football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Instant impact defenders, sleeper 3-stars, 'The U' National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with some future defensive stars from the 2018 class, some offensive three-stars who could outplay their ranking and how Miami is the king of Florida for now.

CLASS OF '18 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | State | Position | JUCO

1. Defensive players ready to make mark

Jack Lamb
Jack Lamb (Nick Lucero/

Last week, I went over some 2018 signees on the offensive side of the ball that I thought could make an immediate impact at their programs. Today I’ll look at some defensive prospects, guys who don’t get as much attention, that could be instant impact guys in college football.

DE Xavier Thomas, Clemson – I know the Clemson defensive line is stacked and I don’t care. Thomas is too talented to sit and too explosive to avoid making an impact.

DT Rick Sandidge, South Carolina – Sandidge is athletic, has a great motor and will outwork many to earn playing time.

DL Dante Stills, West Virginia – I list him as a DL because he will likely play defensive end at West Virginia, but he has DT skills as well.

DE Tyreke Smith, Ohio State – Ohio State is never at a shortage for defensive edge rushers, but Smith has the talent, despite being raw, to play right away and impact.

DT Nesta Silvera, Miami – Miami needs help at defensive tackle and this kid just doesn’t stop moving.

DT PJ Mustipher, Penn State – I’m became more and more sold on Mustipher the more I saw him and his gap-shooting ability will help Penn State right away.

LB Micah Parsons, Penn State – Middle linebacker or outside linebacker or defensive end, it doesn’t matter. Parsons is a day one standout.

LB Jack Lamb, Notre Dame – He needs to add strength, but his instincts are excellent and allow him to jump in and impact early.

LB Payton Wilson, NC State – He’s an instinctual and physical kid and he’s ready to play early and often.

CB Brendan Radley-Hiles, Oklahoma – He doesn’t have great size, but there is no question about his desire and he loves to hit, so he’ll be a big part of the defense.

CB Corione Harris, Kansas – The biggest recruit for Kansas in forever will not sit and should make an impact similar to Michael Lee his first year.

CB Jalen Green, TexasAnthony Cook got most of the headlines throughout this cycle but Green is more ready to play right away, and play well.

CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama – Alabama needs to replace cornerbacks and this kid has the size and skill to play from day one.

S Caden Sterns, Texas – He’s a ball hawk and a hitter and he will make a big difference in the Texas defense early.

S Jaiden Woodbey, Florida State – He’s too athletic to stay off the field and he could prove from the beginning he will be the next great safety at FSU.

S Quindarious Monday, Auburn – He has ball skills and can cover a ton of ground. There’s an opening for anyone like that anywhere.

S Cam Jones, Nebraska – I love his athleticism. He picks things up quickly and makes a difference in the secondary.

2. Some sleeper three-stars to keep an eye on

Maurice Washington
Maurice Washington (

Last year one of my offensive three-stars who I felt could exceed expectations was Clemson's Travis Etienne who played a big role in getting Clemson back to college football playoff. So who are a few of the offensive three-stars that could surprise out of the 2018 class? These guys might not make an immediate impact like Etienne, but keep an eye on them.

QB Theo Day, Michigan State – It won’t be right away, but watch out for him long-term, especially with how Michigan State develops three-star quarterbacks.

QB Riley Smith, Boise State – He won’t get the accolades of a Power Five quarterback, but he’s a future standout with the Broncos.

QB Tanner Mordecai, Oklahoma – The competition will be fierce the way Oklahoma is recruiting, but this kid could end up playing like a four-star.

QB James Foster, Texas A&MJimbo Fisher does well with quarterbacks, so don’t count Foster out from having an impact beyond his ranking.

RB Johnny Adams, Cal – Adams has a unique skillset and Cal tends to churn out very good running backs, so watch out for him.

RB Craig Williams, Baylor – He’s not the biggest name out there, but in Baylor’s system, he could be a surprise standout.

RB Maurice Washington, Nebraska – Is he just starting to emerge and reach his potential? If so, watch out.

WR Daquris Wiggins, Miami – He can be overlooked a bit but I have a feeling he could be a huge part of Miami’s offense after a year or so.

WR Bryson Jackson, TCU – Baseball could take away some focus, but he’s going to be a stat stuffer in the offense if he gives it enough attention.

TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland – The Evan Engram comparisons are already there and Engram was a three-star as well. Hmmmm.

TE Matt Alaimo, UCLA – A big target who can run a bit, he will be a part of Chip Kelly’s offense in some way or another and it could be a huge role.

OL Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame – I like his frame, his footwork and I like what he could be in a couple years after filling out.

OL Thomas Shelmire, Boston College – You can’t go wrong with a Boston College lineman with a nasty side, right?

OL Michael Furtney, Wisconsin – See Shelmire and replace Wisconsin for Boston College.

3. Florida is buzzing about the Canes

Miami commit Marc Britt
Miami commit Marc Britt (Nick Lucero/

The Rivals Camp Series has started with our first two dates in Miami and Orlando and based on what Rob Cassidy, our Florida analyst, tells me – The U rules the state.

Of the dozens of prospects that Rob spoke to, Miami was mentioned by far the most, followed by Florida State and Florida. But what puzzles me the most is that in Miami, it doesn’t appear that the Seminoles or the Gators have much of a foothold at all and aren’t efforting prospects as much as they have in the past.

One thing FSU and Florida cannot afford to do is concede South Florida to Miami or a juggernaut will emerge as we saw long ago with The U before guys like Urban Meyer (with Doc Holliday) came in and said we will steal recruits out of South Florida. Alabama, Georgia and others are recruiting South Florida very hard, but the efforts of FSU and Florida need to increase because right now, especially in Miami, it’s all about The U.