Three-Point Stance: Transfer TEs, SEC West sleeper, coaches
Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with the top transfer tight ends, reasons why Ole Miss is the sleeper to watch in the SEC West and five coaches who could use a big year after a dismal 2021.
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1. THE TOP TIGHT END TRANSFER ADDITIONS
I continue my position-by-position look at the top transfer additions in college football with the tight ends.
1: Austin Stogner, South Carolina - Stogner has been a reliable target for Spencer Rattler over the past couple of seasons, and they’re headed to the Gamecocks together. He should be targeted early and often for Shane Beamer’s squad.
2: Jaleel Billingsley, Texas - By the end of 2021, Billinglsey had turned into a very reliable target for Bryce Young and he'll hope to do the same for fellow transfer Quinn Ewers. He's a big body and target.
3. Logan Kendall, Utah - Kendall was an FCS All-American last year at Idaho, and he'll pair with Dalton Kincaid and Brant Kuithe to form the best tight end room in the country.
4. Michael Trigg, Ole Miss - Trigg and fellow incoming tight end JJ Pegues will be a fantastic one-two punch for Lane Kiffin and the Rebels. A Rivals100 prospect in 2021, Trigg saw limited action, but he's got huge upside.
5. Daniel Barker, Michigan State - When healthy, Barker was a solid option for the Illini over the past three seasons. He heads to Michigan State and should be an immediate contributor.
2. THE SLEEPER TEAM IN THE SEC WEST
Who is the sleeper team in each Power Five division and why? Let’s start with the SEC West and Ole Miss.
1. Dart’s upside - Matt Corral was excellent for the Rebels in the past two seasons, so this is no slight to him. But Jaxson Dart is no slouch and a strong running game could open up the deep passing game.
2. Influx of offensive talent - Jaxson Dart wasn't the only impact transfer for the Rebels. Former five-star RB Zach Evans, RB Ulysses Bentley, TE JJ Pegues, TE Michael Trigg, and OL Mason Brooks are all players who will start or be heavy rotation pieces for the offense.
3. Lane Kiffin - The Rebels' head coach is still one of the best play callers in the country and knows how to get the most from the talent at hand. With the additions of the guys mentioned above, plus three returning starters on the offensive line there should be no shortage of points in Oxford.
4. Schedule - Ole Miss got a nice draw in their crossover games, getting Vanderbilt and Kentucky. While the Wildcats are sure to be solid, the game is in at home. They also get Alabama and Mississippi State at home as well so their only true tough road tests should be at LSU and Texas A&M.
5. Confidence - Let’s face it, Kiffin and his brash nature have a massive impact on the roster and Ole Miss will enter every game with confidence and without any fear — even of Alabama. There’s something to be said of confidence and even cockiness.
3. FIVE COACHES THAT NEED A BOUNCE-BACK SEASON
Bouncing back is always key to job security in college football but even coaches who don’t have to worry about that still need to show signs of life. This list isn’t riddled with hot seat coaches but all of these guys need a bigger 2022.
1. Steve Sarkisian, Texas — Things fell apart badly for Texas and fans will never live down the home loss to Kansas unless Sark rebounds and rebounds big. He has the firepower but nine wins is what is needed.
2. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M — The No. 1 recruiting class in the country adds to the disappointment you see when you look at the Aggies' 8-4 record last season. Yes, they beat Alabama but that was about the only highlight.
3. Mack Brown, North Carolina — The Tar Heels were supposed to win their division and battle Clemson for a playoff spot. They didn’t come close and took a big step backwards despite good recruiting.
4. Matt Campbell, Iowa State — Iowa State was a preseason playoff pick by some so its 8-4 season in the Big 12 wasn't good good. Campbell is a great coach and under no pressure but last season was supposed to be the year.
5. James Franklin, Penn State — A 7-6 record is not good enough at Penn State and it’s been a couple of lackluster seasons for the Nittany Lions. They have been surpassed by Michigan and Michigan State in their own division and that needs to change.