How five-star OLs from past four recruiting cycles are performing
Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney take a look at the five-stars from the previous four recruiting cycles to see how they’ve performed so far. Today: offensive linemen.
Performance: Ivey was a centerpiece of Florida’s offensive line and for an offense that increased its scoring average to 34.5 points per game. The Gators have averaged 5.2 yards per carry so far this season leading up to their bowl game against Michigan.
Farrell’s take: Ivey took awhile to develop but he’s turned into a very solid lineman. Has he lived up to his five-star billing? Not quite but he’s still improving. Out of high school he was a prototypical franchise left tackle with great feet and technique.
Performance: Richmond has started at right tackle for the Vols this season but he struggled in 2017 and missed a handful of games as well. Tennessee averaged just 22.7 points per game this season and 3.7 yards per rush.
Farrell’s take: Richmond never lived up to our billing and it’s confusing as to why because out of high school he had it all – size, light feet, good technique and arm extension, and he was physical. He could be one of those guys who has an average college career and ends up staying in the NFL for a long time.
Recruiting: Teuhema committed early to LSU - about a year before National Signing Day - and he never looked back especially since his brother, Sione, was playing for the Tigers.
Performance: In his freshman season, Teuhema started 11 games at offensive guard and helped open up holes for running back Leonard Fournette. The following season he split times at both guard spots and at right tackle. But Teuhema had to transfer to Southeastern Louisiana because of academic issues. He received a rookie camp invitation from the New Orleans Saints but is now playing for the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF.
Farrell’s take: After a very promising start, Teuhema fell off due to self-inflicted wounds. Had he been able to stay at LSU I think he would have had a very good career and he’d be in the NFL right now. Out of high school he was nasty and mean which of course we loved.
Performance: Largely regarded as one of the best offensive tackles in college football, Little will have every chance in the pre-draft process to not only be a first-round selection but to be the first offensive tackle on the board.
Farrell’s take: Little was very impressive out of high school and was a kid that picked things up very quickly. I remember how much he improved from one Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge to the next and how well he moved for a big man. Little also had a great attitude and was very coachable. He will battle to be the No. 1 offensive tackle in the draft and should be a star at the NFL level.
Recruiting: Originally from Atlanta, Williams moved to Folsom, Calif., early in high school but heading back to the SEC always seemed like a priority to the five-star offensive tackle. His mother went to Auburn and his dad went to Georgia but Williams picked the Crimson Tide in April of his junior year.
Performance: Also widely considered as one of the top offensive tackles available for the NFL Draft, Williams was a key component of Alabama’s offensive line over the last few years including this season when the Crimson Tide averaged 47.9 points per game. Alabama averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored 31 rushing TDs so far.
Farrell’s take: Williams destroyed kids on film in high school and didn’t care about camps or all-star games or anything else. His no-nonsense approach was rare and despite only a couple of in-person evaluations, we made him a five-star because he was so good at everything. He and Little will probably go 1-2 in the draft at offensive tackle.
Performance: In late August, Young suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire season just days before the Wildcats’ season opener against Central Michigan.
Farrell’s take: Young’s injury has sidetracked him a bit but he still has a ton of talent and potential. He was very athletic and fluid out of high school and also very smart. His arm extension was exceptional and he had a basketball player’s feet.
Recruiting: A 2017 prospect, Leatherwood was committed to Alabama since June 2015 but he took a late visit to Georgia and also saw Texas, Auburn and Michigan among others. He stuck with the Crimson Tide in the end despite a major push from all those schools especially the Bulldogs.
Performance: As a freshman, Leatherwood played in seven games and then this season the former five-star started all 13 games so far moving inside to right guard. He was an All-SEC second team selection.
Farrell’s take: Leatherwood is easily on track to live up to the five-star billing. He started early for Alabama like Williams and continues to get better. He could play guard or tackle at the NFL level which should help him and he could be a first-rounder down the line. Out of high school he was massive, nasty and very athletic for a big man.
Recruiting: In December of his senior season, Little committed to Stanford over Texas, citing the Cardinal’s pro-style offense and how that prepares an offensive lineman for the NFL.
Performance: This season, Little was a first-team all-conference selection after being named the Pac-12's Freshman Offensive Co-Player of the Year as a freshman.
Farrell’s take: Little has been awesome at Stanford so far and that’s not a surprise to those of us who saw him a lot in high school. In addition to his size and length, he was very patient and rarely overcommitted. His pass set was picture perfect and he was an exceptional run blocker.
Performance: Sarell competed with Devery Hamilton for the left guard position until he was injured in the second game of the season against USC. He’s still expected out with injury for the bowl game but should compete for the starting job at right tackle next season.
Farrell’s take: Sarell was a massive kid out of high school who was a bit raw but had so much upside and potential we had to make him a five-star. His development has been slowed a bit by the injury but I have zero doubt he will be an impact guy down the line.
Recruiting: After Alabama led in his recruitment and then Michigan pulled ahead, Wilson started to get even more serious about Georgia and after his official visit the Bulldogs pulled ahead and could not be caught in his recruitment.
Performance: As a freshman, Wilson redshirted. This season he has started at right tackle in all 13 of Georgia’s games. The Bulldogs averaged 6.1 yards per rush and scored 30 rushing TDs so far this season.
Farrell’s take: Wilson was one of the biggest offensive linemen you’ll see out of high school and was a no brain five-star because of his power and strength. He’s now entrenched as a starter for Georgia and should be an SEC and NFL star before too long.
Recruiting: In the summer before his senior season, Davis picked Ohio State over Michigan, Notre Dame, USC and others.
Performance: The former five-star redshirted in his freshman campaign and then earned his first career start in the Big Ten championship game against Northwestern.
Farrell’s take: Davis was a road grader in high school who projected as a great run-blocking guard at the next level. He’s developing as most offensive linemen do in college which is slowly but surely. He was very physical and nasty in high school and was also excellent in pass protection.
Recruiting: In November of his senior season, Wills committed to Alabama over Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee. Along with Leatherwood, Wills was the second five-star offensive line commit in Alabama’s 2017 class.
Performance: Wills earned the starting right tackle job for the Crimson Tide this season and he now has 14 career starts. As a freshman, he played in 11 games.
Farrell’s take: Wills wasn’t as long or lean as many offensive tackle prospects but he had arguably the best feet for a big man I’d seen in years. His re-set was so smooth you couldn’t get past him off contact and it’s no surprise he’s finding success in college.
Recruiting: In December of his senior season, Salyer picked Georgia over Clemson, Alabama and others. The Bulldogs had been considered the front-runner for some time.
Farrell’s take: Salyer was one of the most physical guard prospects I’d seen in a few years coming out and he usually finished his reps with his opponent on the ground. He was college-ready for sure and should be a starter next year.
Recruiting: Petit-Frere picked Ohio State on National Signing Day and while it was not a complete shock it seemed Florida was the front-runner for some time in his recruitment. Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama were also involved.
Performance: Petit-Frere has played in four games for the Buckeyes this season.
Farrell’s take: Petit-Frere was raw out of high school but had such a great frame and such athleticism he earned that fifth star. He looked like a huge tight end when he moved, he was that athletic. I think he becomes a star at Ohio State and in the NFL.
Recruiting: In December of his senior season, Carman committed to Clemson over Ohio State, a rare recruiting miss for coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Carman also stoked some recruiting animus between Meyer and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney when the five-star said Swinney told him that Meyer was on the “back half of his career” while Swinney “was just starting up.”
Performance: In 11 games during his freshman season this year, Carman has played 195 snaps for an offense that averages more than 45 points per game, 6.8 yards per carry and the Tigers have scored 46 rushing TDs.
Farrell’s take: Carman’s junior film reminded me of a taller Andre Smith who was a former five-star and one of the most physical linemen I’ve ever seen. He played to the whistle and always finished his blocks and he could get to the second level with accuracy. He’ll be a huge part of Clemson’s offensive line for the next two seasons and then it’s off to the pros for him.
Recruiting: From Knoxville, Mays was a longtime Tennessee commitment but he backed off that pledge following Tennessee’s 5-7 season in 2017 and right before coach Butch Jones was fired. He picked Georgia during the early signing period.
Performance: Mays has played in 10 of 13 games so far this season missing some time because of injury. He has played in 75 percent of Georgia’s offensive plays in SEC games.
Farrell’s take: Mays was huge for Georgia this year and really stepped up when they needed him. As a recruit he was an angry and physical kid who was always throwing people around in camps. He had a defensive mentality as an offensive lineman and that’s hard to teach.