Fact or Fiction: LSU will win a national title in the Brian Kelly era

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman is joined by Jeremy Birmingham of, Jefferson Powell of and Sean Williams of to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.


CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Transfer team ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter


1. Ohio State now has a legitimate chance of landing a commitment from David Sanders Jr. after his unofficial visit to Columbus this past weekend.

Friedman: FACT

Ohio State isn’t going to sit back and just let the most talented players in the country end up at other powerhouse programs so it shouldn’t have been a huge surprise that it got Sanders back on campus for another unofficial visit before the bulk of his official visits begin next month. Sanders really wanted to get a better feel for the coaching staff, scheme and environment in Columbus after already visiting for a spring practice earlier this offseason.

Sanders explained to me just how big of an impact this trip was for the Buckeyes and it is clear they are one of his top contenders and they have serious staying power. Ohio State is slated to get his final official visit but it could be tricky to keep momentum until he’s back on campus. Sanders is taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend followed by official visits to Clemson (May 31), Georgia (June 7), Tennessee (June 14) and Alabama (June 18) before making it back to Ohio State on June 21.

Birmingham: FACT

But, at the risk of sounding like a homer, the Buckeyes had a legitimate chance of landing a commitment from Sanders before his most recent unofficial visit to Ohio State.The May 3 visit happened because the late March visit he and his family took went so well that they felt it was imperative to return as soon as possible. What this last trip really did was open the eyes of everyone else that believed the Buckeyes had no real chance. The people in Columbus have felt they were firmly in the conversation with the five-star offensive tackle since March and the early May return visit did nothing but affirm that belief.

Ohio State knows there’s still work to do –Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia and Alabama are all formidable for different reasons – but the Buckeyes will get the presumptive final official visit over the June 21 weekend and it seems Ryan Day’s program is absolutely a real contender.



2. LSU will win a national championship in the Brian Kelly era.


Friedman: FICTION

History is against me on this answer but Brian Kelly will prove me right if he doesn’t change his stance on NIL and recruiting in the transfer portal. Each of the previous three coaches at LSU (Ed Orgeron, Les Miles and Nick Saban) have won national championships and Kelly could add his name to that list but his program will need to get more aggressive when recruiting transfer prospects. Of course, the foundation of any highly successful college football program will be recruiting and developing high school prospects but they’ll need to supplement with high-end transfers to plug any holes on their rosters. If Kelly’s stance doesn’t change, the Tigers will find it much harder to win a national championship with him leading their program.

Powell: FACT

Kelly is a headliner within the coaching ranks and while some view his personality as a bit quirky and depending on who you ask a little weird, at the end of the day, he's putting together one of the best rosters in college football and continues to recruit at an elite level. There's a good chance LSU finishes 2025 with the No.1 overall class in the country and let's be honest, it is a program rich with history. Championships have become the golden standard in Baton Rouge. Kelly has been to the big game before, and it's the reason he came to LSU. He's young enough, that time is on his side. If we're setting the over/under at .5 for Brian Kelly championships at LSU, I'll take that over all day long.



3. When the rankings are updated, Matt Zollers will be among the top 10 QBs in the Rivals250.

Friedman: FACT

Sunday was my second time seeing Zollers throw this offseason and he continues to impress. After putting up excellent stats during his junior season and showing off his athleticism during basketball season, Zollers has displayed the passing abilities of a highly ranked quarterback. There’s no doubt he’ll be slotted in the Rivals250 during the upcoming rankings refresh and there is a good chance he’ll be one of 10 highest-ranked quarterbacks.

Williams: FACT

Matt Zollers put up impressive numbers during his junior season. The biggest thing that stands out about his numbers is his efficiency – 37 touchdowns against just two interceptions is stellar – and Zollers is displaying his arm talent in various camp settings this offseason. He recently impressed at the Under Armour Camp in New Jersey and a good performance at the Elite 11 regional later this month will solidify him as an upper-echelon quarterback in this year’s class.