football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Farrell 50 shockers, sleeper classes, more National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on surprises in the Farrell 50, teams having quiet but effective recruiting years and five huge prospect predictions as we head to Signing Day.

MORE FARRELL: Early top 10 for 2020 | Should Gervon Dexter get a fifth star?

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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



Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow (AP Images)

After going through the Farrell 50, my list of the top 50 college football players in the country, and seeing how they were ranked coming out of high school, it struck me that a few of them are complete shockers. Here are the ones that surprised me the most.

1. QB Joe Burrow, LSU — Anyone who tells you they saw this coming with Burrow is either related to him or lying. He’s was a solid quarterback prospect who should have had an unremarkable career. Now he’s the best player in college football and could be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

2. RB Travis Etienne, Clemson — LSU slow played him in its own state and Clemson loved him. I had a feeling about him, but I didn’t do anything about it. He should have been a four-star.

3. LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson — He projected at numerous positions for college and that confused us a bit, but we clearly overthought it.

4. QB Justin Herbert, Oregon — He looked skinny even though he had good size coming out of high school and he was raw with a live arm. Now he’s likely a first-rounder.

5. DE James Lynch, Baylor — Big and powerful but too slow to be elite, right? Wrong. He’s a beast.

6. WR Justin Jefferson, LSU — Academics were the main issue with Jefferson but there’s no excuse for this. He was better than a two-star talent coming out and he’s showing that and more.

7. OL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin — He was a defensive lineman to us out of high school but when big men go to the Badgers they somehow turn out to be great offensive linemen.

8. LB Evan Weaver, Cal — A defensive end out of high school we didn’t think he could play in space the way he has been. He’s a tackling machine.

9. S Antoine Winfield, Minnesota — The bloodlines alone should have been enough for three stars, right? What were we thinking?

10. DE Hamilcar Rashed, Oregon State — Thin and quick, he has developed strength and technique and flattens as well as anyone now.


Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson (Nick Lucero/

Stars matter as we saw in the national title game, but sometimes team rankings can be misleading. Here are five classes in 2020 not ranked that high that are very good...

1. Texas — Things have been very up and down for Tom Herman and company in this class and all year on the field, but there is a ton of talent left in here. The quarterback position has been well addressed and Bijan Robinson is going to be a star, but some of the defensive commitments really have me more excited for Texas fans. Vernon Broughton and others will help this defense early.

2. Notre Dame — The Irish class isn’t getting a ton of attention but many needs have been met. The tight end duo of Michael Mayer and Kevin Bauman is impressive and Jordan Johnson will make an immediate impact. I like this group of defensive backs as well.

3. Florida State — Transition classes are always tough to fill, but I like what Mike Norvell is doing here, especially adding two solid quarterbacks and some key skill position talent. This team will get faster at some positions like wideout and defensive back with this class.

4. Miami — OK, I’ve been down on Miami recruiting in 2020 and for good reason — the Hurricanes have lost a bunch of commits and some key battles. However, they have some big-time boom-or-bust guys like Don Chaney, Chantz Williams and Michael Redding.

5. Nebraska — This is a big class for Scott Frost and I like the balance. The linebacker group has a chance to be elite and there are future stars at wide receiver and offensive line barring injury. There are many immediate impact guys in this class.


Jordan Burch
Jordan Burch

While the early signing period has taken much of the attention away from the first Wednesday in February, there are still some War Daddy recruits left out there that haven’t signed or in some cases even committed. Here’s my prediction on five of the biggest...

1. DE Jordan Burch — Burch committed to South Carolina but didn’t sign and left the door slightly open because of it. But make no mistake about it, he’s a Gamecock.

2. OT Broderick Jones — Jones is hard to read. He is committed to Georgia but was a lean to Auburn a couple of weeks ago and Tennessee is in the mix as well. I think he sticks with Georgia.

3. RB Zach EvansGeorgia reportedly let him out of his National Letter of Intent. Who knows what new program could jump in but Texas A&M is my guess at this point.

4. RB Jalen Berger — Berger committed to Wisconsin on national television but I still think he ends up at Rutgers in the end.

5. DB Avantae Williams — The long-time Oregon commitment is likely headed to Florida barring something unforeseen.