Three-Point Stance: Big commits, teams that crushed it, decommits
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a look at a busy week of big-time commitments, the teams that crushed it last week and a warning about reading too much into decommitments.
1. RECAPPING A BUSY WEEK OF COMMITMENTS
There were a lot of major commitments over the last week. Here's how I would rank the top 10 based on their national importance.
2. RB Mychale Salahuddin, USC – All the way from Maryland to USC, Salahuddin can do a ton of things for a football team, including catch the ball. He’s sudden, elusive and can get the hard yards as well.
3. OT Christian Armstrong, Florida State – Why is Armstrong ranked so high with others on this list ranked higher nationally? Because he’s going to be a monster guard or tackle under Rick Trickett at FSU and bring some key physicality.
4. OC Justin Dedich, USC – Same question about Dedich? He lacks great size, but we are looking at a three-year starter at center and one of the toughest kids in the country.
5. ATH Armani Chatman, Virginia Tech – The Hokies are quietly landing on this list often and have now added another versatile weapon to their 2018 class. Chatman can legitimately play either wide receiver or cornerback early in Blacksburg.
6. CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama – A smooth cornerback who is also an excellent tackler, Armour-Davis also has elite speed and was a priority for Nick Saban. This is actually a huge commit for ‘Bama as the Tide are off to uncustomary slow start in 2018.
7. TE Austin Stogner, Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley must recruit Texas and recruit it well and this tall, talented pass catcher is a huge get for the 2019 class. Tight ends this tall with athleticism are hard to find.
8. TE Camren McDonald, USC – McDonald is a hybrid guy who could play outside as a big receiver or flex out as a tight end and is a potential mismatch nightmare for Pac-12 defenses. He can stretch the field and fits the offense well.
9 LB Reggie Hughes, Arizona State – The Sun Devils need help on defense badly and this kid can come off the edge well and help provide a much-needed pass rush early. He’s versatile and physical and excellent in pursuit.
10. WR Jaylon Robinson, Oklahoma – Robinson isn’t big, but he’s quick as can be and can make people look silly at times with his route running. He’s also elusive after the catch.
2. FEW NOTICED, BUT THESE TEAMS KILLED IT LAST WEEK
While there was a lot of attention paid to the high-profile prospects committing, some very talented three-stars and yet-to-be-ranked underclassmen committed this past week as well.
Here are a few programs that killed it this past week without a lot of the same fanfare.
Tennessee – The Vols added help at defensive end, running back and a big hitter on defense. Jamarcus Chatman is a former LSU commitment and arguably has the best upside of the group, while Lyn-J Dixon and Anthony Grant can do many things out of the backfield. Tanner Ingle isn’t huge but he will be a fan favorite the way he hits.
NC State – Tyler Williams is the latest addition and brings athleticism to the defensive backfield. Versatility is there in athlete commitments Daevon Robinson and Teshaun Smith. Jasiah Provillon is a tall, rangy get at wide receiver. Gabriel Gonzalez helps fill a key need at offensive line as well.
Oklahoma – The Sooners have two of the top 10 above and also added key offensive help with wide receiver Treveon Johnson and Kundarrius Taylor and a big potential running back in Tavion Thomas, who could also play defense with his size and power.
Georgia Tech – The biggest get is IMG defensive tackle T.K. Chimedza, as he has the highest ceiling of the group. Linebacker JaQuez Jackson, defensive tackle Austin Smith and future running back Tijai Whatley are all nice in-state gets.
Indiana – Indiana got stronger this past week with offensive and defensive line help from Illinois in Nick Marozas and Gavin McCabe. The Hoosiers got quicker on defense with versatile linebacker Aaron Casey from Georgia, who could be a steal.
Iowa – Two 2019 commitments are big here as tight end Logan Lee and offensive tackle Tyler Endres are in-state gets and coveted by the staff. Class of 2018 offensive tackle Cody Ince has a lot of growing to do, but in a couple years he could be a huge left tackle for the Hawkeyes.
Maryland – The Terps landed a tall defensive tackle in Spencer Anderson, who has a good frame to add weight and a big wide receiver from Virginia in Brian Cobbs. The key get was tall cornerback Vincent Flythe from HD Woodson who could make an early impact.
Michigan State – Big men are key in this class for Michigan State and brothers Jacob and Zachary Slade are both hard-nosed kids that complement each other along the defensive line. Dimitri Douglas needs to fill out, but shows nice footwork on offense.
Colorado – The Buffs are getting immediate help at linebacker from Davion Taylor from the JUCO ranks and some serious speed and shiftiness in slot receiver Jarek Broussard and all-purpose back Deion Smith, both from the key state of Texas.
UCLA – Two key offensive linemen in Chris Bleich all the way from Pennsylvania and Oregon tackle/guard prospect Marco Brewer go along with versatile athlete Jonathan Perkins from the 2019 class. The two offensive linemen are the real key here.
LSU – Class of 2019 running back Tyrion Davis has size and speed, 2018 running back Tae Provens is a slasher with some moves and Zach Sheffer is a flex tight end who can stretch the field. Oh, and yet another running back, Chris Curry, could be the best of the bunch in the long run.
Vanderbilt – Vandy continues to recruit well out of state. The Commodores landed a nice safety prospect in Dashaun Jerkins from Virginia, a nasty guard in Wyatt Smock from Kentucky and a tall corner in Tre’ Douglas from Georgia. And they continue to add in-state talent as well with another tall corner who could play safety in Rayshad Williams.
3. DON'T READ TOO MUCH INTO A DECOMMITMENT
Kids decommit. It happens. I’d say it started to become a real problem about 10 years ago and it’s gotten worse every recruiting cycle since.
Four-star 2018 athlete Justin Watkins, who has now backed off of pledges to LSU, Florida State and Texas, is becoming an expert at decommitting. But does that mean that Watkins, a great athlete, will be a flop because he’s struggling to make a decision on his future destination?
Before you say yes, think about this. Recent Heisman winners Derrick Henry and Johnny Manziel were committed to other schools before inking with their final choices. First-round draft picks Jarrad Davis, Reuben Foster, Jalen Ramsey, Taylor Decker, Will Fuller and Robert Nkemdiche, among many others, also backed off of a commitment during their recruitment. And when it comes to multiple decommitments, who can forget guys like Arden Key, Alex Anzalone, Tajh Boyd and, more recently, Tate Martell, all of whom made multiple decommitments.
The record, at least by my memory, is held by Jordan Payton who committed to four different schools – Washington. USC, Cal and UCLA – although, for all I know, there could be a guy out there who committed to five schools. Bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how many times you decommit, what matters is that you end up at the right place. Time will tell if Watkins breaks the record on his way to finding a home.