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Fact Or Fiction: Jonah Williams Will Be Mike Elko’s First Five-star At A&M

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Rivals national recruiting analyst Marshall Levenson is joined by Tim Verghese of InsideNebraska.com, Landyn Rosow of AggieYell.com and Matt Clare of RedRaiderSports.com to tackle three topics and determine whether they believe each statement is FACT or FICTION.

Rosow: FACT. Williams has been linked to Texas A&M more than any other five-star and Williams has continued to show Aggie faithful plenty of love. Williams also loves the baseball team in College Station, and has a special bond with Mike Elko. In the midst of a visit that appears to be going smoothly, the Aggies are looking to be in prime position to reel in the five-star defender.

Levenson: FACT. This is somewhat of a tricky question as Elko did help secure the signature of Terry Bussey, however he was already committed when Elko arrived, so he’s not being counted here. There have many twists and turns over the past year or so in the recruitment of Jonah Williams. Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have all been considered the leader at various points in the process. But as the summer unfolds, it is the Aggies that appear to pick up momentum. Williams is in College Station for the weekend for an official visit, and all signs are indicating a successful event. With Elko quickly establishing the culture and vibe of where the program will head, it is entirely possible Williams jumps on board sooner rather than later.

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Clare: FICTION. The coaches only have one target left who is rated in the latest Rivals250, defensive back Micah Strickland. The 2024 class was headlined by five-star wide receiver Micah Hudson and four other 5.8 four-star prospects, giving the Red Raiders four total signees in the Rivals 250 plus nine other 5.7 three-star signees. Based on the current 2025 rankings and some of the remaining targets, I’m not sure this class matches or bests the 2024 team recruiting ranking.

Levenson: FICTION. I tend to agree with Clare here. Texas Tech’s recruiting profile has drastically improved in the era of Joey McGuire, but for this 2025 class, I don’t currently see the path to surge this class forward. Now, there very well may be some surprising developments later in the year, or maybe some currently in front fall back. Landing Strickland would be a quality addition, but his commitment alone likely would not be enough to get past No. 25 and there does not appear to be a Micah Hudson situation in this class for the Red Raiders.

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Verghese: FICTION: While losing four-star offensive tackle Broderick Shull to Auburn stings, Nebraska has cast a really wide net on the offensive line. I’d still expect Nebraska to recruit Shull until National Signing Day if he’s still open to hearing from the Huskers. Looking at the rest of the board, the staff just hosted Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman five-star offensive tackle Douglas Utu for an official visit. It’s a stiff battle for Utu, but Nebraska offensive line coach Donovan Raiola has some ties to the Bishop Gorman staff that ultimately could play in the Huskers’ favor. Raiola is also in pursuit of Bishop Gorman four-star center SJ Alofaituli and four-star interior offensive lineman Alai Kalaniuvalu. They’re very much in the mix for both, having already hosted Kalaniuvalu for an official visit and working to get Alofaituli on an official visit later this month.

The staff is battling for San Francisco (Cali.) St. Ignatius three-star offensive tackle John Mills, with a decision expected in the coming weeks. Charlotte (NC) Providence Day School five-star offensive tackle David Sanders Jr. is an extreme long shot at this point but Nebraska is in that recruitment after hosting him for an official visit last month. Raiola has honed in on Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis three-star center Houston Kaahaaina-Torres as one of his top offensive line targets, he ranks as the No. 3 center in the country. He’s had an official visit to Nebraska set for June 21 since February and it bodes well for the Huskers that they’ll get his last official visit. Nebraska will host Salt Lake City (Uta.) West three-star offensive tackle Brian Halafihi Tapu and Winner (S.D) High three-star athlete Shawn Hammerbeck, two 6-foot-7, raw, athletic linemen with significant upside.

Nebraska’s swinging on some top offensive line talent, the fact it is in the conversation for Sanders and Utu is remarkable in itself, but considering the class they pulled in last cycle and some of the names they’re in on early in 2026, the staff is primarily just looking to address center and add some depth in the 2025 cycle, considering that’s the goal for the cycle, there’s little reason to panic at this time.

Levenson: FICTION. It can’t really be laid out better than how Verghese does here. Despite some top targets off the board, most recently Shull committing to Auburn, as well as no current commits this cycle, there is a not a major reason to worry for Husker fans. As Tim describes, the Las Vegas natives of Utu, Alofaituli and Kalaniuvalu, make up for three elite options the staff is working on. Obviously the headliner of Sanders Jr., the No. 1 tackle in the country, would be maybe the biggest win of the cycle for any team given the context of other major programs and their recruiting efforts.

Nebraska landed some blue-chippers in the 2024 class including top-100 prospect Grant Brix and four-star Preston Taumua, so while landing some of these premier talents in the 2025 class would be ideal, there is a near certainty that Nebraska will always be able to roll out some impressive bodies on the offensive line on yearly basis.

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