football Edit

Hit or Miss: Are these 5 players living up to recruiting ranking?

Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow (AP)

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

Did we get it right or did we get it wrong? Each week during the college football season, we will pick five players who had outstanding weeks and look at their career so far and determine if our ranking was a hit or a miss. Here are this week’s stars…

MORE FARRELL: Coaches in headlines, recruiting thoughts

The skinny: Burrow committed to Ohio State during the spring of his junior year over Maryland and Iowa State. He served as a back-up to J.T. Barrett and then lost the starting job to Dwayne Haskins before deciding to transfer to LSU.

In Baton Rouge, there have been plenty of skeptics regarding Burrow and his performance in big games, but that may have been answered on Satuday night in Austin. Completing 31 of 39 passes for 471 yards and four touchdowns, Burrow had the Tigers’ offense flying against Texas.

Farrell’s take: HIT. Yes I know Burrow had a great week, but for the most part he has played like a mid-level three star prospect. He didn’t make it at Ohio State and he has certainly been up and down at LSU. We had him as a good-sized dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school who had some decision making issues and wasn’t very polished. Despite a great game against Texas, he’s lived up to that.

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The skinny: Moore was initially committed to Texas, but when he re-opened his process during his senior season, Purdue jumped at the opportunity. The Boilermakers, who were already talking to Moore before his de-commitment, were able to seal the deal after he took an official visit to West Lafayette in December. Coming off an amazing true freshman season, Moore has once again dominated in the early stages of 2019. That continued on Saturday against Vanderbilt when he finished with 13 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown in the Boilermakers victory.

Farrell’s take: MISS. This is one we get hammered on and rightly so as Moore has played like a five-star, but had a high three-star ranking coming out of high school. Not that a high three-star isn’t a good ranking, but the way Moore has taken college football by storm is a thing of beauty. He wasn’t overly impressive during Army Bowl week against the best of the best in the country and that led us to think his ranking was correct. We were wrong at least so far.

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The skinny: Slovis’ recruiting process started off rather slow, but during the spring after his junior season he quickly bgan to pile up offers. One of these came from USC, which was enough for Slovis to give his commitment to the Trojans a few days later. With JT Daniels’ injury, there was some uncertainty surrounding Slovis’ first career start on Saturday night against Stanford. He quieted any doubters by completing 28 of 33 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns during the Trojans’ victory.

Farrell’s take: MISS. Okay, this is ridiculous right? How can I pick a 2019 prospect who just made his first start. Well, for Slovis to step in as a true freshman for Daniels and lead his team to a victory over Stanford is very impressive. Time will really tell whether we missed on this one but the start to his career has been well ahead of schedule. We liked him as a high three star but expected him to be a one-year starter at USC at best.

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The skinny: Weaver took an active recruiting approach, taking numerous unofficial visits before committing to Cal during a trip to Berkeley. He also considered Utah, Arizona, Boise State and Washington State. Coming off a season when he totaled 155 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks, Weaver continues to glide under the national radar in 2019 despite piling up 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble in the Golden Bears huge victory at Washington.

Farrell’s take: MISS. Weaver has been exceptional for Cal for a mid three-star recruit who wasn’t heavily recruited. He wasn’t the longest prospect out of high school and he struggled with explosion and quickness, but he did have a good motor and was a smart, heady player. He’s taken it to the next step now and looks like a four-star out there.

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The skinny: Akers initially committed to Alabama before the start of his junior season, but eventually re-opened his recruitment. After trimming his new list of favorites down to Florida State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Ohio State, he committed to the Seminoles over the in-state Rebels in late December. While the Seminoles may have gotten lucky to grab the one-point overtime victory at home against Louisiana-Monroe, a definite positive was Akers. Totaling 193 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, plus 55 yards and a touchdown through the air, Akers may finally be reaching the expectations many envisioned for him when he arrived on campus.

Farrell’s take: HIT. Some may say that Akers hasn’t lived up to such a high ranking out of high school, but there are factors here that contribute to that. The FSU offensive line has been horrible and they have a weak passing game, so Akers has been keyed on during his career. Despite that he has put up good numbers and appears ready for a breakout year and his well balanced game is showing. The NFL will love this kid if he tests well.

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