Three-Point Stance: Big commits, 2019 stars, teams that need help
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with his rankings of 10 recent major commitments, a breakdown of several 2019 standouts and a look at the five programs that need a strong finish to the 2017 recruiting cycle.
1. TEN RECENT COMMITMENTS THAT MADE WAVES
There have been some major high school commitments in recent days. Here is how I would rank them in terms of how they each impacted the recruiting world.
1. Trevor Lawrence – Clemson – Yes, a 2018 prospect leads the way because Lawrence is the No. 1 player in his class, the second five-star quarterback to choose Clemson in two years and is one of the best signal callers I’ve seen through their junior year in my career.
2. Isaiah Wilson – Georgia – The Bulldogs need offensive linemen who can play right away and Wilson fits that mold. This was a major steal from Alabama initially and then Michigan. Wilson's commitment is arguably the most important pledge Georgia will get in this class.
3. Lamont Wade – Penn State – This was a tough call between Wilson and Wade because Penn State needed this in-state get in a big way. Wade is a do-it-all prospect who will be used in a variety of ways for the Nittany Lions.
4. Donovan Peoples-Jones – Michigan – A big, fast and physical wide receiver that will be a star under Jim Harbaugh. Peoples-Jones could be the best receiver to come through Ann Arbor since Braylon Edwards if he keeps developing.
5. Walker Little – Stanford – Little's commitment would have had a bigger impact if he had chosen Texas because Tom Herman would have loved to have this in-state win, but at Stanford, Little could team up with Foster Sarell to be the best recruiting 1-2 punch at offensive tackle in some time.
6. Toneil Carter – Texas – I’m not as high on Carter as some, but this is a Rivals250 prospect who was committed to Georgia and a huge positional need for the Longhorns. And I wasn’t high at all on D’Onta Foreman coming out of high school, so there’s that.
7. Cesar Ruiz – Michigan – He can play guard or center, is physically ready to impact early, is tough as nails and smart enough to eventually make the line calls. Centers don’t get the attention other positions do, but Ruiz's commitment is huge.
8. Thomas Graham – Oregon – The defense is horrible at Oregon, but there is young talent on the roster and Graham could help right away. Plus this was huge for Willie Taggert as his first big commitment.
9. Tarik Black – Michigan – A Rivals100 wide receiver, Black got overshadowed a bit by Peoples-Jones but has plenty of tools including route running, reliable hands and toughness. The two will work well together.
10. Donovan Johnson – Penn State – Like Black was overshadowed by Peoples-Jones, Johnson was overshadowed by Wade but will be a great complement to him on defense.
2. KEEP AN EYE ON THESE 2019 STANDOUTS
We won’t rank 2019 prospects until March or April, but it’s never too early to look at a few of the top guys we’re charting.
QB JT Daniels – Quarterback is still the alpha dog position and Daniels drops dimes like a senior. This past season he completed three of every four passes, threw for 67 touchdowns with just six picks and, at least on film, he has everything you want in an elite quarterback.
DE Chris Hinton – The son of the former NFL stud offensive lineman of the same name, Hinton is huge, moves well and will be a 300-pound athletic defensive tackle before all is said and done. He’s not the biggest name in Georgia in 2019, but he could have the most upside.
RB Nay’quan Wright – Although he’s not tall, he can run and packs a wallop to finish those runs. Wright has great straight-line speed and does not shy away from contact. Once he gets downhill, watch out. He’s splitting time with a 2018 four-star, so his playing time is well-earned.
ATH Quarvaris Crouch – A tall, upright runner, Crouch will likely either develop into a wide receiver at the next level if he keeps growing or become freaky linebacker with his length on defense. Right now, he’s just a freaky athlete.
RB Noah Cain – The 2019 cycle looks like a great one at running back and Cain has it all – size, speed and hands. He is arguably the best running back in Texas regardless of class, even with guys like J.K. Dobbins and Eno Benjamin in 2017.
3. FIVE TEAMS THAT NEED TO FINISH STRONG
The dead period is upon us, but that doesn’t mean recruiting slows down. Here are five teams that need a very strong finish to land where they want to be in the Rivals.com team rankings.
Texas – It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this one out. The Longhorns are short on commitments and Herman is making up ground. Look for Texas to shoot up the charts after flipping a bunch of kids and closing on a few uncommitted targets.
Florida – Jim McElwain is coming under fire for his recruiting ability and the lack of buzz about the Gators in state. Anything less than a top 10 finish in Gainesville is a failure. It will take some work for Florida to get there.
Nebraska – The Huskers are here mainly because the Calibraska movement has been such a big deal and so closely followed. They will either close on some huge names in California or it could be a disappointing finish outside the top 25.
Oregon – Mark Helfrich and his staff left Taggart in a bad situation when it comes to recruiting, so it will take some hustle to finish inside the top 25.
Florida State – It seems like the Seminoles are always in the top 10 and, under Jimbo Fisher, the program has finished in the top five every year since 2014. With zero five-stars committed right now, the Seminoles need to be closing. Josh Kaindoh could help that out Friday.