Three-Point Stance: Instant impact defenders, sleeper 3-stars, 'The U'
Rivals National Columnist
Rivals.com 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.
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.
CB Jalen Green, Texas – Anthony 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
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&M – Jimbo 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.
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.