Three-Point Stance: Rebuilding jobs, replacing sleepers, QBs
National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with some thoughts on the 10 biggest rebuilding jobs in college football, some unsung heroes that will be missed in the Power Five and the best true freshmen quarterbacks in 2020.
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1. THE TOUGHEST REBUILDING JOBS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
We all know who No. 1 is, but what are some other tough rebuilding jobs on the horizon, new coach or not? Here’s my top 10.
1. Tennessee — This is a complete mess with a roster that isn’t overly talented, players leaving, the 2021 class likely to be let out of their NLIs and the NCAA investigating. It will be many years before we see the Vols compete in the SEC East most likely barring a miraculous coaching job.
2. Florida State — Remember the Jimbo Fisher national title? That seems like decades ago as this program has fallen further than any other in recent years and Mike Norvell has a ton of digging to do as the Seminoles have gone 21-26 the last four years.
3. Texas — There is no way this job should ever be No. 3 on any list like this, but for some reason coaches can’t get it right. Maybe Steve Sarkisian can use all the built-in advantages at Texas and get them back to the title hunt.
4. Penn State — It’s only been one down year, but that’s not easy to climb back from sometimes in such a competitive division. The talent is there but James Franklin needs to change a few things.
5. Virginia Tech — The days of Frank Beamer are long gone and this once dangerous program has turned average under Justin Fuente.
6. Rutgers — Greg Schiano is off to a solid start for sure and rebuilding at Rutgers is a little different than the others, but to get back to consistent bowl games like he had them years ago takes some work.
7. Arkansas — Arkansas used to be good, very good, but the SEC West has become a nightmare with Alabama leading the way and teams like LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and others rising up every few years.
8. South Carolina — The Gamecocks were a solid program under Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier but things have gone downhill fast and recruiting is more of a challenge with Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and others stepping up in recent years.
9. Michigan State — Remember when the Spartans were in the playoff a few years ago? It seems like longer and Mel Tucker has a heckuva job ahead of him in the second toughest division in football.
10. Louisville — They looked really good a couple of years ago and then this season happened. Kentucky is getting stronger in-state and the ACC will start to return to form. Will Louisville be one of the uprisers? This year was a joke.
2. POWER FIVE SLEEPERS THAT WILL BE MISSED THE MOST
Last week I named the best Power Five players returning to college football, one from each conference, but how about those that didn’t get enough attention who will be missed the most?
Big Ten: CB Shakur Brown, Michigan State — Brown was the best corner in the Big Ten this season and had five picks and four pass breakups. He will be sorely missed by the Spartans.
SEC: LB Nick Bolton, Missouri — Bolton was clearly the leader of the Mizzou defense and never really got the respect he deserved, but watch for him as a 10-year NFL veteran.
ACC: DT Alim McNeill, NC State — McNeill was the unsung hero for the Wolfpack this season as they had a surprising year. He’s one of the best DTs in the country.
Big 12: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State — Jenkins is an elite lineman who got overshadowed by Chuba Hubbard, Tylan Wallace and the rest at Oklahoma State.
Pac-12: LB Hamilcar Rashed, Oregon State — He didn’t have the year he did in 2019 but he’s still an amazing talent and will be missed.
3. THE SEVEN BEST TRUE FRESHMEN QUARTERBACKS OF 2020
Here are the best true freshmen quarterbacks from the 2020 season.
1. D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson — We saw glimpses of his ability when Trevor Lawrence was out of action with COVID and his future looks amazing as expected.
2. Michael Pratt, Tulane — Haven’t heard of him? He had 20 touchdowns and only eight picks as a true freshman.
3. Ken Seals, Vanderbilt — Vandy struggled but Seals was a bright spot and will have a very solid career.
4. Jayden De Laura, Washington State — Can you believe how many teams passed on him? He didn’t have a crazy season with five touchdowns and four picks, but he showed flashes of excellence.
5. Max Johnson, LSU — Johnson showed those flashes we wanted to see late in the season and his future appears bright. He has some weapons for next season.
6. Will Rogers, Mississippi State — Rogers could put up massive numbers in Mike Leach’s system down the road. This year was just the start.
7. Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech — Sims started strong but things caught up to him. I still think he has a high upside.