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Three-Point Stance: Freshmen, underachievers, commits

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a look at some impressive offensive rookies, some very disappointing teams so far this season and a look at some key commitments over the last few weeks.


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Jahmyr Gibbs
Jahmyr Gibbs (AP Images)

Last week I revealed my top-10 true freshman list and was immediately hammered by numerous fan bases about players that missed the cut. Even with the Big Ten just starting up and the Pac-12 set to join the fun soon, there have been so many impact true freshmen this season. Here are some more offensive true freshmen from the ACC, Big 12 and SEC that have impressed.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia Tech — Gibbs has been exceptional from the start. He has 308 yards and two touchdowns as well as 15 receptions. Gibbs is living up to the hype as a big-time recruit.

WR Jordan Addison, Pitt — Addison is already target No. 1 for Pitt with 41 catches. He’s going to be the best receiver the Panthers have had in years.

RB Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State — The Deuce is loose already for the surprising Wildcats and showing off the rushing and receiving skills we liked. He has 319 yards rushing and 13 catches.

TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame — We loved Mayer out of high school and almost made him a five-star. He’s off to a great start with 12 catches and two scores.

RB Kendall Milton, Georgia — I love what I see so far from Milton with his decisiveness and quick feet that have led to a 6.4 yards per carry average.

WR Lavel Davis, Virginia — Davis already has three touchdowns and is averaging over 20 yards per catch.

RB Sean Tucker, Syracuse — Never heard of him? He’s good with 362 yards and three scores against some good teams.

QB Shane Illingworth, Oklahoma State — With Spencer Sanders banged up, Illingworth has been huge with a 73-percent completion rate and 3 touchdowns in the air.

OL Zach Frazier, West Virginia — The freshman center is going to be one of the best West Virginia has ever had at the position.

OL Robert Scott Jr., Florida State — The line play hasn’t been great but he’s a freshman starting at right tackle and that’s impressive.

OL Maurice Smith, Florida State — Like Scott he’s jumped into an early role as the center for a young team.

WR Jermaine Burton, Georgia — Burton has made some big plays for UGA and has eight catches and a score.


Gus Malzahn
Gus Malzahn (AP Images)

The Big Ten has just started but that doesn’t mean they don’t already have disappointing teams. And of course the SEC, ACC and Big 12 have some underachievers so far this season as well. Here they are.

1. Auburn — Even though the Tigers are 3-2, they could easily be 1-4 and should be at least 2-3. Tank Bigsby is the only positive spot for the offense and the defense has disappointed.

2. Oklahoma — The Sooners were expected by many to simply plug in Spencer Rattler and run the table but have two unexpected losses to Kansas State and Iowa State and are out of the playoff hunt.

3. LSU — Wow. We knew the Tigers lost a ton of players but losses to Mississippi State and Missouri and poor defensive play was not expected.

4. Texas — This was the year Tom Herman was going to make his true run at the Big 12, right? The Longhorns lost to TCU and Oklahoma and should have lost to Texas Tech.

5. Penn State — It’s only one game, but the Nittany Lions blew it against Indiana and will likely be 0-2 and out of the picture barring an upset of Ohio State.

6. Minnesota — I expected so much more against Michigan and saw a team that has a porous defense and zero special teams ability.


Cam'Ron Valdez
Cam'Ron Valdez (Nick Lucero/

And finally there have been some huge commitments recently and here’s a breakdown of who they are, what they mean and who they hurt.

LB Jeremiah Williams, Florida — Scooby was an Auburn lock until recently and the Gators can use him as a DE, OLB or a hybrid. He brings so much raw ability to the field and will be coached up.

DB Ga’Quincy McKinstry, Alabama — Another Auburn lean early, McKinstry is an elite corner with length and instincts and could be the next Minkah Fitzpatrick for Alabama.

DB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia — Noticing a trend here? Auburn led and Georgia swooped in and stole the talented corner from Alabama.

RB Cam’Ron Valdez, Texas Tech — This is a huge one for Texas Tech as Valdez can do so many things out of the backfield and will impact as a true freshman.

DT Devin Lee, Ole Miss — He’s not a four-star or anything but the Rebels need help on defense and he plays a position hard to recruit.

ATH Khalil Dinkins, Penn State — He’s raw but he could play TE or DE for Penn State and the Lions do well with raw athletes.

WR Dont’e Thornton, Oregon — Another massive get for the Ducks and Mario Cristobal as they are recruiting this position as well as anyone in 2021.

LB Branden Jennings, Michigan — The former Florida State commit and legacy is a big linebacker who covers ground. The last FSU legacy the Wolverines stole was Devin Bush and that worked out just fine.