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Three-Point Stance: Biggest losses on recruiting trail for 2021

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with some of the biggest recruiting losses in 2021, a look the best commits at each position as we head to August and some thoughts on recent commitments.


FARRELL: Best group of QBs in CFB | Will a transfer QB win Heisman for fourth straight year? | Madden Ratings

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

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100

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1. Toughest losses

James Williams
James Williams (Nick Lucero/

The loss of DT Damon Payne out of the state of Michigan to Alabama got me to thinking more about some big losses for teams on the recruiting trail in 2021. Here are the biggest to me.

OL Tommy and James Brockermeyer, Texas: By far the biggest and baddest and most embarrassing of them all so far in 2021. The optics on this one are bad, really bad, as the Longhorns' legacies say goodbye to head to Alabama.

DB James Williams, Georgia: Williams was long thought to be a Georgia lock with Miami thrown in as respect to his local school. Wrong. His pick of the Canes was a stunner and a big blow.

DE Dylan Brooks, Alabama: Alabama fans might not say this is a big loss and the Tide obviously rebounded well, but the Vols stealing away Brooks was a big win for Tennessee out of state.

OT JC Latham, Ohio State: Latham, who hails from Wisconsin but plays at IMG in Florida, was thought to be a lock for the Buckeyes until Alabama swooped in and stole him away.

RB Evan Pryor, North Carolina: Pryor was a huge priority for UNC in this class from the start and he chose Ohio State without taking a visit, which certainly stings.

LB Raesjon Davis, USC: Mater Dei kids go to USC and most expected Davis to do the same before he picked LSU, so losing another big-time linebacker hurts USC as Justin Flowe last year.

DE TJ Bollers, Iowa: Bollers leaving Iowa, a program up the road, for its rival Wisconsin is a gut punch.

WR JoJo Earle, TCU: You could put Oklahoma or Texas in here as well but this is the kind of kid that usually ends up at TCU and does well. LSU took him and it stings.

QB Dematrius Davis, Virginia Tech: Davis was a big get for the Hokies all the way from Texas so his loss and eventual commitment to Auburn hurt badly.

DE Landon Jackson, Texas A&M: The Aggies legacy picked LSU to the surprise of many and this is yet another example of the power of Ed Orgeron.


2. Best commits by position

Bralon Brown
Bralon Brown (Nick Lucero/

It’s not always the highest-ranked players that are the best commitments at each position. After all is it a surprise that Oklahoma and Georgia have five-star quarterback commitments? Nope. So here are some big-time commitments at each position that might not be so obvious.

QB — Jake Rubley, Kansas State: Keep an eye on this one because I like Rubley and he’s going to be a Brock Purdy-kind of talent in the Big 12.

RB — Jaylen Anderson, West Virginia: West Virginia is back in Ohio in a big way and Anderson is a great fit for the Big 12 as a big back who has nifty feet.

WR — Bralon Brown, Ole Miss: Ole Miss does a good job producing big and athletic wide receivers and Brown has a chance to be the next one in line.

TE — Jermaine Terry, Cal: Cal doesn’t get a ton of four-stars and hasn’t had a big-time tight end in a while but Terry could change that.

OL — Teddy Prochazka, Nebraska: Even though he’s an in-state keep, this massive tackle was key in this class and many others wanted to pull him away.

DL — Nahki Johnson, Pitt: Elliot Donald gets a lot of attention and rightly so, but Johnson is yet another elite get on the defensive line for Pitt.

LB — Demeioun Robinson, Maryland: He committed so long ago, but the talented hybrid staying in-state to play for Mike Locksley is massive.

DB — Steven Ortiz, Minnesota: Tony Grimes would be the choice here, but he’s reclassifying to 2020 and Ortiz is a big-time steal from Arizona for the Gophers.


3. Thoughts on recent commits

Logan Diggs
Logan Diggs (Sam Spiegelman)

Finally here are my thoughts on some of the big recent commitments ...

RB Logan Diggs, Notre Dame: Diggs is a solid get from Louisiana for Notre Dame and a kid who can work out of the backfield or out of the slot.

DT Payton Page, Clemson: This became interesting at the end as UNC made a nice push but Clemson got another athletic pocket pusher inside and a guy who has the physical skills to play early.

WR Malik Nabers, Mississippi State: Mike Leach throws the ball and Neighbors knows that, so he’s a great fit for the Bulldogs and a very good out-of-state grab from Louisiana where skill talent abounds. This kid had more than 20 touchdowns as a junior and is an instant deep threat.

TE Gunner Helm, Texas: Helm is a tall target with good downfield speed, but he’s a true red zone threat and that’s key. He had eight touchdowns last season on 25 catches.

OL Kimo Makaneole, Florida State: A steady and smart interior lineman, Makaneole can play guard or center for the Seminoles and had a ton of options but waited on this offer.

WR Brashard Smith, Miami: Smith is yer another key South Florida commitment for Miami and averaged more than 17 yards per catch last season.

DT Damon Payne, Alabama: A monster in the middle who jacks up opposing offensive linemen, Payne is yet another huge Midwest get for the Crimson Tide.

OL Joey Tanona, Notre Dame (2022): The Irish are already off to a great start in the 2022 class with Tanona, who is an early in-state target with a great frame to build on.

WR Kaden Saunders, Penn State (2022): An elite slot receiver, Saunders is a great early get from Ohio who was targeted by Notre Dame and others.

TE Jack Nickel, Notre Dame (2022): Another nice early get in 2022, Nickel is an excellent receiver who can block for his size as well.

TE Jerry Cross, Penn State (2022): Cross plays wide receiver and scored 11 touchdowns as a sophomore, but he has the frame and athleticism to be a tight end down the road and an elite one.