National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with some thoughts on some four-stars we may regret not ranking higher, second-year coaches getting their feet wet in recruiting and the top true freshmen offensive linemen from the 2020 season.
1. FOUR-STARS THAT MAY MAKE US REGRET THEIR RANKING
Let’s start with the potential regret list which I’ve done annually for a little bit now. Past installments have featured stars like CeeDee Lamb, D’Andre Swift and Grant Delpit, but also misses like Tate Martell. The prospects I worry the most about not being ranked five stars in the 2021 class are as follows…
DB Terrion Arnold, Alabama — Arnold shot up the rankings over the course of our meetings but having Nick Saban’s No. 1 defensive back target short of a five-star is always risky. Arnold can play corner or safety and could be a great one.
DE Shemar Turner, Texas A&M — Turner is a massive end who could end up playing defensive tackle and has a chance to be special. He just missed his fifth star, and we may regret it as he has some DeMarvin Leal in him.
DE Tyreak Sapp, Florida — I was the one who made Sapp a five-star early but then backed off a bit after further evaluation. He had a very good senior season and is just starting to hit his stride so a lot depends on what position he plays and if he can stay healthy. But his motor is non-stop.
TE Thomas Fidone, Nebraska — Fidone got a long look in our last two meetings and is getting bigger. We didn’t go on Michael Mayer last year who looks like a future star for Notre Dame. Will we regret this as well? Mayer is well ahead of Fidone physically.
WR Jacorey Brooks, Alabama — One thing we know is that one of these Florida wide receivers headed to Alabama is likely to be a first-rounder, right? Well, we don’t base things off that despite the success of former Crimson Tide products from the Sunshine State (e.g. Jerry Jeudy). It still comes down to speed for Brooks, who needs to get a tick faster.
DT Leonard Taylor, Miami — Taylor is someone I keep going back and forth on. He could be an absolute beast or play at the level just outside five-stars. He’s athletic as heck so we will see and he will pan out it just depends on to what level.
WR JoJo Earle, Alabama — Earle is just a bit too small to earn that fifth star but he could be an amazing slot receiver at the next level and beyond and we might be missing on a Jaylen Waddle kind of talent.
DE Keanu Koht, Alabama — Koht is still raw but he comes off the edge so fast it’s astonishing. He’s improved more than any other prospect in this class over the last two years and could be one of those late bloomers who keeps getting better and ends up as a round one freak a la Bradley Chubb at NC State.
OL Landon Tengwall, Penn State — Tengwall could play inside or outside for Penn State and is such a strong and physical freak that if he adds needed flexibility he could be a first-round pick down the line.
ATH Billy Bowman, Oklahoma — Bowman doesn’t have ideal size and I like him better on defense than offense but he has that Honey Badger ball sense about him.
2. GRADING THE HIRES FROM THE 2019 COACHING CAROUSEL
A lot of people focus on the first-year head coaches and how they are doing in recruiting, but what about the coaches that should be starting to get into a groove at their new home? Here are the 10 biggest hires from the 2019 coaching carousel and how they are grading out.
Ryan Day, Ohio State — A-plus — What else can be said about the job Day has done taking over for Urban Meyer? Ohio State recruiting could be better than ever right now with a No. 2 class in 2021 and a great start to 2022.
Manny Diaz, Miami — B-plus — The 2021 class was especially impressive as they kept some key South Florida prospects home like James Williams and Leonard Taylor. Diaz will need to continue to recruit at this level.
Mack Brown, North Carolina — B-plus — A case could be made for an A here easily as in-state recruiting has simply turned around in a positive way for the Tar Heels and it’s all because of Brown and his staff’s tireless work.
Mike Locksley, Maryland — B — A top-20 class in 2021 with all that’s going on is not easy and pulling away elite prospects from the Southeast away from Tennessee, Florida State, Michigan and others is a huge deal.
Les Miles — Kansas — B-minus — Miles finished with the No. 3 recruiting class in the Big 12 in 2021 and few have noticed. Quay Davis is a potential star.
Neal Brown, West Virginia — B-minus — West Virginia is back in Ohio and some other spots and Brown has done a very good job without any home recruiting edge.
Chris Klieman, Kansas State — B-minus — It’s not easy to recruit at Kansas State with so many people raiding the states of Kansas and Missouri these days but he’s done a solid job and the roster talent is improving.
Scott Satterfield, Louisville — C-plus — It’s been up and down for Satterfield like it has been on the field but he is holding his own in Kentucky.
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech — C-plus — This could be argued into a B as Georgia Tech recruiting has taken a step up since he’s arrived, at least when it comes to roster balance and effort.
Matt Wells, Texas Tech — C — Texas Tech hasn’t made a ton of noise in-state and were last in the Big 12 this season with a small class.
3. THE TOP TRUE FRESHMEN OFFENSIVE LINEMEN IN 2020
Today I continue my series on the best true freshmen from the 2020 season with some offensive linemen.
1. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern — As a starter for a team that played for a Big Ten title, Skoronski has been amazing so far and well ahead of expected pace. He’s playing like a three-year veteran.
2. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma — Harrison was highly-regarded but I didn’t see this coming as he played a huge role on an offense that began to dominate teams down the stretch.
3. Robert Scott Jr., Florida State — Scott was a high three-star get from Arkansas who had size but was raw but he did a great job fitting in right away.
4. Willie Lampkin, Coastal Carolina — Too short for Power Five programs he only helped lead the Coastal offense to a record season and a true frosh.
5. Zach Frazier, West Virginia — Frazier was a top-10 center out of high school and jumped right into college with little concern.
6. Jaren Kump, Utah — After a two-year mission Kump is a bit older than others on here but is still a true freshman tackle.
7. Gus Hartwig, Purdue — Hartwig was a big four-star in-state keep forgetting Purdue with size and strength and chose Purdue to play early which he did.
8. Bradley Ashmore, Vanderbilt — Ashmore had some solid offers and became an important get for Vandy out of Florida but I didn’t see him panning out so early.