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Three-Point Stance: ACC check-in; rising 3-stars; 2020 questions

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Miami commit Samuel Anaele
Miami commit Samuel Anaele (Nick Lucero/
Advertisement National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with an ACC recruiting look, some three stars pushing for a fourth and five questions about the 2020 recruiting class.

1. Canes impress; more ACC 2020 observations

It’s the start of spring (sort of) so it’s time to break down the 2020 recruiting so far in each conference. We continue with the ACC.

Biggest commitment: OT Kevin Pyne, Boston College – Boston College is on top right now with the biggest commitment in the ACC as Pyne has a chance to be special and is a great fit for the Eagles. It’s not often the Eagles land a national top 50 recruit, so this one is a big deal.

Best Out Of State Grab: OT Mitchell Mayes, Clemson – There are a few nice out of state grabs in the ACC, but I like Mayes to Clemson here. He’s big and athletic and continues the pipeline from North Carolina to Clemson.

In State Keep: WR Porter Rooks, NC State – In-state recruiting is going very well in the ACC and Rooks is a huge keep for the Wolfpack. He’s an elite receiver ready to contribute immediately.

Positional Fit: DE Samuel Anaele, Miami – Athletic edge rushers will be key for Manny Diaz and his defense and as Anaele gets bigger, stronger and learns more technique he could be that elite outside pass rusher the Canes like to feature in their defense.

Top Class: Miami – Clemson is No. 1 right now by a couple of points, but that’s to be expected coming off a national title. Miami’s class is loaded with in-state talent and is very impressive early. Clemson will finish with the No. 1 class but right now I’m more impressed with the ‘Canes.

Underrated Class: North CarolinaMack Brown knows how to recruit and UNC has been a sleeping giant in the ACC forever. They are a long ways away from competing on the field, but a Top 15 class right now feels like it’s underrated a bit.

Long Haul Commit: QB Ben Finley, NC State – Look around the ACC and there aren’t many big-time commitments from a long way away. However, Finley following his brother Ryan to NC State all the way from Arizona is a big deal for the Pack and they can only hope he has a similar career.

Sleeper To Watch: QB Jeffrey Sims, Florida State – He’s raw for sure but Sims has a high ceiling at quarterback and he can move. Florida State thinks he can be the future under center in Willie Taggart’s offense and he’s one to keep an eye on.

Must Keep: DE Jordan Burch – Burch hails from South Carolina and is a strong Clemson lean, so the Tigers need to keep everyone, especially the SEC schools, away from him and land him in this class.

Under Pressure: Virginia Tech – Having lost so many players to transfer, Virginia Tech is under a bit of pressure to have a big and talented class. They are coming off a losing season and teams are raiding the state of Virginia as usual so Justin Fuente needs to step it up.

Getting Into The Groove: Clemson – Clemson could have the No. 1 class in the country the way they are trending for five-stars and high four-stars. Stand back and watch --this could be the best Clemson class ever.

2. Reaching for the (fourth) stars

Major Burns
Major Burns ( McCuistion)

It’s still early in the evaluation process for the 2020 class and the next time we re-rank is in June, but here are a few guys who are fighting for four-star status already.

RB Kobe Pryor – Pryor has size and speed and re-evaluating his film makes his current ranking look a little low. He’s a three-down guy and keeping the running back tradition at Cedartown alive. Auburn is on top right now but this will be a huge battle in the Southeast.

CB Major Burns – Burns is a high three star right now but with his size, wingspan and a great frame to fill out, he could end up being a special cornerback prospect or grow into a ball-hawking free safety. The Texas A&M commitment is being heavily pursued by Oklahoma and they have his attention.

QB Garrett Green – The West Virginia commitment is not very big, but he can sling it and he can run as well. We have him as a pro-style quarterback but he could easily be a dual-threat as well and he’s an important early pickup for the Mountaineers.

LB Stephen Dix Jr. – The Florida State commitment has good size, runs very well and can cover a lot of ground in run support or in pass defense. He’s very athletic and will certainly be ranked higher than his current low three star status when we re-evaluate.

S Kourt Williams – Williams is listed as a safety but he could easily be a linebacker at the next level and that versatility and his athleticism have caught our eye. He’s from a great program and is being recruited by teams around the country for his skill set.

OT Roger Rosengarten – After watching how the offensive linemen in the 2018 NFL Draft developed, Rosengarten is that tall, athletic tackle with a lot of room to add good weight without losing agility. Those type of linemen are often more successful than the bigger ones closer to their ceiling, so he’s a guy to watch out for.

CB Jahquez Robinson – At first we were puzzled a bit that Nick Saban offered and took a commitment from Robinson, who has good size but is a bit raw. But after seeing him more in person, we get it. He’s going to fill out, he has great length and his instincts are there. He’s starting to show much more consistency.

LB Josh White – White loves to hit, he has quick-twitch ability and after further film review everyone is starting to come around on him, including us. The former Oklahoma State commitment could end up at Texas.

TE Jonathan Odom – Odom is a huge target and catches the ball fluidly. He can work in the slot or tight to the tackle and can stretch the field. I like the way he adjusts to the football and he’s also a willing blocker. He’s wide open with a top 11 , so this will be interesting.

3. He's got questions. And he's got answers

Leonard Manuel
Leonard Manuel (Nick Lucero/

We are doing a five questions series on college football this week so I figured I’d take a look at five interesting questions for the 2020 class so far. Enjoy.

Who is this year’s undersized linebacker we will all debate? Roquan Smith, Devin Bush, Nakobe Dean and now who? How about no one? I know that’s a stupid answer, but this year’s class of linebackers are so big and long that there won’t be a debate at least in the Rivals100. However, could a guy like Cornell Wheeler follow in the footsteps of Bush at Michigan? It’s possible as size at the linebacker position is becoming less of an issue at the college and NFL level.

What position battle will be the most intense? Wide receiver is always a good choice, but I think it will be at cornerback where we have two elite athletes in Elias Ricks and Kelee Ringo battling it out for No. 1. And let’s not count out Fred Davis, who also has a rare combination of size and speed.

Who’s the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in 2020? To me it’s wide receiver Leonard Manuel. Is he the next Calvin Johnson, who will be a superstar in the NFL, is he the next DK Metcalf who becomes a combine freak or is he the next George Campbell who struggles to find his way? He could be a superstar or in the transfer portal in three years.

Who’s a kid who simply can’t miss? You’d think the No. 1 player in the country is the safest bet but that’s not always the case, especially when he’s a quarterback. I can’t see a way Arik Gilbert doesn’t make a huge impact in college and beyond because of his ability to play tight end or defensive end. As long as he stays healthy, he will be a star.

Is there a player that reminds you of a former No. 1 overall? Zachary Evans isn’t as big as Adrian Peterson was when he came out of high school but they sure do look similar on film and in person. Peterson is a little more upright at the same stage and was more powerful but Evans is probably faster.