Three-Point Stance: Perspective on White, trending five-stars, Huskers
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here as he puts the Zamir White commitment into historical perspective, takes a look at the remaining uncommitted five-star prospect and recaps Nebraska’s Friday Night Lights event.
1. PERSPECTIVE ON WHITE'S COMMITMENT
How does five-star running back and new Georgia commit Zamir White stack up against some of the best I have scouted over the years? His No. 6 ranking in the 2018 Rivals100 is especially high for a running back. There have been 63 running backs in Rivals.com's history that have been ranked as five-star prospects but only 22 of those - including White and Lorenzo Lingard in the 2018 recruiting cycle - have been included in the national top 10. So of those 22, where does White rank?
Here’s my list…
1. Adrian Peterson – The standard in Rivals.com history, he has yet to be surpassed.
2. Reggie Bush – I go back and forth between Bush and Harris (below) when it comes to the next best back I scouted. Bush gets the nod, but call these guys 2a and 2b.
3. Najee Harris – He runs upright like Peterson and has perhaps even more speed and elusiveness at the same stage, he just lacks the same power.
4. Bryce Brown – Brown was a bust in college but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a freak out of high school. He was big, fast and could catch the ball and run routes like a big wide out.
5. Leonard Fournette – Some compared Fournette to Peterson, but they had different styles. The biggest surprise for me, as LSU fans know, is how such a big back’s speed translated to the SEC.
6. Cam Akers – Akers played quarterback, so having him so high is odd, but he’s a freaky talent and his amazing senior year pushed him up the list.
7. Joe Mixon – The most versatile back on this list, Mixon was a freaky talent who could have played wide receiver as well.
White would fall into this next group here along with guys like Jonathan Stewart, C.J. Spiller, Joe McKnight, Trent Richardson and Marcus Lattimore. White still has a senior year left to play and many more evaluations, so he has a chance to move up or down in this group. He reminds me a bit of Edgerrin James or Arian Foster when it comes to recent NFL running back stars. The first comparison I heard about White when he was younger was Herschel Walker, which is, of course, a bit ridiculous. But White is big, has great feet, is elusive, and runs with natural leverage. He appears to be a home run recruit and a can’t-miss guy barring injury or off-field issues.
Lingard isn’t far behind in this class and it will be a great battle between the two down the stretch for that top spot in the running back rankings.
2. HOW THE REMAINING UNCOMMITTED FIVE-STARS ARE TRENDING
Even with White off the board, there are still plenty of uncommitted five-star prospects in the 2018 class. Here's a look at the programs that have been trending the longest for the remaining uncommitted five-stars, like Georgia was trending for so long with White.
CB Patrick Surtain – LSU seems to be the team that has had the most momentum for Surtain, but he’s a tough one to read.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown – USC gets mentioned the most when talking to people, but don’t count out Stanford or Notre Dame.
DE Micah Parsons – Since his decommitment from Penn State, Ohio State has been the team to beat.
QB Matt Corral – Since his decommitment from USC, it’s been anyone’s guess here and a lot depends on where Fields (below) lands. I’ll say Georgia if the Bulldogs don’t land Fields.
QB Justin Fields – Good luck on this one. Florida has been trending the longest since his decommitment from Penn State, but I wouldn't be stunned if he chose Florida State or Georgia.
CB Anthony Cook – Ohio State has been trending the longest, but he did tell me it was a tie at the top between the Buckeyes and Texas a few weeks ago.
OL Jamaree Salyer – Georgia has been trending for a long, long time. Others, like Clemson and most recently Notre Dame, have made runs, but the Bulldogs remain on top.
S Tyreke Johnson – There has been a lot of Georgia buzz here and the Gators have been linked to his potential commitment the longest, but UCLA has been there since the start.
OL Jackson Carman – Ohio State and more Ohio State, even when he named Clemson as his leader.
DE K.J. Henry – Clemson remains the team with the most buzz, but recent visits to Georgia and Alabama have made things more interesting.
WR Justyn Ross – Auburn has been linked the longest for Ross with his early visits, but Alabama and now Clemson are pushing.
WR Terrace Marshall Jr. – LSU has had the edge forever and it would be surprising if he left the state.
WR Jalen Hall – USC has been linked to Hall forever, but don’t be surprised if he ends up elsewhere.
3. MIKE RILEY CONTINUES TO IMPRESS AT NEBRASKA
Double-digit four-star prospects, multiple elite underclassmen, prospects committed to other big programs and a highly-coveted five-star standout. Is this USC’s Rising Senior Camp list? Nope. It’s Nebraska’s Friday Night Lights event, which drew nearly 7,000 fans last Friday.
More notable than the fan attendance was the number of top-shelf prospects that were in Lincoln. Micah Parsons, Houston Griffith, Owen Pappoe, Isaiah Williams, Marcus Washington and Christian Tutt all checked out Nebraska, as did committed prospects like T.J. Pledger (Oklahoma) and Raymond Scott (USC).
This isn’t just a Calibraska movement anymore as Nebraska has become a player for elite kids in Texas (Joshua Moore's commitment will only help), Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to go along with their natural recruiting territory of Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.
Urban Meyer made the Friday Night Lights event at Florida a rock concert and other coaches have since copied the concept, but getting elite prospects to Lincoln isn’t easy. Mike Riley continues to impress.