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Three-Point Stance: Under-the-radar commits, big questions, five-stars

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here some sleeper commits in the Big Ten, some big college football questions and a few prospects pushing for a fifth star.


FACT OR FICTION: Will Muschamp is off hot seat with Auburn win

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series




Austin Booker
Austin Booker (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

The highest-ranked players in any program's recruiting class typically get a lot of attention, but what about prospects who aren't getting the same attention? Here’s one for each team in the Big Ten.

Illinois — QB Samari Collier — There isn’t a four-star in this class, so many of these commits are under-the-radar a bit, but Collier has shown improvement in his accuracy and decision-making early this season. He will play a key role down the line.

Indiana — RB David Holloman — Holloman is listed as a running back and that’s where he’ll likely get his first look, but with his speed he could play wide receiver or defensive back with ease. His versatility is huge.

Iowa — QB Joey Labas — Labas was committed to Ball State among many MAC offers and we know how lower-rated QB prospects like him often develop. Labas is a project at the Power Five level but could be one to watch down the line.

Maryland — DB Corey Coley Jr. — Coley Jr. brings Florida speed to the Terps and comes from an elite program in the Sunshine State for producing defensive backs.

Michigan — DE TJ Guy — Guy plays weak competition and is very raw, but Michigan has done a good job of finding these kind of projects in New England and turning them into something.

Michigan State — DB Jah’Von Grigsby — The Louisiana safety can not only cover but he’s physical in run support. Michigan State has a track record of taking defensive backs like this and coaching them up.

Minnesota — DE Austin Booker — Booker is tall with length and has a great frame to build on. He’s also a physical and nasty rush end who plays the run well.

Nebraska — DB Marques Buford — Buford will play either cornerback or safety for Nebraska and has good size and smarts. He’s a mature kid who could see the field early.

Northwestern — DE Barryn Sorrell — Listed as a DE from Louisiana, Sorrell will grow into a DT immediately and has a non-stop motor. He’s not the most athletic prospect but hustle overcomes that.

Ohio State — OT Zenuae Michalski — A recent flip from Louisville after a late offer by the Buckeyes, he’s raw in technique but works like crazy and is aggressive.

Penn StateJeffrey Davis Jr. — Davis Jr. is primarily a wide receiver and plays bad competition in Connecticut, but he has the size and ball skills to be intriguing as a possible cornerback or safety. Penn State has found gems in Connecticut before.

Purdue — DB Rickey Smith — A nice grab from Florida, Smith is a ballhawk with good size who could even grow into a linebacker down the line with his frame.

Rutgers — RB Al-Shadee Salaam — He’s not big but he runs with surprising power and he’s very fast. He’s a dynamic player to watch.

Wisconsin — TE Jack Pugh — We know how well Wisconsin does with tight ends and this kid is big and likes to block.


Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson (AP Images)

There are always some huge college football questions that need to be answered after every week of the season, but this week there seems to be more. Here are some biggies.

Should the Vols start freshman Harrison Bailey over Jarrett Guarantano? Yes, yes and yes. This season is a 2-2 disaster already with a third loss to Alabama on the way this weekend. Maybe wait a week for 'Bama to clear and get the five-star freshman in there.

Is BYU QB Zach Wilson a legit Heisman contender? No. He’s putting up great numbers and all, but BYU has beaten nobody and the Cougars don't have any really formidable teams left on their schedule. Save the Heisman talk to the players struggling through a conference only Power Five schedule.

Is Dino Babers on his way out at Syracuse? He’s gotta be right? A loss to Liberty? C’mon. This was a team that won 10 games in 2018 but is a disaster now. It’s time to move on.

Should Arkansas be ranked? Yes. The Razorbacks got robbed against Auburn and should be 3-1 right now with wins over two ranked teams. Marshall and Coastal Carolina are nice stories, but let’s get real.

Is Notre Dame a playoff contender? No. If this Notre Dame team falls behind by a couple of scores, it is done. The Fighting Irish don’t have the offense to come back as the passing game is bad.

Is SMU the best Group of Five team? No. That’s Cincinnati, who has a a much more balanced football team. We will find out for sure when they play this Saturday..

Was the Florida State win a fluke? Yes. For now it was a fluke as North Carolina played down to the 'Noles and their defense was horrible. This is still a Florida State team that is easy to beat.

Is Mac Jones playing better than Trevor Lawrence? No. But it’s close as Jones is putting up amazing numbers and making big plays. The difference? Mac has so many more ridiculous weapons.

Could Bo Nix be benched? No. But it might not be a bad idea to send a message for a half or quarter if the offense continues to struggle. Play better or sit. Those five stars won’t help you now.

Is Khalil Herbert the best RB not named Najee or Travis? Yes. Chuba Hubbard isn’t off to a stellar start. If you haven’t heard of the Virginia Tech running back, you’d better check him out.

Is Tank Bigsby the best freshman in the country? Yes. Well, so far anyhow. I’m beyond impressed with how Bigsby is already carrying the Auburn offense as a true freshman. The problem? He shouldn't have to be doing this.

Has Dave Doeren saved his job at NC State? Yes. No one pays attention to NC State, but here it is 4-1 and ranked in the Top 25. Did anyone expect this?

Will Ohio State beat Nebraska by 40 or more? No. The line is 26 and the Buckeyes might cover that, but the rust will show a bit and they won’t wallop the Huskers as expected.


Thomas Fidone
Thomas Fidone (Nick Lucero/

Finally, we are about six weeks away from a refresh of the 2021 class rankings. This has been the most difficult year for evaluation in the history of One prospect is making a strong push to unseat Korey Foreman for that No. 1 overall spot in the country, and that’s DT Maason Smith. Smith has slimmed down and lost about 25 pounds of unneeded weight, which makes him faster to the quarterback and better in pursuit. That's is scary. He’s turning into one of the most athletic defensive tackles we’ve seen since Rashan Gary and he’s making a push for the top spot.

Here are some prospects making a case for that coveted fifth star.

OT JC Latham — The IMG Academy star offensive lineman is a freak and could challenge Amarius Mims for top OT honors. He’s that good.

TE Thomas Fidone — Fidone doesn’t play anyone but he puts up crazy numbers and is so fluid. It’s rare for a TE to be a five-star but he’s in the mix.

LB Barrett Carter — Carter is a freak athlete and covers so well as a linebacker and has the ability to run plays down, but is he big enough?

OL Micah Morris — Morris is a nasty OT who could also play OG and he will be in the discussion in what is turning out to be a very good OL year.

WR Jacorey Brooks — Is he the next five-star WR from Florida to head to Alabama? He will be discussed for sure.

WR JoJo Earle — Size may be an issue and he’s far away from five-stars in ranking right now, but he’s so dynamic.

RB LJ Johnson — He’s pushing Camar Wheaton for best running back in the state of Texas, which means he’s pushing for five stars.

ATH Billy Bowman — Bowman is a dynamic return man who can play corner or wide receiver, but again there’s a size issue.

CB Ga’Quincy McKinstry — Kool-Aid is so fluid and smooth and just does everything effortlessly. His size and length are intriguing.

OT Kingsley Suamataia — The massive Utah OL could be the best recruit at the position for Oregon since Penei Sewell. He’s raw, but the upside is there.

QB Kyle McCord — It’s early in his season, but he looks much better and decisive than he has and more athletic.

LB Terrence Lewis - He’s been on the cusp of five stars forever and will be debated again.