football Edit

Three-Point Stance: Underrated three-stars, Orgeron, new hires

Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with a list of three-star prospects that could outperform their ranking, a look at two early missteps by Ed Orgeron and a rundown of several recent assistant coach hires.

MORE: Recruiting war between Kansas and LSU? | Five programs that dipped in 2017

1. UNDERRATED THREE-STARS

Jake Allen
Jake Allen

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 play better than 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 our final ranking.

Still, it’s an interesting discussion. Here's a look at a few offensive three-stars that I could see outperforming their rankings.

QB Jake Allen, Florida – Allen has had his ups and downs but he has the smarts and vision to be a good one if Jim McElwain can work his quarterback magic as he’s done at other stops.

QB Cade Weldon, Miami – He has the bloodlines as the son of Casey Weldon and fits what Mark Richt likes to do under center.

QB Hendron Hooker, Virginia Tech – He has the look and feel of a successful Virginia Tech quarterback and Justin Fuente does well with projects.

QB Shawn Robinson, TCU – His accuracy isn’t great but he is athletic and TCU adjusts well to its quarterback's strengths.

RB Kyshaun Bryan, Iowa – Iowa running backs are usually under the radar anyhow, right? Will he have a better career than Eno Benjamin?

RB Todd Sibley, Pitt – He’s not super fast but he sets up his blocks, is patient and can break tackles. Plus, Pitt’s running back tradition is elite.

RB Travis Etienne, Clemson – Clemson’s last three-star running back helped lead the program to a national title in January.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU – He has time to learn under Derrius Guice and LSU consistently churns out elite running backs.

WR J.T. Cauthen, North Carolina – Could we be looking at the next stat-stuffer to star in Larry Fedora’s offense?

WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee – From Canada to Florida to stardom in Knoxville? He’s raw but has the skills.

TE Jake Marwede, Duke – He’s a huge target and athletic. He won’t get the attention of others at Duke, but keep an eye out for him.

TE Keynell McZeal, Texas A&M – Something about McZeal makes me think he’s going to be one of Kellen Mond's favorite targets in the passing game.

OL Samuel Vretman, Rutgers – The last time I wondered about under-ranking a lineman from Europe who played for a Connecticut prep school was eventual first-round draft pick Bjorn Werner.

OL Jalen McKenzie, USC – He's overlooked a bit in a stellar class. I could see McKenzie doing great things opposite of Austin Jackson.

2. HAS ORGERON MADE TWO MISTAKES?

Ed Orgeron
Ed Orgeron (Getty Images)

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has made a couple of mistakes recently. Maybe. First, he ticked off a lot of Louisiana high school coaches by demoting running backs coach Jabbar Juluke. Second, by firing wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig, Orgeron sent an elite recruiter packing.

Yes, LSU's in-state recruiting efforts weren't good at all during the 2017 cycle. And, yes, Juluke and Craig both whiffed on prospects they needed to land. But these moves are bad for the Tigers for two reasons.

First, they came after National Signing Day, meaning some prospects signed with LSU thinking they would be playing for these coaches. While this happens more and more around college football, it’s always better to be upfront and forthright with people.

Second, and more importantly, Orgeron could be weakening his staff while making it more difficult to recruit in-state. Not only were these firings unpopular with some key current and future players, but the demotion of Juluke - a former head coach at New Orleans' Edna Carr High School - went over like a lead balloon with New Orleans high school coaches. There was even talk of a boycott of LSU by some coaches in the Crescent City because of how Juluke was treated. I doubt there will be any true boycott, the LSU program and tradition is far too strong for anything like that, but it still means some in-state relations have been damaged.

Their replacements, Tommie Robinson from USC and Mickey Joseph from Louisiana Tech, are quality coaches, but now they are brought in to help put out fires instead of hitting the ground running.

LSU recruiting will be strong, it always is, but will we see more in-state issues in 2018 because of the Juluke situation? It's also fair to wonder if Robinson, who is 11 years older than Craig, can recruit the Southeast as well as the man who landed Jameis Winston while at Florida State and pulled in big-timers like Tre Williams and Nate Craig-Myers while at Auburn? Time will tell.

3. INTERESTING ASSISTANT COACHING MOVEMENT

Jajuan Seider
Jajuan Seider (Getty Images)

Surprise, surprise - there have been several assistant coaches on the move in the week following National Signing Day.

- The Florida Gators landed a South Florida recruiting star in Jajuan Seider. He learned under Doc Holliday, who helped lead the charge under Urban Meyer into the area back in the mid-2000s.

- The hire of young and hungry defensive line coach Tray Scott at Georgia was interesting as well, especially with the now debunked rumors about his predecessor being fired over an argument with the mother of five-star Aubrey Solomon. Rocker, a veteran who has coached up the likes of Demarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Nick Fairley and most recently Trenton Thompson, being replaced by a younger coach like Scott is interesting.

- Oregon losing two coaches under new head coach Willie Taggart is also very interesting.

- Mississippi State making D.J. Looney, a potential recruiting star, its tight ends coach is a smart move. Looney played in Starkville, coached at a JUCO and recently worked as a graduate assistant at Georgia.