Three-Point Stance: Surprises, disappointments among '19 classes; Bru McCoy
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with a look at a few teams that are surprising for 2019 and a few that are disappointing as well as why Bru McCoy made the right decision.
1. Surprise party
With the second Signing Day less than a week away, it’s a good time to review which teams have surprised in 2019 and which teams have disappointed. Here is the good news first:
1. Nebraska – It’s not easy to recruit at Nebraska despite the fan base and atmosphere because there aren’t a lot of local kids to choose from. That means Scott Frost and company have to win on the road often and they’ve been doing that this year. If Frost continues to recruit at this level, with his ability to develop players, Nebraska should be contending for the Big Ten West sooner rather than later.
2. Arkansas – Despite a couple of losses since the Early Signing Period, there is no doubt that Arkansas' 2019 class is very impressive. The 3.54 average star ranking is off the charts for a team that had such a horrible year on the field last season. Chad Morris and his staff deserve major kudos for the work they have done.
3. Tennessee – The Vols didn’t have a great season, but under new coach Jeremy Pruitt they have done a very good job recruiting and have a chance to finish strong and push towards the national top 10. The state of Tennessee produces a lot of good players these days and continued success on the recruiting trail will only help keep more of those kids at home.
4. Florida State – Florida State is always expected to finish in the national top 10 regardless of record, but this is as low as the program has been on the field in decades. Willie Taggart has done a solid job recruiting and has a chance to push a very bad football team into the top 10 with a strong finish.
5. Texas A&M – A&M has three five-star players for the first time in history and could finish as high as they ever have in Rivals.com history. Jimbo Fisher has taken recruiting to the next level and if he continues to do so then the Aggies could emerge as a real threat to Alabama in the SEC West.
2. Wait til next year
And here are the disappointing classes for 2019:
1. Miami – Ugh, what a bad early signing period the ‘Canes had. However, with Mark Richt gone and Manny Diaz in charge, there is a little new energy surrounding recruiting for 2019. Richt did a great job in 2018 but 2019 was becoming an embarrassment on the recruiting trail and it’s doubtful they can make up much ground. 2020 should be much better.
2. USC – The Trojans are a mess of a program (more below) and have a 3.17 average star ranking, which is a joke when you consider the recruiting advantage they have on the west coast. McCoy took off and he was the only five-star really considering Clay Helton’s team. This recruiting year has been an absolute disaster.
3. UCLA – What is Chip Kelly doing? His recruiting strategy has been puzzling at best as he’s not been as involved with the top players on the west coast as expected. Maybe Kelly is some sort of genius and thinks he can develop kids that fit into his system, but he’s ignoring the recruiting advantages of being at UCLA and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
4. Utah – Utah made the Pac-12 title game yet their recruiting ranking is poor and the class is very average if not below average. I know it’s a small class, but there is no way Utah should be last in the Pac-12 in recruiting after such a solid season on the field.
5. West Virginia – The Mountaineers have a new coach, but much of this class was filled and signed during the early signing period. Another small class and the 3.06 average star ranking is very low. West Virginia has geographical recruiting challenges for sure, but it should be capitalizing on recent success much more.
3. Smart move by McCoy
Bru McCoy was at USC for a couple of weeks or so and decided he had enough. Kliff Kingsbury was gone and so was the promise of a dynamic offense, so McCoy decided to take a hit and transfer to Texas. Most likely he will have to sit out a year although you can bet he’s appealing for a waiver based on the fact that he was allegedly lied to by Kingsbury and company, but even if he does have to sit out a year, he made the right choice.
Why? There are many reasons. First and foremost, the USC program is an absolute mess and recruiting has been horrible. McCoy would have been the only five-star in the class with limited talent around him and we all know Helton is on the hot seat and could be gone as early as the middle of next season.
But even as USC has been landing multiple five stars each year, they still haven’t developed them and have been one of the most underachieving programs in the country.
Meanwhile Texas is on the rise under Tom Herman, who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the Longhorns have a chance to be a national title contender over the next few years. And the Big 12 offenses are impossible to stop and Texas has shown they can develop big, physical receivers.
I had some doubt about whether McCoy would become a star at USC, so I gave him a “medium” bust factor just recently when he was still a USC signee. That bust factor falls to “low” at Texas where I think he can become an absolute star.