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Three-Point Stance: Teams with rare shot at top 25 class, ACC QBs, G5 DL

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a look at five programs that could make a rare appearance in the top 25 of the Team Recruiting Rankings and looks at the top ACC quarterbacks and the best defensive linemen in the Group of Five.

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Iowa commit Connor Colby
Iowa commit Connor Colby (Nick Lucero/

There are a few teams that could make a run at a Top 25 recruiting finish for the first time in years.

Iowa — Iowa hasn't finished in the top 25 since 2005, but that could change with the 2021 class. The Hawkeyes will have to improve their average star ranking from 3.12 to stay in the top 25, but it can be done. Iowa is having a very good recruiting year.

Minnesota — The last time the Gophers finished in the top 25 was 2008. They have the same number of commitments as Iowa and the same average star ranking, so work needs to be done, but PJ Fleck is doing well.

Utah — OK, it hasn’t been that long for the Utes as they signed a top-25 class in 2017, but it doesn't happen that often. This is a tough projection because Utah only has four commitments right now, but the Utes are doing a better job staying in with bigger names in the last couple of cycles.

Wisconsin — The Badgers have never finished with a top-25 class in the history of, but they have an outside shot in 2021.

West Virginia — The 'Eers last finished with a top-25 class in 2013 but have a shot this year. They have two four-star commits already and will have a chance at the top 25 if things break their way.


Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (AP Images)

I’ve ranked the quarterbacks of the SEC and the Big Ten and now its time for the ACC.

1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson — Lawrence is the best quarterback in the country and one of the best we have seen in years. There is no controversy at the top here.

2. Sam Howell, North Carolina — Howell’s season last year, with 3,600 yards passing and 38 scores with just seven picks, rivaled Lawrence’s freshman season. Actually, it was better.

3. D’Eriq King, Miami — King was a superstar a couple of seasons ago for Houston and can change the Miami offense.

4. Malik Cunningham, Louisville — Cunningham has a ton of elite weapons at his disposal at Louisville and should improve upon his 22 passing TDs from last season.

5. Kenny Pickett, Pitt — Pickett has a high ceiling and was an effective passer last year for Pitt. Can he dial up more than 13 TD passes is the big question.

6. Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech — Hooker is an effective and efficient passer who only threw two picks last season.

7. Tommy DeVito, Syracuse — DeVito had a really solid season last year with 19 TD passes and only five picks.

8. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College — Jurkovec was a big-time dual threat out of high school who was perhaps over his head at Notre Dame.

9. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest — Hartman lost his job to Jamie Newman last season, but he’s a steady quarterback.

10. James Blackman, Florida State — Blackman has been up and down, but Mike Norvell is excellent with quarterbacks.

11. Chase Brice, Duke — The Clemson transfer has looked solid in limited chances and was a talented four-star out of high school.

12. Devin Leary, NC State — Leary showed flashes last season and is a fiery leader.

13. James Graham, Georgia Tech — Graham needs to improve his accuracy but the tools are there to be solid.

14. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia — Armstrong doesn’t have much experience, which is why he’s last on the list and replacing Bryce Perkins will be tough.


Dom Peterson
Dom Peterson (AP Images)

The Group of Five love continues with a look at the top defensive linemen.

1. DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky — With 20.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks last season, Malone is always in the backfield.

2. Tayor Riggins, Buffalo — Riggins is relentless in pursuit and plays a physical brand of football. His 8.5 sacks last year were key and he’s only getting better.

3. Dom Peterson, Nevada — He’s not long and he’s built like a tackle, but he rushes the passer well as evidenced by his nine sacks last season.

4. Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati — The big DE had 40 tackles and four sacks last season and is just starting to reach his potential.

5. Keion White, Old Dominion — A converted tight end, White made 19 stops for a loss last season.

6. Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo — Koonce teams with Riggins to form one of the best duos in Group of Five.

7. Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina — Jackson is a monster who can play inside and outside and is always in the backfield.

8. Jordan Smith, UAB — The long pass rusher has shown in just one year how elite he can be off the edge with his size and reach.

9. Ali Fayad, Western Michigan — Fayad plays the run and pass well and had 13 tackles for a loss last year.

10. Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State — His passion and motor lead the defensive line and he’s great working off of contact.

11. Patrick Johnson, Tulane — Johnson has shown he can be a double-digit sack man from the end. He’s had 14 sacks in the last two seasons combined.

12. Cameron Thomas, San Diego State — In just one year he’s shown he’s one of the rising stars of the Group of Five.

13. Ifeanyi Maijeh, Temple — The talented DT made 10.5 stops in the backfield last season.

14. Raymond Johnson III, Georgia Southern — With 34 tackles last year and a handful of sacks, Johnson is tough to handle.

15. Zi'Yon Hill, Louisiana — The talented DT had 53 tackles last season which shows his motor and production.