Three-Point Stance: G.O.A.T. by position, '17 tidbits, Buckeyes feat
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a list of the greatest players at each position, more 2017 recruiting nuggets and a look at something that had never been done in recruiting until now.
1. G.O.A.T. BY POSITION
Tom Brady is the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.). He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching football since I was 6-years-old. That means, in my mind, Michigan has bragging rights at that position.
Here’s what programs can brag on having the G.O.A.T. at each position when it comes to NFL greatness since 1976.
Quarterback: Tom Brady, Michigan – Now with five Super Bowl wins, Brady gets the nod over Joe Montana (Notre Dame), Dan Marino (Pitt), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), John Elway (Stanford) and others.
Running Back: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State – This is a close one, at least for me, with Eric Dickerson (SMU), Walter Payton (Jackson State) and Emmitt Smith (Florida) also in the conversation. Marshall Faulk (San Diego State) also gets a shout-out as does Earl Campbell (Texas) but Sanders was the best and most electric of them all.
Wide Receiver: Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State – Where are the Delta Devils fans out there? This one isn’t close at all with Randy Moss (Marshall) being the only one comparable that I’ve seen. Time will tell if Julio Jones (Alabama) can approach these two.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Cal – The former college football and basketball star is the best I’ve ever seen. Rob Gronkowski (Arizona) is up there as well, and he is still working on his numbers and impact. Kellen Winslow (Missouri) was also great.
Offensive Line: John Hannah, Alabama – The former Roll Tide and New England Patriots star is followed closely by Anthony Munoz (USC), Bruce Matthews (USC) and Orlando Pace (Ohio State).
Defensive End: Reggie White, Tennessee – “The Minister of Defense” edges out Bruce Smith (Virginia Tech) for No. 1 here in my book, so brag on Vols fans.
Defensive Tackle: Joe Greene, North Texas – “Mean Joe” was incredible, followed closely by Randy White (Maryland). Many of the greats at the position were before my time but I remember being awed by these two.
Linebacker: Lawrence Taylor, North Carolina – Is there any question here? Taylor changed the way the position was played and is well ahead of Ray Lewis (Miami), Jack Lambert (Kent State) and Mike Singletary (Baylor).
Cornerback: Deion Sanders, Florida State – Sanders, although a reluctant tackler, gets the nod over Rod Woodson (Purdue) and Charles Woodson (Michigan) at least for me.
Safety: Ronnie Lott, USC – The Trojans get on the board here with the amazing Lott who had his broken pinkie finger amputated in 1986 rather than miss time with reconstructive surgery. He gets my nod over Ed Reed (Miami) and Brian Dawkins (Clemson). And no, I don’t have Troy Polamalu in the same category as Lott, Reed and Dawkins.
2. MORE 2017 RECRUITING NUGGETS
Here are a few interesting tidbits about the 2017 recruiting cycle that I came across doing some research last week.
- Arkansas signed the highest-ranked cornerback in the SEC in Chevin Calloway. That’s a pretty big deal for the Hawgs when you consider the success the SEC has had recruiting the position in years past. With LSU and Florida battling it out for DBU bragging rights recently and Nick Saban’s success in the secondary, this is actually quite a stunner.
- LSU landed only three of the top 10 players in Louisiana for 2017 and Texas landed zero of the top 10 players in Texas. To give you an idea of how insane that statistic is, take a look back at how much those two programs have dominated our Louisiana and Texas state rankings over the years.
- The Big 12 was the only Power Five conference to fail to land a Rivals100 running back despite the state of Texas producing two of them (J.K. Dobbins and Eno Benjamin). The conference also failed to land a Rivals100 offensive lineman as well with Lone Star State linemen heading to Stanford (Walker Little) and LSU (Austin Deculus). The ACC is the only Power Five conference to be shut out of the Rivals100 at linebacker after USC stole Levi Jones from Florida State.
- Oklahoma landed a top 10 California prospect (Addison Gumbs) for the third time in four years.
- For the first time since 2008, the top-ranked prospect in Florida, Texas, California and Georgia all went out of state. The top-ranked 2017 prospects in Florida (Alex Leatherwood) and California (Najee Harris) signed with Alabama. The best that Texas had to offer inked with Florida State (Marvin Wilson) and the top Georgia prospect signed with Stanford (Davis Mills).
3. FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Here’s the coup de grâce of all my research: Never in the history of Rivals.com has a program landed a top five prospect from each of the big three states – California, Florida and Texas – until 2017. Ohio State has made history by pulling this off. Alabama and Florida State came close this year as the Tide had two of the top five in Florida and Najee Harris in California, but no one in the top five from Texas, while the Seminoles had Josh Kaindoh in Florida and Marvin Wilson from Texas but no one from California. The Buckeyes landed No. 5 in Florida (Shaun Wade), No. 3 in California (Wyatt Davis) and Nos. 3 and 4 in Texas (Baron Browning and Jeffrey Okudah). This is simply amazing.