Twitter Tuesday: Alabama-FSU, ACC prediction, UGA, more
Our weekly #TwitterTuesday continues as National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell answers your football questions via social media. Here are five questions we chose including Farrell’s take on that Alabama-FSU matchup.
Keep in mind that Alabama doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. Losing guys on defense such as Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams, Reuben Foster, Ryan Anderson and others along the front seven might decimate some teams, but it likely won’t affect Alabama that much.
Need to replace Allen? Plug in Da’Shawn Hand. Need impact linebackers to replace Foster and Anderson? Rashaan Evans looks like a future superstar and Shaun Dion Hamilton can lay the wood. And watch how effective Anfernee Jennings is off the edge next season. That being said, Alabama might not be as strong up front as it was a year ago and FSU might be able to run the ball a bit if the offensive line improves.
I think a “running back by committee” approach will be taken at Florida State with Jacques Patrick as the RB1 at first but there is so much talent behind him that I wouldn’t be stunned if Cam Akers is the go-to guy a few games into the season. The key will be how much space the offensive line can provide for the talented backs but if FSU is to beat Alabama in the highly anticipated opener, it will be the passing game and its own strong defense that leads the way.
My prediction right now for the ACC title game is a battle between Florida State and Miami. The 'Canes are still a few years away from competing for a national title but with the way Mark Richt is recruiting, they are on their way to a revival. And when I look at the Coastal Division, I see a wide open division with little quarterback experience and a division that could be won with a good running game and elite defense, the strengths for Miami next season.
As for the Paradise Camp, I would expect a few commitments, maybe as many as three, with a couple of them being underclassmen. However, more importantly, the level of talent Miami is luring to this camp is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent years if everyone expected shows up and that will pay dividends well down the line.
Justin Fields, who I assume you are referring to, has everyone guessing so time will tell on this one. I’m not sure if Matt Corral, the other quarterback in play for UGA, will still be a five-star by the time he commits as we meet in August on 2018 rankings. I think it will be a close vote when it comes to his current five-star status after a rough summer.
Honestly, it’s nice to talk about for history and all of that, but the two times we’ve had back-to-back five-star quarterbacks choose the same school it’s always been one player who excels for that program and one who transfers (Jimmy Clausen for Notre Dame, Dayne Crist transferred; Tim Tebow for Florida, Cam Newton transferred). So if Georgia adds Fields, you can bet that either he or Jake Fromm (assuming Jacob Eason wins the job this year) will end up at another school unless one of them has the patience of Mitch Trubisky, which is very rare.
You can never have too many talented quarterbacks and having so many is a great problem to have, so I can see why Georgia fans are excited. Kirby Smart is recruiting the position at a very high level.
If Jim McElwain is feeling any heat despite two SEC East titles because of the development of the offense, Malik Zaire will be his starter. That’s based on his maturity and experience more than his sheer talent. This season the Florida offense needs to take a step forward but it also needs a quarterback who won’t make a ton of mistakes. The other options at the position are just not that attractive when it comes to mistake-free football.
Zaire can be an excellent game manager and his ability to run will help add a few key first downs that Florida would otherwise miss.
Team-wise it’s clearly Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 and it will be as exciting as it ever has been with two young, aggressive head coaches battling head-to-head for players. We’ve already seen Texas flip an Oklahoma commitment and Oklahoma flip a Texas commitment and, to my knowledge, that has never happened in the same recruiting cycle in Rivals.com history.
As far as Oklahoma’s final recruiting ranking, the Sooners can finish in the national top 10 this cycle and if they miss out on that, I think 11-15 is probably the bottom for them. They are currently firmly in our top 10 with a fat 3.5 average star ranking per recruit but there are some programs such as USC, Alabama, Michigan, Washington and others that are recruiting at a very high level that could easily push into that top 10 before all is said and done.
The big question is whether Oklahoma can beat Texas in the Big 12 this cycle and right now I’m leaning toward the Longhorns in what should be a big-time battle.