productive as Jayvan Boggs. That entire group has seen an uptick in recent updates and the trend meter is not likely to be flipped the other way any time soon. Even those further down the ranks, like Cortez Mills or Joshua Moore are among the most gifted at the position in the cycle.