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Three-Point Stance: Combine, returning DTs, 2021 comparisons National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance looks at the top returning defensive tackles returning to college football, discusses a few surprising combine standouts and makes some more 2021 comparisons.

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Marvin Wilson
Marvin Wilson (AP Images)

I continue my position-by-position look at the best returning players in college football with a look at the defensive tackles.

1. Marvin Wilson, Florida State - Wilson is back for the Seminoles and not only shoots the gap but takes on double teams and is effective down the line.

2. Tyler Shelvin, LSU — Shelvin won’t impress you with his pass rushing skills, but he will push the pocket and stuff the run. He’s the reason quarterbacks have trouble stepping up against LSU.

3. Christian Barmore, Alabama — Barmore is a beast and an excellent athlete who is ready to take the next step.

4. Levi Onwuzurike, Washington — Haven’t heard of him? Just keep an eye out for those late night games. This kid is real.

5. Jay Tufele, USC — Athletic and active, Tufele is a nightmare to handle in the middle.

6. Jaylen Twyman, Pitt — Twyman is a monster in the backfield and a great pass rusher. He could be too low on this list.

7. Darius Stills, West Virginia — it’s not surprise that Stills has developed the way he has. He’s one of the Mountaineers' most important recruits in recent years.

8. Kyree Campbell, Florida — Campbell makes a lot of key tackles and really frees up his teammates.

9. Laron Stokes, Oklahoma — Stokes is ready to be a college football star this year, just watch.

10. Lorenzo Neal, Purdue — He’s back from injury and should be better than ever. This was a kid on a first-round track before his ACL injury.


Denzel Mims
Denzel Mims (AP Images)

The NFL Combine always intrigued me because I covered most of these future NFL stars when they were high school prospects. And there are a few that have had truly stunning development and don't look anything like they did in high school. Here are some of them.

1. WR Justin Jefferson, LSU — Jefferson ran in the 4.8 range coming out of high school. He caught everything but never got consistent separation. Now he’s a 4.4 wideout who could land in the first round.

2. RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin — We had Taylor as a four-star and liked him a lot, but trust me when I tell you, he was not the physical specimen and speed demon you see now. This is like a Saquon Barkley transformation.

3. LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson — Simmons was a good athlete for sure coming out of high school but from a 6-3, 212-pounder who could run a bit to the 6-4, 238-pounder who ran a 4.39 you see today is quite a transformation.

4. WR Denzel Mims, Baylor — Mims could always run, but he was 175 pounds soaking wet in high school and not this thick, strong speedster we see today.

5. OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State — Cleveland was an afterthought in recruiting who just had size and now he’s a fast-rising OL prospect after a great combine.


Brock Vandagriff
Brock Vandagriff (

And finally some more 2021 comparisons to some former stars...

QB Brock Vandagriff — People will think I’m saying this because he’s committed to Georgia, but he reminds me a bit of Matt Stafford. He doesn’t have the cannon that Stafford had, but he’s thick, powerful and can drive the ball down the field.

DE Korey Foreman — Hefty praise here but I’m going to say Chase Young because of how tall and big Foreman is at the same stage. Length and power is their game.

OL Bryce FosterAndre Smith immediately comes to mind when it comes to Foster while others may disagree. Both will block you out of the picture on film and have amazing power.

DE Jack Sawyer Noah Spence comes to mind because Sawyer is thin and filling out and super athletic, especially when turning back and running things down from behind.

S Corey CollierJaiden Woodbey is a good comparison, a recent athletic safety with range. Woodbey was bigger at same stage, but both could drop your jaw at times with plays and loved run support.