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Fact or Fiction: Michigan will land at least two of its weekend visitors

Rivals national recruiting analyst Greg Smith is joined by national rankings director Adam Friedman, Josh Henschke of TheMaizeAndBlueReview.com and Tim Verghese of InsideNebraska.com to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. DeZephen Walker has a chance to be the No. 1 running back in 2026.

Friedman: FICTION. I reserve the right to change my answer if DeZephen Walker takes a big developmental step in the next year but, as it stands right now, it doesn't seem like he'll challenge for the No. 1 spot in the running back rankings. The standout ball carrier from Missouri has the tools to be very successful at the next level because of his shiftiness, burst and ability to consistently make the first defender miss.

Walker self-reports a 4.48-second 40-yard dash but he also has a documented 11.39-second 100m time, which I'd call good but not great. On film, Walker isn't running away from defenders, employing his short-area quickness to evade tacklers, and his stats weren't overly impressive.

Like I said, Walker has the makings of a successful college running back but it's a stretch to say he's in the conversation for No. 1 running back at this point in the rankings cycle.

Smith: FACT. The buzz has been growing for Walker since his freshman year. That's when the coach at his high school told me that I needed to watch out for his young freshman running back. Now heading into his junior season, Walker is close to 20 offers with the latest coming from Notre Dame.

Walker is a speedster out of the backfield who can also run it between the tackles. As we watch his development over the next year, he’s certainly a player that will challenge for the top running back spot in the rankings.

RELATED: RB rankings for 2026

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2. Michigan will land at least two of its official visitors this weekend.

Rivals.com

Henschke: FACT. The commitments might not happen during the weekend but confidence is certainly there that things could happen stemming from a good weekend. Jaylen Williams is looking pretty good for Michigan at the moment, then you’re asking for at least one more player to drop, which I don’t think is an outrageous ask. The floodgates need to open for U-M at some point in regard to recruiting momentum; no better time to start than the present.

Smith: FACT. At some point things have to get rolling for Michigan recruiting. This is a huge weekend for the Wolverines. There are several top targets making their way to Ann Arbor for official visits. I believe they’ll close at least two of these players.

It’s always tricky to predict commitments during the weekend. I do think Michigan will get one of those and Williams is the best bet. He rescheduled his visit to this weekend, pushing a Miami visit back. Michigan could also make a move with Mariyon Dye out of Indiana or Julius Holly from Georgia. Getting more blue-chip talent in the trenches wouldn’t be a bad way to get the ball really rolling with the 2025 class.

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3. Jamarion Parker will be the player that jump-starts St. Louis recruiting for Nebraska.

Verghese: FACT. Landing Jamarion Parker is a huge step forward for Nebraska’s efforts in St. Louis. It’s a jumping off point for the Huskers to now try and establish a pipeline. They have serious ground to make up with St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College four-star wide receiver Corey Simms, but they’re involved in that recruitment nonetheless and will host him for an official visit this month.

Looking ahead to 2026, St. Louis (Mo.) De Smet four-star defensive end Titan Davis is a priority target for Nebraska, and the Huskers are in pursuit of St. Louis (Mo.) University High four-star athlete Keenan Harris as well. The Huskers are at a disadvantage in head-to-head battles against Missouri because of the state NIL legislation that allows the Tigers to pay in-state prospects that sign with them in high school. Nebraska’s staff is building strong relationships and hopes that with consistent recruiting efforts and on-field results, they can overcome the advantage Missouri has and St. Louis becomes a city they can frequently tap into for top talent.

Smith: FICTION. This commitment is a big deal for Nebraska because it’s had so few commitments from Missouri since joining the Big Ten. However, I don’t think the one commitment will jump-start things. Nebraska is playing a lot of catch up with the top targets in the state who have never seen the team be good.

The resurgence of the in-state Missouri Tigers (and their NIL operation) are a tough combo to beat, too. Plus, the entire SEC now recruits the state heavily. I also don’t know if Matt Rhule will put the resources needed into Missouri to truly flip the script there. It might be wiser for Nebraska to keep hammering the areas it already is and work on other Midwest states such as Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.

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