Three-Point Stance: Hot seat talk, fab freshmen, surprising teams
National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with some defensive true freshmen that have impressed, six teams that have been a pleasant surprise this season and some hot seat talk.
STING FACTOR: Five-star 2022 QB Quinn Ewers decommits from Texas
CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State
CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State
COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series
1. HOT SEATS HEATING UP
These are some of the head coaches that I’ve heard could be on the hot seat or are ridiculously put on the hot seat by their fan base. And I’ll share my feelings as well.
Gus Malzahn, Auburn — He should be on the hot seat and it should be very hot. Recruiting has taken a tumble, the Tigers have been gifted at least one game and they continue to disappoint. Malzahn's buyout is big, but this program is treading water and could be sinking soon.
Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee — This is ridiculous. I know Butch Jones won nine games in his third year, but Pruitt has these players developing quicker and playing harder, and he inherited a bad QB room.
Tom Herman, Texas — Herman is in trouble at Texas as recruiting is about to take a dip and another loss will possibly seal his fate. He should have three losses right now if Texas Tech didn’t blow a two-score lead in three minutes. It’s time to move on.
James Franklin, Penn State — This is just dumb but I put him here because the fan base is antsy after the blown game against Indiana. Franklin does a great job and I can’t imagine an upgrade at this position. Settle down, Penn State fans.
Clay Helton, USC — He hasn’t played a game this year but he has to be mentioned as he has been on the hot seat for the last few years. We will see how he does in a shortened season.
Will Muschamp, South Carolina — It’s so up and down with Muschamp but the drubbing by a weakened LSU team isn’t good. He should be squarely on the hot seat and time is running out.
Dave Doeren, NC State — Despite getting hammered by North Carolina on the field and in recruiting, he’s show he deserves another year.
Dino Babers, Syracuse — Two seasons removed from a 10-win season the Syracuse offense is horrible and the defense has huge holes. It might be time for a change.
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt — Pitt has taken a step backwards this season but overall he’s done a solid job and should remain the head coach. He’s a good fit for the Panthers.
2. TRUE FRESHMEN THAT HAVE IMPRESSED ON DEFENSE
Tuesday I ran through some true freshmen on the offensive side of the ball that didn’t make my top-10 cut last week. Today I’ll look at the impressive freshmen defenders.
DB Malachi Moore, Alabama — Moore was overwhelmingly the choice among fans as the player who should have been on the initial 10 and wasn’t. He has an impressive 20 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defended already.
CB Elias Ricks, LSU — Ricks is living up to his five-star status with three interceptions already with one taken back for a score.
DE Ahkeem Mesidor, West Virginia — The active DE already has four sacks and 17 tackles as well as 4.5 for a loss. He was a huge get for West Virginia from Florida.
CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State — He has two interceptions and a pick-six to go along with seven tackles and two pass breakups.
LB Stefon Thompson, Syracuse — Thompson has 19 tackles and a sack for a rebuilding Syracuse defense and looks to be a future leader.
LB Will Anderson, Alabama — The former five-star end has 17 tackles as a linebacker and hybrid so far.
DT Jalen Carter, Georgia — He’s been stout in the middle. His impact has been felt even though he hasn’t shown up as much on the stat sheet as others.
DE Josh Celiscar, UCF — He has eight tackles, a sack and a pick and he’s on his way to stardom.
LB Marlowe Wax, Syracuse — Another Syracuse defender, so at least the future looks bright for the Orange.
DT Gervon Dexter, Florida — The big man has an interception already and a tackle for a loss while clogging the middle.
3. SIX TEAMS OFF TO A SURPRISING START
Let’s be positive. Earlier this week I ran through six teams that have been massive disappointments so far this season. Here are six pleasant surprises.
1. Arkansas — I am so impressed with the job Sam Pittman has done so far. This is an Arkansas team that was used to losing and changing that culture so fast is beyond amazing. Good things are ahead for the Hawgs.
2. Rutgers — Greg Schiano is clearly the only coach who can win at Rutgers and he’s off to a great start. It’s early, but this team looks so much different.
3. Kansas State — Talk about an amazing coaching job. Chris Klieman has proven to be the right hire and two straight victories over Oklahoma is awesome.
4. Missouri — Eli Drinkwitz landed a horrible schedule and Mizzou is the geographical outcast in the SEC. But who cares? He has this team competing and he won’t accept mediocrity, trust me.
5. Purdue — Jeff Brohm didn’t even coach and the Boilermakers pulled the upset over Iowa. This team has some offensive talent, but don’t sleep on the defense either.
6. Boston College — Jeff Hafley has changed the attitude around Boston College and this team comes to play. The Eagles won’t challenge Clemson this weekend, but stay tuned.