ESPN showed some extreme disrespect to a Tennessee Vols commit this week.

2023 five-star quarterback Nico Ialameava dropped 14 spots in ESPN’s updated recruiting rankings. He went from No. 13 to No. 27.

“Tennessee commit Nicholaus Iamaleava dropped from No. 13 overall to No. 27 but still possesses a lot of talent,” wrote ESPN’s Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill.

ESPN has Iamaleava ranked lower, by far, than any other recruiting outlet.

247Sports has Nico ranked as the No. 3 overall recruit. Rivals has him at No. 8 overall. And On3 has Nico at No. 2 overall.

ESPN, of course, isn’t a go-to source for recruiting rankings. I don’t really know anyone that relies on ESPN when it comes to recruiting information. It’s just not their thing. There are a lot of great people at 247Sports, Rivals, and On3 that put a lot of time into evaluating prospects. And while their analysis isn’t perfect (no one out there is), they get it right for the most part.

I think it’s clear that ESPN sees that Nico is committed to Tennessee and they automatically dropped him down a bit. It’s a lazy approach, but it’s not unusual. We’ve seen plenty of recruits tumble down recruiting rankings when they commit to a program not named Alabama, Georgia, or Oho State. This certainly feels like one of those instances.

Nico is arguably the top recruit in the nation. Fellow five-star quarterback Arch Manning gets the benefit of a famous last name. Nico, however, is making his way on his own. All of the accolades and hype he’s received are a result of his hard work, not his famous family.

Tennessee is getting a potential program changer in Iamaleava. And nothing about ESPN’s fraudulent rankings changes that.

Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK