Three-Point Stance: SEC power ranks; top 10 DEs; comparisons
Where do SEC teams stand on the field and off? We examine that, plus the top 10 returning defensive ends in college football and look at some more 2021 comparisons.
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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State
1. SEC'S POWER LIFTERS, WEAKLINGS
The off-season is a slow time for college football news, but it's always a good time to look at the current state of things when it comes to football programs. Here’s how I see the SEC teams in the weight room.
LSU — Do I have to explain this? It just won the national title. And on the recruiting front, it is on fire.
Alabama — Again, no explanation needed here, as Nick Saban is the elite recruiter and coach in the nation.
Georgia — The Bulldogs haven’t broken through yet, but Kirby Smart is recruiting at the highest level and Georgia is on the cusp.
STRONG AND STEADY
Florida — The Gators could easily take the next step to POWER LIFTER soon as Dan Mullen is improving recruiting slowly and they are winning on the field.
Auburn — Auburn breaks through here and there, as evidenced by knocking Alabama out of the playoff last season, and the Tigers are always a threat.
ON THE COME UP
Tennessee — Jeremy Pruitt has the Vols heading in the right direction in recruiting and last season looks like a nice start toward the future despite the loss to Georgia State.
Kentucky — The Wildcats have been steady under Mark Stoops and are a threat to take things to the next level in the SEC East if he continues to recruit well.
NEED EXTRA GYM TIME
South Carolina — Will Muschamp is on the hot seat and the Gamecocks need a big season. Recruiting, however, has been going pretty well, so there is hope.
Texas A&M — Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies recruiting very well, but they fall short against really good teams, and the SEC West is a monster so more work is needed.
Missouri — A new coach brings excitement to the program, but the SEC East is getting tougher and Mizzou needs to recruit the Southeast better.
Ole Miss — Why is Ole Miss here and not under WEAKLINGS? Lane Kiffin is an elite recruiter and has a chance to make a splash. But there is much work to be done.
Mississippi State — I like Mike Leach as a coach and developer, but he’s not a great recruiter and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to hang in the SEC West talent-wise.
Arkansas — Sam Pittman is a good recruiter, so that should go well, but he has a heckuva job to do at Arkansas with LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and others on the schedule.
Vanderbilt — James Franklin did a great job at Vandy, but it’s been hard to maintain with outdated facilities and academic restrictions.
2. TOP 10 RETURNING DEFENSIVE ENDS
I continue my look at the top returning college football players with a glance at the top 10 defensive ends. This is a solid list, but it lacks star power ... for now.
1. Gregory Rousseau, Miami - This kid is an elite pass rusher and can bend around the edge like no one else.
2. Chris Rumph, Duke — Never heard of him? You will. He’s one of the most athletic and technically sound ends you’ll see.
3. Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma - I love Perkins and his size and motor. He’s a big end who will be a monster this year.
4. Quincy Roche, Miami — Roche is not far behind Rousseau. They are a dynamic duo.
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon — He had a great freshman season and should take the next step this year and dominate the Pac-12.
6. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan — A big and physical end, I love Hutchinson just a smidge better than Kwity Paye, who is also excellent. Michigan is loaded.
7. Carlos Basham, Wake Forest — Basham should probably be higher on this list. He’s pretty special, but not many know about him.
8. George Karlaftis, Purdue — Karlaftis is a star already in the Big Ten. He's physical and quick.
9. Xavier Thomas, Clemson — Thomas may or may not belong on this list after last season, but I think he will have a huge year.
10. Zach Harrison, Ohio State — Harrison could be the next great one at Ohio State.
3. 2021 COMPARISONS
QB Caleb Williams — This isn’t an easy one because Williams has a special skill set and is more polished as a passer than many other dual threats. Tyrod Taylor comes to mind as he was a very accomplished passer around the same size, but could also extend the play.
DE JT Tuimoloau — I’m going to go very recent on this one and say Zacch Pickens because Tuiomolau moves inside and the same happens with Pickens down the line.
RB Camar Wheaton — Wheaton is a track kid with elite speed but who also has solid size. Joe McKnight comes to mind actually, and while he didn’t have an amazing career at USC and beyond, he was very special in high school.
OT Tommy Brockermeyer — Anyone remember Sam Young? The former five-star who played at Notre Dame reminds me a bit of Brockermeyer at the same stage, although Young was a bit bigger and more filled out.
WR Emeka Egbuka — Travis Rudolph comes to mind as a guy who can make every catch and runs great routes. Egbuka is a bit faster, though, so perhaps he has more upside at the pro level.