Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here as he ranks some recent commitments, looks at the best QB-RB combos in the 2018 class and why Notre Dame won’t make a run at the playoff.
1. Ranking the recent commitments
It’s been a few weeks since I reviewed commitments mainly because it’s a slow time of year for pledges. But here are the best since the last time I ranked them about three weeks ago.
• QB Justin Fields, Georgia – The biggest senior season commitment in quite some time? Yup. It’s not every day that the No. 2 player in the country pops during his senior football season and with Fields being a quarterback, the impact is threefold. Georgia sets a record with its third straight five-star quarterback.
• DB Houston Griffith, Florida State – An elite athlete at defensive back who could be a cornerback, start off as a nickel and move to safety or play all three. He’s Jalen Ramsey without the same sheer athleticism and quicks. He’s a great pickup.
• DE Adam Anderson, Georgia – The re-commitment. Anderson is back in the fold for Georgia and is a terror off the edge. He was compared by some to Arden Key when he was committed to LSU and Georgia would love to see that kind of production. A huge in-state win and a big win in an SEC battle.
• QB Tyler Shough, Oregon – UNC’s loss is Oregon’s gain. I like this kid a lot, especially in a potentially up-tempo offense. He has a great frame to fill out and makes good decisions for the most part. He could end up as a star with the Ducks.
• DB Joseph Charleston, Clemson (2019) – A 2019 commitment this high? Yep. Charleston is thick, strong and could play a few different positions. He will continue the Clemson defensive back tradition and will be a terror in run support.
• DE Coynis Miller, Auburn – A powerful defensive lineman who is a great fit at Auburn because he could work outside or end up as a tackle inside. Auburn, like everyone else, likes their linemen to be versatile. Unlike many others however, they develop the big ends well.
• DE Jaden Crumedy, Mississippi State – A tall, long rush end who flattens out well and has a great shoulder dip. He is excellent in pursuit and has a frame that can carry 260 pounds or more in a few years.
• WR Meechi Harris, Kentucky – A tall receiver who can stretch the field but could also be a special teams return man with his straight-line speed and vision. He high points the ball well and isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field.
2. Best QB-RB duos for 2018
With the commitment of Fields, who will combine with fellow 5-star Zamir “Zeus” White in the Georgia backfield, I did a look back article on the best QB-RB combinations by rank in Rivals.com history. Who else has a strong combination for the 2018 class? These are the five best following Fields and Zeus,
• Emory Jones, Jaelen Gill, Ohio State – Brian Snead could be thrown in here as well. Jones has a huge arm, he can run and he’s elusive while Gill is great in space and can catch the ball. This is a dynamic duo and will make the Ohio State offense more dangerous as they are perfect for an Urban Meyer system.
• Phil Jurkovec, Markese Stepp, Notre Dame – A dual-threat with great size, Jurkovec is a good fit for the current Notre Dame offense while Stepp is a powerful back with sneaky speed. • • Cameron Rising, Keontay Ingram, Texas – Rising, a former Oklahoma commitment, can throw and run effectively and Ingram has good size and is a slasher with a great jump cut move. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.
• Cameron Rising, Keontay Ingram, Texas – Rising, a former Oklahoma commitment, can throw and run effectively and Ingram has good size and is a slasher with a great jump cut move. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield.
• Devin Leary, Ricky Person, NC State – Overlooked a bit, the combination could keep the NC State offense rolling as Leary is one of the best pure passers in this class and Person has size but is also elusive. Like the other backs on this list, he has good pass-catching ability.
3. Don't worry. Notre Dame is not going to the playoff
With one narrow loss to Georgia, some are saying Notre Dame will run the table and make the college football playoff, thus blocking at least two Power Five conferences and possibly three if Georgia and Alabama both make it from the SEC.
Forget it. It’s not going to happen.
This doesn’t mean that head coach Brian Kelly, on the hot seat heading into this season, hasn’t done a great job and that we aren’t seeing a different team from a confidence and athletic standpoint from last year’s disaster.
The problem for Notre Dame? The schedule. How can we possibly expect the Irish to beat USC, a Top 15 team, NC State, a Top 20 team, Miami, a Top 10 team and Stanford, a Top 25 team, down the stretch? Oh and let’s not forget an improved Wake Forest team and a Navy team that always seems to give Notre Dame fits and was just recently a Top 25 ranked program as well.
Notre Dame has been impressive this season, but it has only beaten one good team and that’s Michigan State. The schedule is too difficult for this team, improved but not elite, to go undefeated from here on out.
So what about a two loss Notre Dame team making it in? Possible, but unlikely as well with at least four one-loss Power Five conference champions expected and possibly all five. Notre Dame has national pull, the powers-that-be in college football would love to see them make the playoff as would many in the media, but I see one loss ahead at least and if they get in ahead of a one-loss conference champ, the whining will be record-setting and likely push us towards an eight-team playoff sooner than later.
Heck, thinking about it in that respect, maybe we should all be pulling for Notre Dame, but it’s just not going to happen. Perhaps another reason to join a conference?