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Three-Point Stance: Big Ten, 2022 five-stars, SEC schedule

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a look at several Big Ten players who really needed a football season to boost their draft status, a list of comparisons for all 14 of the 2022 five-stars and a ranking of the SEC schedules.

RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK: Walter Nolen leads list of 14 2022 5-stars

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

MORE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series



Nico Collins
Nico Collins (AP Images)

The Big Ten season has been pushed back to the spring, which means many players will likely choose to focus on the NFL Draft and opt out. We all know Justin Fields, Micah Parsons, Rashod Bateman, Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade will probably be first-round draft picks, but here are 10 other Big Ten players who would have loved a fall season to raise their stock.

QB Sean Clifford, Penn State — Clifford is a mid-round prospect, but a big year would have pushed him into the first three rounds.

DE Kwity Paye, Michigan — Paye is an excellent athlete and just needed to put together a big season to possibly push for first-round status.

RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State — Sermon transferred to Ohio State to jumpstart his career again. He had some solid moments at Oklahoma, but a year in the Buckeyes' offense would have done wonders.

QB Tanner Morgan, Minnesota — I said Morgan was going to throw his way into the first round this season, but that’s not going to happen. He’s likely a second-rounder at best.

LB Baron Browning, Ohio State — Browning is an elite athlete and talent, but a huge season with production would have really pushed his draft stock.

LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern — Fisher is a great player who had a subpar season by his standards last year, so a big bounce-back year would have helped.

TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State — It’s hard to be a first-round tight end and another big year might have pushed Freiermuth to the top of NFL boards at his position.

OL Alaric Jackson, Iowa — Jackson is a fringe first-rounder and could have cemented that status with a solid year and show he can be the man without Tristan Wirfs.

OL Jalen Mayfield, Michigan — Mayfield is very polarizing as some think he’s a first-rounder and others have him in the second or third round at best.

WR Nico Collins, Michigan — It’s a loaded wide receiver year again and Collins is very intriguing, but he needed a huge year to separate himself from others.


Walter Nolen
Walter Nolen (

Here are some prospect comparisons for the 14 five-stars in the 2022 class.

DT Walter NolenSheldon Richardson was an amazing athlete at defensive tackle who had a great career at Missouri and was coveted by the NFL. Nolen is slightly longer but similar athletically.

CB Domani Jackson — Cornerback comparisons aren’t easy but Minkah Fitzpatrick comes to mind because of how similar they are in size and because Jackson makes everything look so effortless.

CB Denver HarrisStephone Gilmore played quarterback and defensive back in high school and had better ball skills, but the lockdown comparison is there.

LB CJ Hicks — Hicks is a huge kid who can play safety or linebacker and he reminds me a lot of Shaq Thompson, who went on to become a first-round draft pick.

CB Jaheim Singletary — This is a tough one and a few guys came to mind but Al Blades was tall and skinny and very good at playing the ball like Singletary.

QB Quinn EwersPhillip Rivers comes to mind, but he was pre-Rivals so I’m going with Drew Lock because they have similar makeup. Lock was under-ranked out of high school and had the 'it' factor that Ewers has.

DT Travis Shaw Dexter Lawrence is the obvious comparison because of how tall they both are and they hail from North Carolina.

OT Julian Armella — At first it was Darnell Wright when Armella was a bit heavier, but now he reminds me of Alex Boone, who was a nasty and physical massive OL back in the day.

WR Luther Burden — Burden can do it all like Laquon Treadwell did as an excellent route runner with size and good hands.

OT Kam Dewberry — I was thinking of a player with a guard body who can play tackle and Jedrick Wills came to mind for Dewberry.

OT Zach RiceMike Adams is an old school reference, but he has a ton of upside but was very raw coming out of high school. The sky is the limit for Rice.

DE Tyre West Chris Jones was a defensive end in high school who grew into an elite defensive tackle and West might do the same.

CB Will Johnson — In college he was a star named Eli Apple and a first- rounder. That’s who I would compare him to.

LB Shawn Murphy — I think Murphy will end up playing inside and be a Reggie Ragland-type of player.


The SEC released it’s schedule for its conference-only season and here are the easiest to hardest schedules in the conference.

1. Florida — The SEC East is still the easier of the two divisions and with games against most of the bottom of the SEC. With no Alabama on the schedule, the Gators are set for success.

2. Georgia — The only difference between Florida and Georgia? UGA has to play Alabama.

3. LSU — The Tigers, of course, have Alabama, but with the addition of Vanderbilt and Missouri and some struggling teams in the SEC West they should do well.

4. Alabama — ‘Bama has Georgia which isn’t easy and, of course, LSU so despite the additions of Kentucky and Missouri it’s still harder than the Gators, UGA and LSU.

5. Texas A&M — The Aggies need a big year and not having Georgia on the schedule is nice, and the Aggies avoid Kentucky as well, which would be a tough addition. Florida is a challenge but they are still in solid shape.

6. Auburn — Auburn has a tougher road than the Aggies because the Tigers play some tough teams in the SEC East with the addition of Tennessee and with Florida and Georgia already on the schedule.

7. Ole Miss — This is where talent starts to factor in. Ole Miss isn’t a strong team and have that SEC West schedule along with Florida and Kentucky in the East. Plus they finish the schedule with LSU. That’s tough.

8. Mississippi State — Kentucky and Georgia in the East aren’t easy and the SEC West schedule will be a grind.

9. Kentucky — Finishing with Alabama and Florida near the end of the season isn’t fun. But the Wildcats got off easier than the Vols or Gamecocks.

10. Tennessee — The Vols have Alabama, Auburn and A&M from the West and it’s not so easy in East. They didn’t get any favors from this schedule.

11. South Carolina — The Gamecocks have LSU, Auburn and A&M in the West but avoid Alabama. But they aren’t as good as Tennessee so the schedule is harder if that makes sense.

12. Vanderbilt — Vandy avoided Alabama but does it matter? The Commodores have A&M and Auburn as well as a loaded SEC East schedule.

13. Missouri — The Tigers got screwed, plain and simple. Alabama and LSU as the two additions? Things end okay with South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State, but by then it could be way too late.

14. Arkansas — Is there a win on the schedule? Georgia and Florida added to an already ridiculous schedule? Not nice.