football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Big commits, worst hires, 2018 Heisman National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here ranking the recent big commitments, remembering 10 awful coaching hires and giving some early 2018 Heisman candidates.

MORE THREE-POINT STANCE: Grading the coaching hires

1. Ranking the commitments

Houston Griffith
Houston Griffith

The decommitments have been coming fast, but there have been some big-time commitments as well. Here are some that stand out to me, all happening very recently:

Houston Griffith, Notre Dame – I love this commitment for the Irish as Griffith, with his ball skills, length and size, could be a star in the defensive backfield at Notre Dame.

Alontae Taylor, Tennessee – A much, much needed re-commitment, Taylor can play many positions and is an impact kid on one side of the ball or the other. Has “can’t-miss” written all over him.

Adrian Martinez, Nebraska – QB commits are huge and this is a big one from the West Coast for new head coach Scott Frost. This kid could be the best of the Cali QB commits for Nebraska in recent years.

Chase Cota, UCLA – Cota has great ties to the Oregon program but Chip Kelly was still able to lure him away, an example of how top prospects on the West Coast could react to playing in Kelly’s offense.

Trey Hill, Georgia – A massive, road-grading interior lineman who could play early is always a welcome addition and Georgia continues to recruit at the highest level.

CJ Smith, Nebraska – A big, rangy defensive back who can cover a lot of ground, this is an important pull for Frost. He wasn’t in Florida long but he can certainly recruit there and this fills a huge need.

Tommy Togiai, Ohio State – Another out-of-state defensive tackle coveted by many choosing the Buckeyes, this is starting to become a trend rather than a shortcoming. This kid’s motor will inspire others.

Junior Angilau, Texas – A big, athletic offensive tackle with a nasty streak who could be the replacement for Connor Williams sooner than later. He also has the potential to move inside if needed or even play defensive tackle.

Kamryn Babb, Ohio State – Despite the injury issues, Babb’s upside is strong and he could be a big, physical wide receiver who scores a lot of touchdowns in the Buckeyes' offense.

Sam Taimani, Washington – A squat, powerful interior lineman who could play guard or center, his run-blocking skill and ability to reach the second level is elite.

Daniel Faalele, Minnesota – This kid is massive and his upside is immense, no pun intended. We could be talking about a future star here despite how raw he is.

2. Worst recent coaching hires

Butch Jones
Butch Jones (Associated Press)

With a few horrible and confusing hires over the last couple of years (Herm Edwards, Lovie Smith, etc.) it got me thinking – what were the worst hires I can remember in the last 15-20 years or so since I started covering college football and football recruiting? Here are the ones that stuck out to me at the time of hire.

Derek Dooley, Tennessee – I hated this hire from the start as the step up from Louisiana Tech to Tennessee was too big a reach. His 15-21 overall record and 4-19 SEC record proved many of us who doubted this correct.

Brady Hoke, Michigan – Hoke clearly wasn’t the first choice and I felt he was the wrong choice. A 31-20 record isn’t embarrassing, but he never developed talent.

Charlie Strong, Texas – I knew this was a bad fit from the start. It’s hard to have three straight losing seasons at Texas, but he did it. A good head coach, Strong just didn’t have the ties to Texas he needed.

Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss – What a reach this was and his 10-25 record and 3—21 SEC record shows it.

Ty Willingham, Notre Dame – This seemed like a good fit because he was coming from Stanford, an academic school, to Notre Dame and it started off well. His 21-15 record isn’t bad, but I always felt Notre Dame was too high profile for his demeanor.

Butch Jones, Tennessee – I actually felt Charlie Strong would have been perfect at the time. Jones was fifth or sixth choice for the job. A 34-27 mark isn’t horrible but his 14-24 SEC record stunk and player development killed him like it did Hoke.

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan – The best coach on this list, I just felt his offense wouldn’t work at Michigan and it wouldn’t be patient enough to give it a chance. A 15-22 overall record and 6-18 Big Ten mark at Michigan is embarrassing.

Charlie Weis, Notre Dame – Weis lived off his reputation as an offensive genius with New England, but I felt he was an ill fit for college football. He started off well, but ended poorly and recruiting evals were spotty.

Jim McElwain, Florida – The Florida job was too big for McElwain and it caught up to him. I remember thinking this was an odd choice when he was hired. He’s probably the most successful coach to make this list.

Mike Riley, Nebraska – Nice guys finish last right? A great person but a poor hire. He went 19-19 and 12-14 in the Big Ten and that won’t cut it at Nebraska.

3. Heisman Trophy, 2018

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor (Dan Sanger)

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s Heisman Trophy. Here are some guys to watch out among those likely to be back:

RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – Why put a running back first? Maybe because I’m dumb but Taylor gets more than 2,000 yards next season and I felt he should have been invited to New York this year.

QB Will Grier, West Virginia – The numbers are insane and could get better next year in this offense. If he puts up better numbers and WVU makes a run at the Big 12, he could be the guy.

QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn – He’s ultra-talented and Auburn should be a title contender. The only concern is that the offense doesn’t mean great numbers for a pro-style passer, but that could change.

QB Khalil Tate, Arizona – He could be the frontrunner to many people but I’m not sure I see the same kind of season next year for him. He will be in the mix but I have him lower than some because how much will Arizona win?

QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama – He should probably be at the top assuming ‘Bama makes another title run, but his numbers might not be good enough in that run-oriented offense.