football Edit

Five-Star Checkup: Standouts from the 2017 class

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Najee Harris
Najee Harris (AP Images)

MORE: Five weird things from Week 2 | How many five-stars are on top 25 rosters?

Every Monday during the college football season we will check in on former five-stars to see how they are panning at out the next level. This week, we look at five five-stars from the class of 2017.

As a recruit: Harris made an early commitment to Alabama but Michigan didn’t give up on trying to flip him, even when he was set to board a plane for Tuscaloosa. The rumors surrounding him finally ended when he showed up on campus in January, 2017.

What he did this week: Harris showed flashes last season but is now the true No. 2 to fellow former five-star Damien Harris and is starting to show why we liked him so much as a recruit. In Saturday’s win over Arkansas State he rushed 13 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. The one-two Harris punch looks like it’s going to be quite the problem for opposing defenses the rest of the season.

As a recruit: Little was wanted by every program in America but his recruitment boiled down to a battle among Texas, Ole Miss and Stanford. He chose the Cardinal following the conclusion of his senior season.

What he did this week: Little continues to be one of the best young offensive linemen in college football and he helped lead the way for Bryce Love and the Stanford offense in the 17-3 victory over USC on Saturday night. After sharing Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors while appearing in nine games in 2017, Walker is entrenched as a starter and should continue to give opposing defenses fits in 2018.

As a recruit: Young collected offers from all over the country during his time as a recruit but it was clear from the early going that Ohio State was the team to beat in his recruitment. He ended up committing to the Buckeyes in the summer prior to his senior season and never wavered on his pledge.

What he did this week: Last year in Ohio State’s win over Rutgers, Young flashed potential while playing as a backup. Now a key member of the Buckeyes' defense, Young did more than flash, he dominated. Young recorded two quarterback sacks and one pass deflection as he and his former five-star teammate Nick Bosa lived in the Scarlet Knights' backfield. As an elite pass rusher, Young has the look of a future high NFL draft pick.

As a recruit: Higgins initially committed to the in-state Vols leading up to his junior season, but then decommitted from Tennessee after taking a visit to Clemson in January. He stayed on the market for six months before announcing for the Tigers on the Fourth of July.

What he did this week: Higgins made perhaps the play of the weekend in Saturday night’s win over Texas A&M, going up and snagging a pass from Trevor Lawrence in double coverage and breaking free for a 64-yard touchdown. It was part of a three-catch, 123-yard night for Higgins, who has entrenched himself as a big play target for the Tigers. The performance was the second-best of his young career and if he can continue to be consistent he should be in the conversation for the top receivers in college football.

As a recruit: Mond started his high school career in Texas and initially committed to Baylor, but after head coach Art Briles was fired, Mond quickly re-opened his recruitment and looked bound for Auburn. Texas A&M, though, did a nice job of making up ground and within a month of going back on the market, Mond was committed to the Aggies.

What he did this week: Mond’s five-star ranking was mocked by some in the recruiting industry but on Saturday night he went toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s best defenses and more than held his own. Mond finished the 28-26 loss to Clemson with 430 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 33 yards. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to pull the upset, but Mond has shown tremendous strides in his first two games under new head coach Jimbo Fisher.