Three-Point Stance: Farrell 99 Club, DBU, Correct Me If I'm Wrong
National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with some Madden-like ratings for college football players, a quick glance at which program deserves the DBU mantle and a new version of Correct Me If I’m Wrong.
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1. THE FARRELL 99 CLUB
We are all familiar with EA Sports releasing its Madden football ratings each summer and the typical reactions from fans and players alike. The 99 club, the highest rating you can get in the game, consists of QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Michael Thomas, DT Aaron Donald and CB Stephon Gilmore this season. So who would be the 99-level players in college football? I’ll call it the Farrell 99 Club.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson — Mahomes is the only NFL quarterback to receive a 99, but I have two in college football led by Lawrence, who should be the No. 1 overall pick next year even if he doesn’t play another down in college football. Think Peyton Manning in his prime with wheels.
QB Justin Fields, Ohio State — Fields is not far behind Lawrence in talent and he could be the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. Or even No. 1. If college football was a video game, then Fields would be a cheat code.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU — There are a ton of elite wide receivers in college football, similar to last year, but Chase is the only 99 with his size, speed and catch radius.
OL Penei Sewell, Oregon — Offensive linemen don’t often get a 99 rating in Madden and haven’t since Walter Jones in 2007. Sewell could be the next one and is an easy 99 in college.
LB Micah Parsons, Penn State — Parsons can do so many things and cover so much ground he’s an easy 99.
CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU — The only player not draft eligible after this season to earn 99 is the best corner in the country.
2. WHICH PROGRAM IS REALLY DBU?
When speaking to 2021 DB Jordan Hancock about why he flipped from Clemson to Ohio State, he mentioned the recent success of the Buckeyes putting defensive backs into the first round of the NFL Draft. It got me wondering, based on that criteria over the last 15 years, which program is DBU? Spoiler alert: It's the Buckeyes.
1. Ohio State — Starting with the 2006 NFL Draft, the Buckeyes have produced 11 first-round defensive backs, including Malcolm Jenkins, Marshon Lattimore and Jeff Okudah. No other program can touch this number. Ohio State is DBU.
2. LSU — Since 2006 LSU has put seven products in the first-round of the NFL Draft, including Laron Landry, Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne. There are some big names here, but it’s a far cry from the Buckeyes double digits.
3. Alabama — People often forget about Alabama in this discussion. Since 2006, the Tide have put seven defensive backs into the first round of the NFL Draft, including Kareem Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Minkah Fitzpatrick. That’s seven, the same number as LSU. The Tigers get the nod because they have better d-backs in the league, but it’s close.
4. Florida — The Gators, since 2006, have produced six first-round defensive backs, including Joe Haden, Matt Elam and Vernon Hargreaves.
5. Florida State — Antonio Cromartie starts things off in 2006 for the Seminoles and has been followed by Patrick Robinson, Xavier Rhodes, Jalen Ramsey and Derwin James. That’s five and some very big names.
6. Texas — The Longhorns produced Michael Huff, Michael Griffin, Aaron Ross, Earl Thomas and Kenny Vaccaro all between 2006 and 2013 but nothing since. Five is a solid number but the Longhorns are fading badly of late.
Odds and ends: Miami has four, which is a solid number with the latest being Artie Burns in 2016. ... Many teams have had two first-round defensive backs since 2006 including Washington, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Clemson, Louisville, Houston and Tennessee.
3. CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG...
Finally, it’s time for another version of Correct Me If I’m Wrong:
Correct Me If I’m Wrong: While Florida and Miami have been very active and strong in recruiting lately, Florida State seems awfully quiet.
Correct Me If I’m Wrong: Texas is headed for its third straight recruiting cycle without landing an in-state five-star prospect.
Correct Me If I’m Wrong: Florida is still very much in the race for James Williams with Georgia and Miami.
Correct Me If I’m Wrong: We have not seen the last college football game featuring Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
Correct Me If I’m Wrong: Miami’s defense against North Carolina's offense is going to be the most underrated matchup of this season.