football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Tom Herman; Pac-12 snapshot, reflections on 2014 National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with analysis on recruiting in the Big 12, a snapshot of the Pac-12 2018 recruiting start and a flashback to 2014.

RELATED: 2018 Pac-12 recruiting rankings | More Farrell



You’re probably tired of hearing about Tom Herman by now unless you’re a Texas Longhorns fan, but I see something happening in the Big 12 that happened in the Big Ten a few years back.

A head coach has arrived and changed everything about recruiting that we’ve come to know, not only for his program but perhaps for the league itself. Many will say I’m getting ahead of myself, comparing Herman’s entrance into the Big 12 to that of his mentor, Urban Meyer, into the Big Ten, and maybe I am overstepping,

But when I see Texas flip kids from Florida (Justin Watkins) away from FSU and California (Cameron Rising) away from Oklahoma and then take a defensive back (Caden Sterns) away from LSU, the program known as DBU that Sterns grew up dreaming of, I see a whole different approach to recruiting for Texas. Throw in stealing away an Oklahoma defensive lineman that many thought was a lock for the Sooners (Ron Tatum), and you have arguably the most interesting and exciting start to Texas football recruiting in history.

So what’s next? This 2018 in-state class isn’t nearly as diverse as it was in 2017, at least at the top, so Texas will need to continue to do a good job outside the state for certain positions. But it is a must for Herman to land a couple of the remaining big dogs in the Houston area, his recent stomping grounds, sooner than later to get momentum in state rolling a bit more.

But a few things are certain based on what I’m seeing from Herman: He will never stop recruiting a committed prospect he covets, he will not bow out on recruiting kids that many consider “locks” for other programs, and December and January should be as exciting for Longhorns fans as they’ve been in a long time, and that includes a couple of recent late runs by Charlie Strong in those months.

Meyer changed the Big Ten and brought a national title to the conference for the first time in over a decade. That’s a tall order for Herman, but you can’t ignore the early similarities, at least on the recruiting trail.


USC QB commit Matt Corral
USC QB commit Matt Corral

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 Pac-12.

Biggest get: QB Matt Corral, USC Sam Darnold is gone after this season, and Corral could be the guy who steps in next as an elite signal caller. A five-star California quarterback is always a huge get for anyone, and USC got Corral early.

Biggest surprise: LB Adrian Jackson, Oregon – You could just as easily put running back Jamal Currie-Elliott here, but I’ll go with Jackson, who seemed focused on USC and Ohio State more than anything else before his surprising commitment during the big weekend for Oregon.

Great start: Washington – Washington leads the Pac-12 right now in recruiting, boasting six four-stars out of eight commitments, which shows the momentum created from the playoff appearance. Two four-star quarterbacks, a steal from Oregon and some California success is the perfect start.

Surprising start: Oregon – Oregon has a new coach and is coming off an awful season, so when they struggled out of the gate for 2018, I wasn’t surprised. Then after their huge recruiting weekend where they landed four-stars from in state and all over the country, I was impressed and slightly surprised.

Rough start: Arizona State – Zero commitments and coming off an awful season - Arizona State is not doing so well and everyone knows it.

Recruiting battle to watch: Washington vs. Oregon – I could have picked Stanford and Washington, as they are going head to head for a lot of kids, but to me this is about a potential shift of power, especially in Northern California. Oregon used to be the hot team when it was winning, but now Washington is, so this recruiting battle will be fun.

Must keep: Who’s the one player in Pac-12 country that a team in the conference leads for that they must not lose? Even though he’s currently not ranked as the top wide receiver in the state of California, Amon-Ra St. Brown is a guy the Pac-12 needs to keep in conference. He will likely surpass Jalen Hall as No. 1 in California when we re-rank, and his brother, Equanimeous, bolted for Notre Dame a few years ago. (His other brother, Osiris, signed with Stanford last year.) So it’s not like the family is against leaving the state if the fit is correct. USC seems to have a good lead here, but we will keep an eye on this one.

Do or die: Arizona – Maybe Rich Rodriguez isn’t a year away from being fired, but I do know one thing – recruiting needs to improve. The same can be said for Todd Graham at Arizona State, but I like to share the love and used the Sun Devils for an earlier category in this column already.


I ran across an old article of mine, which unfortunately in not available online anymore, that was originally published back on Oct. 9, 2013. I did something no one else did at the time and hasn’t really done since.

I rated the risk factor of each of the five-stars in the 2014 class. Of course, this was done before our final rankings (no idea why), so some of the players ended up as four-stars and it didn’t include the guys who earned fifth stars at the end, but I still found it interesting to see who I labeled with a HIGH risk factor.

Those players included running back Joe Mixon (nailed it), OT Quenton Nelson (wrong so far), CB Jalen Tabor (nailed it) and RB Jalen Hurd (nailed it).

But on the flip side there were some guys I labeled MEDIUM, like QB DeShaun Watson, that I was obviously wrong about.

However, my LOW list was impressive, with no-brainers like CB Jabrill Peppers, CB Marlon Humphrey, RB Leonard Fournette, CB Adoree' Jackson and LB Raekwon McMillan.

One name you’ll notice is missing is DE Myles Garrett, who hadn’t yet received his fifth star at the time of the article. The players that earned a fifth star since that article include Garrett, RB Racean Thomas, ATH Bo Scarbrough, WR Josh Malone, S John Smith (now a WR named JuJu Smith-Schuster), DE Chad Thomas, WR Travis Rudolph, LB Rashaan Evans, WR Speedy Noil, DE Malik McDowell and WR Ermon Lane.

I have no clue why I didn’t do the article at the end of the recruiting cycle or since, but it’s interesting to take a look back.