Three-Point Stance: Jim Harbaugh, overreactions, five-stars
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s three point stance is here with thoughts on Michigan football and Jim Harbaugh, some weekly overreactions and a ton of former five-stars in the news.
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1. FLIP-FLOPPING ON JIM HARBAUGH. AGAIN.
OK, I’m flip flopping again. When Jim Harbaugh was hired at Michigan, I didn’t think he would win a national title. I didn't think he could match Urban Meyer's massive national recruiting and develop those players into stars. However, after a couple of 10-win seasons and seeing how he recruited some talented prospects from states like New Jersey, Georgia, Florida and elsewhere, I bought in.
But now I’m done. I picked Michigan to upset Wisconsin this weekend and, much to my embarrassment, the Wolverines not only lost but they never had a chance. Harbaugh can’t beat his rivals in the Big Ten and he can’t win big games and he is in his fifth season in Ann Arbor. His 40-15 record is nice and all, but how can he beat Ohio State when he can’t out-recruit the Buckeyes? His roster talent is inferior and he can’t beat solid teams like Wisconsin.
Harbaugh will move on to the NFL before he breaks through at Michigan and that begs the question – if he can’t win big there, who can? The team I watched Saturday was ill-prepared for Wisconsin, wasn’t nearly as physical and wasn’t even faster despite better recruiting rankings since Harbaugh arrived. I think Ohio State throttles Michigan again this year, Ryan Day wins a national title in the next few years and Michigan will continue to be an above average program.
This is my final answer. I won’t be swayed again.
2. REACTING TO WEEKLY OVERREACTIONS
OK, it’s time to react to this week's overreactions.
Sam Ehlinger is a Heisman candidate – AGREE – Even with the loss to LSU, Ehlinger has been playing very well and shouldn’t be discounted as a Heisman candidate. His performance against Oklahoma State was off the charts and with a big game against Oklahoma, he can put himself at the forefront of the Heisman discussion if Texas wins.
Texas A&M will never break through – DISAGREE – Never is a strong word and despite another lackluster performance against Auburn, Jimbo Fisher can get this team to the SEC title game eventually. He just needs Nick Saban to retire.
UCLA is moving in the right direction – DISAGREE – Yes, it was a scintillating comeback win over Washington State and he has a young team, but UCLA is still a disaster and recruiting isn’t going well.
We jumped the gun on North Carolina – AGREE – Well, I jumped the gun at least after two early wins, including what I thought was an impressive victory over Miami. However, the ‘Canes aren’t very good and North Carolina just lost to a Sun Belt team, so Mack Brown still has a rebuilding job to do.
Chad Morris is not the solution for Arkansas – AGREE – This is a bit early, right? But after a 2-10 season and now a nail-biter over Portland State and a loss to San Jose State, things just look ugly at Arkansas despite somewhat solid recruiting.
Auburn is for real – AGREE – Bo Nix is a freshman, so that could be an issue, but this team has a ton of talent and the defensive line is just nasty. The Tigers can give LSU and Alabama a run for their money.
Wan’Dale Robinson could be a savior for Nebraska – AGREE – One player can’t change everything, but the way Robinson was used against Illinois and how dynamic he looked leads me to believe they can build an offense around him.
3. FIVE-STARS TAKING OVER THE NFL
I’m a recruiting dork, I’ll admit that, and I love to follow the NFL to see how former high school prospects I scouted pan out. I’ve been very surprised, and relieved, to see numerous former five-stars making the news lately for many different reasons, most of them good. The league is being taken over by five-stars.
Jalen Ramsey – The best cornerback in football wants a trade out of Jacksonville and someone will certainly give up a first-rounder for him.
Minkah Fitzpatrick – The Steelers gave up a first-rounder, which looks like it will be a high pick, to get Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins and he had a pick in his first game.
Everson Griffen – He’s leading the NFL in hurries for the Vikings and has become one of the best edge rushers in football.
Myles Garrett – Is he the most dominant defensive end in the NFL? Browns fans think so.
Chris Jones – You don’t hear enough about him, but he’s one of the best pass rushing interior linemen in football for the Chiefs.
Tre’Davious White – Two picks for the undefeated Bills this past weekend and one of the top cover corners you probably haven’t heard much about.
Greg Olsen – One of our first five-stars from back in 2002, he’s still killing it in the NFL and had two touchdowns Sunday.
Matt Stafford – Some people think he’s a disappointment or just average as a former No. 1 pick, but he just led an overmatched Detroit team to a win over Philly and his career numbers will be very good.
Deshaun Watson – He’s one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL and makes some plays that make you shake your head when watching the Texans.
Alvin Kamara – He’s just putting on a show for the Saints and continues to be one of the most dangerous weapons in football.
JuJu Smith – A long touchdown catch Sunday for Smith as he becomes the go-to receiver for the depleted Steelers.
Keenan Allen – He’s just one of the best receivers in the NFL for the Chargers and keeps making big plays with Rivers.
Julio Jones – The best receiver in the NFL? Yep.
Nelson Agholor – Two touchdowns for the Eagles and he’s finally become a consistent target.
Dalvin Cook – He could be the best running back in football for the Vikings. For real.