Three-point stance: The QB market; SEC snapshot; spring game stars to watch
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on the potential run on quarterbacks, a breakdown of SEC recruiting so far and some Spring Game stars to watch for the 2017 season.
1. Where the 2018 QB market stands
With Florida quarterback Joe Milton off the board with his commitment to Michigan, there are very few four-star quarterbacks still on the market. Here’s a look at those remaining.
Rogers is down to TCU, LSU and North Carolina, with many expecting him to choose the Horned Frogs. He’d be a huge out-of-state get for TCU if it can pull this off.
Likely down to BYU, Texas and Texas A&M with a few others like Nebraska still out there. McKee will go on a two-year mission, so don’t bet against the Cougars here for obvious reasons.
His brother is at Arizona State, but with Brady not the projected starter there, watch out for Washington State or Tennessee and expect UNC to offer sometime this summer. This one could go past his senior season.
The former Cal commitment has drawn some major offers in the last few months. Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Alabama and many others are in pursuit now and where he lands is a bit of a mystery. The Sooners have a great shot, but he could also re-commit to Cal. The Vols could have the inside track here with his relationship with Tyler Bray.
Mayden is down to Louisville, Tennessee and Mississippi State heading into his May 23 announcement and whoever lands him will be get a lefty who can move a bit and has good size and upside. Most feel he’ll end up at Mississippi State and he’d be a great fit for that offense.
And this makes some three-star uncommitted quarterbacks left on the market immediately 10x more attractive. Here are the three that intrigue me the most.
The former Kentucky commitment has become the subject of an intense recruiting battle with Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and others all jumping into the mix recently. The Wildcats are certainly not out of this and are hoping for a rare re-commitment after losing Mac Jones to Alabama last year.
Washington State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Louisville and others have been mentioned for the big lefty, but time will tell who has a spot for him if he continues to wait. But he has major upside.
Georgia recently offered and while he is probably more of an athlete than a pure quarterback due to a lack of size, he can be dynamic with the ball in his hands. He may never play a down of quarterback in college, but his athleticism is certainly intriguing and plenty of schools are interested.
2. SEC Snapshot
Midway through the Spring evaluation period, it’s time to look at each Power Five conference and take a quick snapshot of recruiting like we do every year around this time. Today we look at the SEC.
Biggest get – Cade Mays, Tennessee – Only one of the nation’s five stars has committed to an SEC school so far if you can believe that and it’s Mays. The Vols need immediate offensive line help and he’ll be physically ready to compete right away.
Biggest surprise – Iverson Clement, Florida – It’s not a surprise that an elite running back would want to play for the Gators, but most of the top Jersey kids are heading towards the Big Ten these days. Center Daniel Dawkins to Vanderbilt is probably even more surprising, but he’s not as high profile.
Great start – LSU – We knew the Tigers would recruit well under Ed Orgeron, so this isn’t a stunner, especially with LSU having the best in-state advantage of any program in the country. But landing guys from Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Georgia shows they are branching out a bit from Les Miles approach.
Surprising start – Tennessee – Should we be surprised that Butch Jones is recruiting well? After last year’s recruiting class, especially in state, this type of rebound is impressive. They have already landed three of the top 10 players in state and have a five-star and three four-stars early.
Rough start –. Georgia – I could pick Ole Miss here, but they have an obvious reason for a sluggish start. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Georgia isn’t landing more in-state talent.
Recruiting battle to watch – LSU vs. Texas A&M. Last year it was Georgia and Alabama because of the Kirby Smart hire and his ties to Alabama, but this year I’m intrigued by the Tigers and Aggies because they both recruit Texas heavily and the Longhorns have a new coach that could muck the waters a bit.
Must keep – Who’s the one player in SEC country that a team in the conference leads for that they must not lose? Jamaree Salyer who has been linked with UGA for the longest time. If the Dawgs lose him to Clemson, Ohio State or whoever, it will hurt them badly and will be a big loss for the SEC.
Do or die – Ole Miss – The Rebels are in the box score at least with a couple of commitments, but with the NCAA sharpening the knife and the program coming off a bad season, Hugh Freeze needs to right the ship in many ways.
3. Springing forward
Spring football is in the books and many of the expected stars of college football for 2017 certainly lived up to the hype. But how about some guys who could break out next season based on their spring game performances? Here are 10 of them that intrigue me in no particular order.
- WR Juwan Johnson, Penn State – Chris Godwin is gone, Penn State has an exciting quarterback in Trace McSorley and teams will be crowding the line of scrimmage to stop Saquon Barkley.
- LB Shaq Smith, Clemson – The former five-star is big and freaky and will be a dominant force on the Clemson defense this season. Just watch.
- RB Cam Akers, Florida State – A true freshman making an impact isn’t rare these days and Akers certainly already looks the part as the ‘Noles replace Dalvin Cook.
- QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn – I’m trying not to buy into the hype as much as others perhaps because I bit, like a fool, on Jeremy Johnson, but it’s obvious Stidham is much more polished and could impact the SEC West as much as anyone.
- DE Terrell Hall, Alabama – Everyone talks about freshman Jerry Jeudy, but until the ‘Bama passing game shows improvement, I’ll stick to defense. Watch out for this freak.
- QB Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame – I’ve followed Wimbush from his early days in high school where he threw rockets on every pass to the accurate and polished leader he is now becoming for the Irish.
- LB Devin Bush, Michigan – There are many holes to fill on offense and defense, but Bush signaled in the spring game that he could be the spark plug on defense next year.
- WR Johnnie Dixon, Ohio State – The Buckeyes need a go-to receiver for J.T. Barrett and a much better passing offense and Dixon had a spring game that makes you think he could be the answer.
- WR Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville – The former four-star will be playing with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and could be his main target.
- CB Byron Murphy, Washington – Two first-round caliber corners are gone and the Huskies shouldn’t miss a beat, at least on Murphy’s side of the field.