Hit or Miss: Are these players living up to their rankings?

Mike Farrell, Recruiting Director
Rivals Articles
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Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

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Did we get it right or did we get it wrong? Each week during the college football season we will pick five players who had outstanding weeks and look at their careers so far and determine if our rankings were a hit or a miss. Here are this week’s standouts.

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*****

The skinny: Despite claiming that USC was his “dream school,” Tagovailoa committed to Alabama after a trip that saw him also visit Auburn and Ole Miss during the spring after his junior season. Both USC and UCLA continued to pursue Tagovailoa, but neither were able to beat out the Tide. At Alabama, Tagovailoa continues to churn out jaw-dropping performances. At South Carolina on Saturday afternoon, he completed 28 of 36 passes for 444 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions during the smooth victory.

Farrell's take: HIT. He wasn't a five-star, but as a national top 60 player I can't say we missed on him. Has he played better than expected? Yes. But as a high four-star the talented lefty we saw in high school is certainly not shocking the world.

We liked his accuracy and his arm strength was solid. The weapons he has at Alabama certainly help, as his receiving group is ridiculous. Some could argue he should have been a five-star, but I'm not disappointed in his ranking at all.

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*****

The skinny: Simmons took official visits to Clemson, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska and Illinois before committing to the Tigers on National Signing Day. His final official visit was to Clemson, which helped put the Tigers over the top. Despite an impressive 2018 season, Simmons never truly received the attention he deserved due to the star-studded defensive line in Death Valley. Now with all those players in the NFL, Simmons has started off 2019 the way he finished 2018. Against Syracuse on Saturday night, he was the best player on the field, finishing with 11 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Farrell's take: MISS. A high three-star ranking is nothing to sneeze at and we liked Simmons out of Kansas, but he's projecting as a first-round talent and is one of the best linebackers in the country. He was a big safety coming out of high school who was solid in coverage but the fact that he could grow into a linebacker and bring a different skill set to the table was one of the difficulties in ranking him. You'd think that would be a positive, but it led to more questions than answers.

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