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Three-Point Stance: Top Big Ten players, breakouts, in-state targets

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with the top 10 players left in the Big Ten, five breakout candidates in the conference and the biggest uncommitted prospects that are must gets for in-state programs.


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Justin Fields
Justin Fields (AP Images)

So who’s left in the Big Ten with players like Micah Parsons, Rashod Bateman, Wyatt Davis, Shaun Wade, Rondale Moore and Nico Collins opting out on the season? Plenty. And Davis is reportedly trying to opt back in with the Buckeyes. Here are the best players set to return to action in October as of now.

1. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State — Fields is easily the face of the conference and he should be back and dominating this fall. He’ll be a Heisman finalist even with a shortened schedule.

2. DE George Karlaftis, Purdue — Karlaftis is a beast who was just starting to scratch the surface last year with 7.5 sacks.

3. LB Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State — Simmons showed in his first year as a starter how special he can be with 90 tackles with 15 for a loss. He’s also very good in coverage.

4. OT Alaric Jackson, Iowa — Jackson steps out of the Tristan Wirfs shadow this season.

5. DE Shaka Toney, Penn State — He’s an elite pass rusher who will scare the heck out of quarterbacks this season.

6. LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern — Fisher had a down year by his standards last season and was still one of the best in the conference.

7. WR Chris Olave, Ohio State — He’s a slick route runner and one of those guys who just had a knack for getting open. He’ll put up big numbers.

8. TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State — He's a nasty red zone threat and will battle for TE1 position in the NFL Draft.

9. QB Tanner Morgan, Minnesota — I like Morgan a lot better than many and even without Bateman I expect big things.

10. LB Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin — Yet another Wisconsin defender who doesn’t get his props, Sanborn is a tackling machine.


Cameron McGrone
Cameron McGrone (AP Images)

Here are five Big Ten players that I expect to break out this season.

1. LB Cameron McGrone, Michigan — McGrone is a freak athlete who will make plays all over the field after showing great signs of promise last season.

2. DE Zach Harrison, Ohio State — Harrison could be next up at Ohio State as the next freaky rush end.

3. RB Tyler Goodson, Iowa — Iowa always has good backs and Goodson has shown he could be the best one in awhile.

4. DB Daxton Hill, Michigan — Hill is an amazing speedster with ball skills and will be one of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten.

5. RB Isaih Pacheco, Rutgers — Haven’t heard of him? Watch some of the games he played in the last two seasons.


J.T. Tuimoloau
J.T. Tuimoloau (

Who are the biggest in-state prospects that programs need to keep in 2021? Korey Foreman, Amarius Mims and Maason Smith are the obvious ones, but who else?

1. DE J.T. Tuimoloau, Washington — The Huskies have to keep this talented end/tackle in-state like they did with Sav’ell Smalls last year.

2. WR Emeka Egbuka, Washington — I’m telling you, Egbuka is a beast and he’s going to be a Terrell Owens-type in college. The Huskies need him badly.

3. DE Tunmise Adeleye, Texas A&M — The Aggies were the first offer for the former Buckeyes commitment and they really need to add him to this class.

4. DB Sage Ryan, LSU — Ryan is smooth as they come and so athletic that LSU can’t afford to lose him.

5. DB Ga’Quincy McKinstry, Auburn — The Tigers lead and can’t lose him as he’s a key to their class and the future of their defense.

6. RB Donovan Edwards, Michigan and Michigan State — He’s looking at both in-state programs and is someone they can’t let get away.

7. OG Drew Kendall, Boston College — Kendall is an in-state recruit and a legacy so the Eagles need to close this one out.

8. RB LJ Johnson, Texas — With Camar Wheaton likely headed to Oklahoma the Longhorns really need Johnson in this class.

9. S Derrick Davis, Penn State — The Nittany Lions have lost too many in-state recruits this year and need Davis badly.

10. LB Smael Mondon, Georgia — Recruiting hasn’t been as good as it has been recently at UGA so this kid is a must.