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Fact or Fiction: Vols will take the lead for five-star David Sanders

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman is joined by Dale Dowden of VolReport.com, Parker Thune of OUInsider.com, and Richie O’Leary of HappyValleyInsider.com to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

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1. Tennessee is poised to take the lead for five-star David Sanders.

Dowden: FACT. The Vols have been very active with the coveted lineman for quite some time. The process picked up steam after a summer camp last year. The Rivals No. 1 OT told Adam Friedman that in terms of Tennessee being the school that he's most excited for coming out of January, I would say that's about correct.

Tennessee had Sanders on campus last week and is set to return this Saturday for the annual Orange & White game. Many have believed that Georgia and Clemson were the top two, with the Vols on the outside at No. 3. However, it has seemed a bit closer than that. It definitely seems that Josh Heupel and staff are doing something right to get an elite caliber prospect to visit twice during the spring, with one being the spring game. If UGA and Clemson were the two at the top, the Vols have certainly made some huge impressions and closed the gap.

Friedman: FICTION. Sanders making back-to-back visits to Knoxville is certainly good news for the Volunteers but taking the lead could be a bit of a stretch at this point. Official visits are really going to tell the story of his recruitment when the time comes. Georgia and Clemson have built a sizable lead on the field, although Ohio State had some serious momentum coming off of his recent visit.

By the time Sanders goes to make his decision he’ll have seen practices at each of his final contenders and have taken official visits to each of them so there's still a lot of work to be done, even by his perceived favorites.

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2. Trent Wilson won’t be the last defensive tackle Oklahoma gets from the East region.

RELATED: Trent Wilson commits to Oklahoma

Thune: FACT. I like where Oklahoma stands right now in the recruitments of two East Coast defensive tackles in Kole Briehler and Christian Evans. Briehler, a four-star New Jersey native, was on campus in November and again in January. He’s down to Stanford, Ohio State and Oklahoma, and the Sooners will get the last OV with the hard-nosed brawler before his decision. Meanwhile, Oklahoma only recently entered the picture in Evans’ recruitment, but he had rave reviews after his unofficial visit last weekend. The stud defender from Virginia will return for his official visit on June 21, which is the same weekend as Briehler’s OV. The Sooners may well go 2-for-2 with the pair, but at minimum, I expect they’ll get one.

Friedman: FACT. Landing Rivals250 defensive tackle Trent Wilson was a big win for Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables and defensive line coach Todd Bates and they’ve already laid the groundwork for more additions at the position with prospects on the East Coast. Briehler and Evans are both very high on the Sooners and each of them have an official visit scheduled at the end of June.

The Sooners are looking to add additional high-end depth to the interior of their defensive line and both of these prospects could fill that need. With Wilson and Ka’Mori Moore already onboard, it remains to be seen just how many defensive tackles Oklahoma is looking to take this cycle. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Briehler or Evans jump on board before the end of the summer.

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3. Michael Carroll will be the next OL commitment for Penn State.

Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

O’Leary: FACT. Penn State already has three offensive line commits in the 2025 class and from the sound of it, it is likely only going to add one to two more. Now one of the top targets and legacy recruit, Michael Carroll, has been to State College on multiple occasions for unofficial visits, scheduled a June official visit and has long been FutureCasted by several Rivals analysts to end up with the Nittany Lions.

With offensive line spots becoming a little more scarce for Penn State this recruiting cycle, expect the staff to push for Carroll while on his official visit this June. It’s possible they add someone else before then, but the likely scenario remains that Carroll will be the next O-Line commitment for the staff and they will continue to push for a fifth name throughout the summer and fall.

Friedman: FACT. Penn State is in a good spot with its 2025 recruiting effort along the offensive line and Carroll could be the final piece of the puzzle. The Penn State legacy prospect has been on campus numerous times but he’s taking visits to dozens of programs during the recruiting process. It is likely that he’ll end up committing to the Nittany Lions, but it’s far from a sure thing. Rowan Byrne and Malachi Goodman are also in the mix for the final spot upfront but Carroll seems like the more likely fit at this point.

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