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Three-Point Stance: Schools on rise; home-state advantage; QB pro days

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Advertisement National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with consistent risers in the Team Recruiting Rankings, the best home state recruiting advantages in college football and some thoughts on Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.

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Kirk Ferentz
Kirk Ferentz (AP Images)

How many programs have improved their finish in the Team Recruiting Rankings in each of the last few cycles? Not many. Here’s how it breaks down.

- Only two programs have improved their recruiting rankings in each of the last five years: Iowa and Washington State.

- The Hawkeyes have gone from No. 59 in 2014 to No. 58 in 2015 to No. 42 in 2016 to No. 40 in 2017 to No. 39 in 2018. Those aren’t crazy numbers but it shows how hard it is for one team to improve each year. Iowa's 2019 class currently ranks in the top 30.

- The Cougars have gone from No. 69 in 2014 to No. 55 in 2015 to No. 52 in 2016 to No. 51 in 2017 and to No. 46 in 2018. They are currently outside the top 50 right now for 2019 with only one commitment.

- Miami has risen in the recruiting rankings in each of the last four cycles. The Hurricanes ranked No. 26 in 2015, No. 23 in 2016, No. 11 in 2017 and up to No. 6 in 2018. Their 2019 class currently ranks No. 2 and boasts double-digit commitments.

- Ohio State has also had an impressive four-year run. The Buckeyes finished ranked No. 9 in 2015, No. 3 in 2016 and then ended both of the last two recruiting cycles ranked No. 2. Ohio State's 2019 class currently ranks No. 19 with only three commitments.

- Nebraska and Utah both fell back in 2018 after rising in the previous four recruiting cycles. The Huskers finished No. 32 in 2014, No. 31 in 2015, No. 24 in 2016 and No. 20 in 2017 before falling back, barely, to No. 21 in 2018. Their 2019 class is currently ranked just inside the top 30. The Utes went from No. 66 in 2014 , No. 50 in 2015, No. 33 in 2016 and then to No. 25 in 2017 before falling back to No. 38 in 2018. Utah is still waiting for its first 2019 commitment.


Clay Helton
Clay Helton (AP Images)

USC is off to a slow start with its 2019 recruiting class, but I’m not worried about the Trojans at all. Why? They have one of the best home-state advantages in the country. These are the best home-state advantages in college football.

LSU – This is far and away the No. 1 recruiting advantage in the country. There is no competition. Alabama has occasionally hurt LSU in-state but, overall, the Tigers get who they want out of the Bayou State more often than not.

Ohio State – Other programs come into Ohio, but there is no in-state competition. Cincinnati can’t hang and forget about the MAC. Clemson showed you can steal one away with Jackson Carman but, for the most part, whoever Urban Meyer wants in state he usually gets.

Georgia Georgia Tech is there, but the Yellow Jackets usually only get one or two four-stars a year and rarely beat Georgia for anyone that the 'Dawgs want. The out-of-state competition is rough, but when it comes to an in-state advantage this is one of the best ones.

Texas Texas A&M does a very good job recruiting but, let’s face it, more kids grow up dreaming of playing for the Longhorns. Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and others are all in-state as well, but no one has the allure of Texas when it comes to big-time kids.

Penn State – The last time Pitt kept four- and five-stars at home consistently was when Dave Wannstedt was the head coach. Since then, with a few exceptions, high profile prospects either end up at Penn State or head out-of-state.

USC – I don’t care who else is in state or even in the same city, the Trojans get who they want more often than not and always attract the big names.


Josh Allen
Josh Allen (AP Images)

I am not a huge fan of pro days for quarterbacks. I don't get much out of watching guys essentially play catch with a handful of receivers, and I don’t understand what coaches and general managers get out of it.

That being said, I came away very impressed after watching Sam Darnold and Josh Allen throw at their pro days. Go figure. The two quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft that I pegged as busts looked great throwing routes on air.

Their pro day showing hasn't changed how I view them as prospects. I still worry about Darnold’s turnovers and Allen’s lack of success against Power Five teams. More likely than not, one of them will pan out and the other will flame out, but it wouldn’t surprise me if both turned out to be busts. But they can certainly throw the ball when no one else is on the field, that’s for sure.