football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Thoughts after Practice No. 3 at Under Armour

ORLANDO, Fla. -- National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with some odds and ends from day three of Under Armour practice, a look at some players who have raised their stock so far and a few others whose stock has dropped.

MORE UNDER ARMOUR: Stock Report Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1 | Possible flips

1. Here's what I saw from the sidelines

Jeremiah Payton
Jeremiah Payton (Nick Lucero/

Day three is in the books and here are my thoughts from the day:

Miami signee Jeremiah Payton has been steady throughout the practices and was good again today. He isn’t flashy by any means but he’s a solid route runner, has reliable hands and always seems to make the play. He’s going to be a very reliable guy for Miami and I can see him moving the chains often.

• I liked what I saw from Texas signee Kenyatta Watson today as he was physical and sticky in coverage most of the day. He got his head around quickly and played the ball well.

Michigan fans should be happy for the most part with their crop of kids down here. Defensive tackle Mazi Smith, offensive tackle Trente Jones and Quinten Johnson have all had good weeks and offensive lineman Nolan Rumler was better today than he was the first two days.

• The Penn State running back duo of Devyn Ford and Noah Cain haven’t been able to show much this week and it will be interesting to see if they are a big part of the offense when the game comes around. It’s hard to judge running backs in practice, but it looks like Ford will be the one who will be more effective in the passing game and Cain is the guy who can wear down defenses.

Nathan Pickering had a very good day on day three and it’s easy to see why Alabama is trying so hard to pull him away from Mississippi State. If State can hold onto Pickering and Charles Moore and add DeMonte Russell, who is also here and has impressed at times, it will have a great defensive line of the future.

• I’ve always questioned Keon Zipperer’s speed but he has had a pretty solid week. The Florida signee could be very good at the next level if he’s used right as a flex tight end who can work the middle of the field.

2. Ten guys having a Happy New Year

Mazi Smith
Mazi Smith (

Here are 10 guys I think have raised their stock so far (these are just my opinions and don’t reflect that of the entire analyst team):

•.WR Jameson WilliamsOhio State is getting a good one here. He may be skinny but he can cut, is very sudden and has excellent hands. Once he fills out, watch out.

• DT Mazi Smith – Smith has shown consistent power and plays with excellent leverage. He’s going to play early at Michigan.

• S Lewis Cine – Cine has been excellent all three days and has the length and instincts to be a very good safety prospect after he fills out.

• OT Trente Jones – Jones needs to fill out, but he has a great frame, excellent feet and he uses his hands well. He could be a star down the line if he fills out and continues to develop and he’s been one of the bigger surprises of the week.

• WR Jeremiah Payton – Payton has been steady all week and could be a weapon for Miami. He won’t wow you with his speed but he’ll catch pretty much anything in the area.

• WR Dylan Wright – Wright has good size and fights for the football and Texas A&M will be very happy with his early impact.

• S Jordan Battle – Battle has excellent size and he reads the play very well. He’ll be an instant fit in Alabama’s defense and has been excellent all week.

• DE Charles Moore – I love the way Moore works off contact and how slippery he is. His balance is excellent and he should be an SEC star down the line if he continues to develop.

• DE Nathan Pickering – Pickering is unstoppable when he tries so he just needs to work on his motor a bit more but once he does watch out.

• DB Quinten Johnson – Johnson isn’t the biggest defensive back but he plays bigger receivers well and always seems to have a feel for when the ball is coming.

3. Five guys that need to step up

Roschon Johnson
Roschon Johnson (Nick Lucero/

And here are five guys I’ve been disappointed in so far (again, my opinion only and not that of the entire analyst team)

• DB Te’Cory Crouch – Crouch is so small it’s hard to imagine him being able to handle bigger receivers at the next level and I think he’s a little overrated right now.

• QB Roschon Johnson – Johnson has really struggled this week with his ball placement and his ball wobbles consistently. His arm strength is really questionable.

• DB Brian Williams – Williams struggled in coverage much of practice and doesn’t have that quick twitch ability I saw last year at the Future 50.

• QB Michael Johnson – Johnson has really struggled with his accuracy and his arm strength isn’t great.

• DE Savion Jackson – Jackson has a motor but he’s just overmatched by the bigger linemen at the event and could struggle with that at the next level.