Top Landing Spots for Julian Fleming, CFB's No. 1 WR Recruit for 2020

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2019

Top Landing Spots for Julian Fleming, CFB's No. 1 WR Recruit for 2020

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    Julian Fleming
    Julian FlemingCredit: Sean Fitz, 247Sports

    Julian Fleming can go anywhere he wants.

    The top-rated wide receiver in the 2020 recruiting class, Fleming holds scholarship offers from the best programs in college football. There are dynasties, SEC and Big Ten powerhouses and brand-name schools from all over the country.

    But the 5-star talent has already narrowed the list to six teams and emphasized he's only focusing on those programs. It's closing time for Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon and Penn State.

    The following ranking―while our opinion, not his―considers the school's location (proximity to Fleming's hometown), chances at national contention and both the quarterback situation and expected positional outlook upon his arrival.

6. Oregon Ducks

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    Chris Pietsch/Associated Press

    Oregon has one massive sell: playing time.

    Dillon Mitchell would've used up his eligibility after 2019 anyway, but he chose to pursue the NFL already. The Ducks have an unproven receiving corps this season, and it's improbable that several targets emerge to the point Fleming wouldn't play immediately.

    However, the Ducks are also going to lose quarterback Justin Herbert next offseason. That is not inherently a deterrent since it's a regular thing. Two of Fleming's other finalists, though, will have an All-American-caliber player behind center.

    And compared to the other remaining five schools, Eugene is a long way from the Pennsylvania star's home. Getting him on campus for an official visit will be critical for the Ducks.

5. Georgia Bulldogs

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    If distance matters to Fleming, a road trip or flight to Georgia is considerably less time-consuming than one to Oregon. But the SEC program is also a more proven contender on a yearly basis.

    Kirby Smart has helped the Bulldogs win two straight SEC East titles, and they celebrated a league crown in 2017.

    Georgia has two potential negatives. First, quarterback Jake Fromm is a possible early NFL draft entry once the 2019 season is over. Second, the Dawgs just signed 5-star wideout George Pickens and 4-star receiver Dominick Blaylock. They could all coexist in the UGA offense, but Fleming may prefer to highlight a unit.

    Regardless, the program's recent success combined with Fleming's unofficial visit in April 2018 makes Georgia a realistic option.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Fleming took an unofficial visit to Alabama on the weekend he visited Georgia in April 2018 and came away impressed.

    "Every [school] has something about them that sticks out, but at Alabama everything is top-notch," he told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.

    Similar to UGA, though, the quarterback situation will likely be changing. Tua Tagovailoa is expected to declare for the 2020 NFL draft. Again, we cannot stress enough that it's a comparative matter; the transition is temporary but relevant.

    However, the Crimson Tide depth chart may clear out nicely for Fleming. If all of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith pursue the NFL after the 2019 season, it would leave Jaylen Waddle with other receivers whoentering 2019have zero career catches.

3. Clemson Tigers

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    Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

    Fleming is an immediate-impact prospect. And for his freshman year specifically, there isn't a more promising place than Clemson.

    Why? Trevor Lawrence.

    The long-haired superstar will be a junior in 2020, potentially leading the Tigers to a sixth straight ACC title and College Football Playoff appearance. Catching passes from an NFL-bound quarterback should be a massive appeal for any high schooler.

    As always, getting on the field will be the battle. Clemson will probably lose Tee Higgins and maybe Amari Rodgers after 2019, yet the ensuing competition for snaps may be fierce behind Justyn Ross. Top-60 prospects Frank Ladson and Joe Ngata just signed, too.

    But annual national contender? Check. Elite QB? Check, for 2020. It's a strong foundation to attract Fleming.

2. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    How much will proximity impact Fleming's choice?

    If it's a deciding factor, the in-state Nittany Lions own an enormous edge. The campus is less than 100 miles from Catawissa, and he's taken full advantage of that. Fleming has unofficially visited seven times, attended two camps and one junior day.

    Put simply: Fleming will have a clear of understanding of what Penn State has to offer compared to the five official visits he'll take throughout the upcoming recruiting year.

    The Lions will probably either be replacing Tommy Stevens at quarterback or entering a second season with Sean Clifford as the starter. While a potentially delicate transition, it's at least clear.

    Meanwhile, as potential-filled as the receiving corps is, only KJ Hamler is a proven option at this point. And he's NFL-eligible after 2019.

    Like many other recruits have done, Fleming might want to escape the local pressure. Or, he could stay and be a hometown hero.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Other than his home-state team, Ohio State is the only program to have received multiple visits from Fleming to date. He's taken three unofficial trips to Columbus.

    Additionally, the Buckeyes will probably have a star quarterback. Justin Fields, who won't be NFL-eligible until after 2020, will reveal his upside this fall and may become part of the recruiting pitch.

    While we eagerly await that verdict, the depth chart looks favorable. K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack are seniors. By the time Fleming signs, it'll basically be Chris Olave and whatever mix of 2018 and 2019 signees emerge this season.

    Ohio State is relatively close, annually contends for championships and likely has playing time to offer. That's an appealing trio, and Fields' emergence would complete the quartet.


    All recruiting information via 247Sports, and recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports composite. Stats from, or B/R research. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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