TAKE TWO: Why isn't Clemson pulling in top-five recruiting classes?
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with offensive and defensive three-stars who could play better than their 2019 ranking and the first-year coach who will have the best 2019 debut.
Every year around National Signing Day, without fail, I get asked the same question over and over: Which prospects do you feel are underrated and could outperform their ranking? My answer is always the same. I point out that if I knew which prospects would eventually prove to be underrated, I would have ranked them higher in the first place.
Still, it’s an interesting discussion and I'll take a crack at it. Here's a look at a few offensive three-stars that I could see outperforming their rankings.
QB Zach Calzada, Texas A&M – Calzada has a big arm and once he fills out, he has a chance to be a very good one in the SEC.
QB Maverick McIvor, Texas Tech – The next quarterback to put up big numbers for Texas Tech? I think so.
QB Brian Mauer, Tennessee – Keep an eye on this kid who has a big frame and could be a sleeper in the SEC in a few years.
QB Jalon Jones, Florida – Jones fits very well into what Dan Mullen wants to do on offense.
RB Daniel Carter, Pitt – Pitt has a knack of producing excellent running backs and Carter might have the skill set to be the next one.
RB DJ Williams, Auburn – Williams has a lot of potential and speed and could be a very good all-purpose back for the Tigers.
RB Tyler Goodson, Iowa – Goodson isn’t the every-down back for Iowa, but he can do some damage as a third down back and is sneaky strong.
WR Demariyon Houston, Nebraska – Houston has good speed and can be a downfield threat for the Huskers.
WR Maurice Massey, Missouri – Mizzou does well with receivers with the skill set Massey has and he’s college ready now.
WR TJ Jones, Penn State – Jones is a speedy slot receiver who runs good routes and can make an early impact at Penn State.
TE Ryland Goede, Georgia – The Dawgs have had good tight ends over the years and Goede has a chance to be the next one.
TE Logan Lee, Iowa – Iowa produces excellent tight ends and Lee could be the next three-star at the position to dominate.
TE Garmon Randolph, Baylor – Randolph needs to fill out a bit, but he can work his way down the field and be a big part of the offense.
OL Xavier Truss, Georgia – Truss is raw but he has upside and could raise his game as the competition rises.
OL Ryan Jacoby, Ohio State – Jacoby has a chance to impact early at Ohio State and we all know the Buckeyes develop the position well.
OL Brandon Cunningham, Mississippi State – Cunningham is athletic and can fill out well, so watch for him to be an SEC sleeper.
OL Zach Carpenter, Michigan – A physical kid from a good school in Ohio, he could be nasty at Michigan if he continues to develop.
OL Melvin McBride, Tennessee – McBride is a road grader with good size and strength and he could be a two-year starter at guard if he continues to work hard.
OL EJ Ndoma-Ogar, Oklahoma – He’s raw, but the way Oklahoma develops offensive linemen, he has a chance to outplay his ranking,
And here are some on the defensive side of the ball.
DT Taurean Carter, Arkansas – Carter has good size and athleticism and could surprise some folks.
DT DJ Dale, Alabama – The Tide do a good job developing interior defensive lineman and it wouldn’t surprise me if he outplays four-star Ishmael Sopsher down the line.
DE Savion Jackson, NC State – He may be undersized right now, but once he grows into his body and adds strength, he could be very good.
DE David Ojabo, Michigan – He’s raw and still learning the game, but his ceiling is high.
DE Nana Osafo-Mensah, Notre Dame – What position will he play? That will help determine how good he does.
DE Rodricus Fitten, South Carolina – Zacch Pickens gets the attention but Fitten will be a good one as well.
LB Luke Fulton, Michigan State – The next tackling machine at Michigan State? Could be.
LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin – Chenal reads the play well and is always in position, so he makes up for a lack of elite athleticism.
LB Stanley Taufoou, USC – Taufoou loves to hit and can make USC a bit more physical on defense.
LB Greg Williams, Clemson – Williams is a big, long linebacker who could just be started to develop.
LB Aeneas DiCosmo, Stanford – Dicosmo is a smart kid with good athleticism who could be a leader on the Stanford defense.
CB Bobby Wolfe, Arizona – Wolfe has good size and is a nice pickup from Texas who can play early and often.
CB Te’Cory Couch, Miami – Couch may be small but he’s still a very good cover corner who plays bigger than his size.
CB Jay Ward, LSU – Ward is a kid I find very underrated and he could be a great corner at LSU, which of course is DBU.
S Quinton Newsome, Nebraska – Newsome covers a ton of ground and has good ball skills and I like his leadership ability.
S Jordan Huff, Georgia Tech – Huff is raw around the edges but has the potential to be a good one for the Jackets' new defense.
So which new hire will have the best first year in 2019? Obviously it’s going to be Ryan Day at Ohio State, who could easily win a national title with Georgia transfer Justin Fields at quarterback. Day isn’t Urban Meyer when it comes to recruiting, but he’s on equal footing when it comes to being a game coach.
I’ve followed Day since his early days at Boston College and Florida and he has something special about him. Ohio State fans might be worried with Meyer gone, but they don't have a ton to worry about, Day will be great. The Buckeyes, with Fields, could easily make the playoff next season and will win a national title under Day over the next few years. Mark it down.