Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on some coaches making the news in each Power Five conference, where the quarterbacks for the top 10 are coming from and some random recruiting thoughts.
1. Coaches in the headlines
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We are heading into week three of the college football season and already there are coaches across the Power Five that are making headlines for multiple reasons. Here’s my take on a few …
Willie Taggart, Florida State – The buyout is huge and I never thought Florida State would give up on Taggart early, but the Seminoles have not looked good at all and it’s become clear that he’s not the answer in Tallahassee.
Manny Diaz, Miami – An 0-2 start is the last thing Miami needed on the field and off in recruiting. Things are not looking great early for the ‘Canes, who were supposed to be back this year.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan – Harbaugh is in the news again and this time (or I should say once again) it’s about his team’s play. Michigan hasn’t looked impressive so far this season and many had it winning the Big Ten and heading to the College Football Playoff. So far, based on what I’ve seen, the Wolverines are still well behind Ohio State when it comes to speed and athleticism on the field.
Scott Frost, Nebraska – For some reason Nebraska was expected to be a contender to win the Big Ten West and finish as a Top 25 team, but the loss to Colorado shows the Huskers aren’t ready for primetime yet. They should still show improvement over last year and are headed in the right direction, but they could be a year away.
Ryan Day, Ohio State – Ohio State is off to a great start offensively and defensively and Justin Fields looks like the real deal. There has been zero indication of a dropoff from Urban Meyer last year and that’s good news for Buckeyes fans.
Mike Locksley, Maryland – How about the start for Maryland? The win over Syracuse was an impressive one and the offense looks really good. The Terrapins are stuck in a rough division but so far so good for the elite recruiter. If he can rack up some wins more and more kids will be interested in staying home and that’s the key.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma – Now that his team is so good, it seems you can’t go a week without hearing some NFL talk. That’s the ultimate compliment.
Les Miles, Kansas – Coastal Carolina? That’s not good. He inherited a weak roster and it’s quite the rebuilding job, but that’s a bad loss.
Chip Kelly, UCLA – What the heck is going on at UCLA? This is early in Chip Kelly’s regime, but it’s embarrassing on the field and recruiting isn’t strong as well.
Mario Cristobal, Oregon – He was getting criticized for blowing the lead against Auburn and that would have been a nice non-conference win for the Ducks. There is no doubt the Ducks should have won that game and some are questioning some of his decisions.
Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee – Is it time to give up on the Pruitt era already? It might be. The loss to Georgia State was bad, very bad, but I thought the team would rally against a very average BYU team and get back on track. Obviously that didn’t happen and Knoxville is not happy.
Ed Orgeron, LSU – I’ve questioned Orgeron’s ability as a head coach but after a 10-win season last year and an impressive win over Texas on the road, he’s proving to be the right fit at LSU. See below – if the Tigers break through, recruiting will be off the charts.
Will Muschamp, South Carolina – The loss to North Carolina was not a good one and was certainly unexpected. Now Muschamp has to work with a true freshman quarterback. Gamecocks fans are frustrated and rightly so.
Dan Mullen, Florida – Mullen is interesting because some of the fan base complain about his recruiting and they weren’t happy with the way the team played against Miami despite the win. Bottom line, Florida is 2-0 and light years ahead of Miami and FSU when it comes to being relevant right now.
2. What states are producing the QB?
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Where are the leaders coming from?
I’m talking about the quarterbacks and specifically the signal callers for the top 10 teams in the nation. You’d think California right?
Georgia is dominating with three starters in the top 10 and some of the other states might surprise you as well.
3. Recruiting thoughts
It’s not that busy in recruiting as the college football season is underway but here are a few recruiting thoughts from the Mind of Mike.
The Texas Longhorns may have lost the game against LSU but they continue to win in recruiting as 2021 defensive end Ja’Tavion Sanders committed this weekend. He’s a national top 50 talent from Denton (Texas) Ryan and joins a very impressive 2021 class so far for the Longhorns. All of Tom Herman’s 2021 commitments have come in state led by Sanders, offensive lineman Hayden Conner, quarterback Jalen Milroe and wide receiver Quaydarius Davis. As long as Herman is in charge and the Longhorns continue to show progress, they will be a recruiting force. Texas has the early No. 1 recruiting class in the country for 2021.
MORE LONGHORNS: Class of 2021 commitment list
There were some rumors that running back Zachary Evans, a five-star from Houston, was going to commit to Georgia last week but it never happened. This appears to be down to Georgia and LSU according to many but don’t count out Alabama, Texas A&M and some others. Current Georgia five-star running back commitment Kendall Milton is apparently working hard to add Evans to the Dawgs' class.
However, there have been some off-field concerns regarding Evans over the last months including an apparent disagreement with his head coach and offensive coordinator and a suspension. Evans has a ton of talent, but there have been many red flags in recent months when it comes to his work ethic and attitude. This will be a very interesting recruitment to follow. He has amazing boom or bust potential.
MORE UGA: Class of 2020 commitment list
Clemson continues to recruit at a high level and is off to a nice start in 2021 especially in the state of Georgia, where it landed Trevor Lawrence and some other key prospects in recent years. In the last couple of weeks the Tigers have pulled running back Phil Mafah and wide receiver Dacari Collins from the Peach State and they are involved with many others. Clemson can recruit nationally but its home state as well as neighbors North Carolina and Georgia are especially important.
MORE CLEMSON: Class of 2021 commitment list
LSU is recruiting nationally and I have been thinking that it'd lose a few recruits especially from the Mid-Atlantic area. However, if the Tigers keep playing at a high level and winning big games like they did against Texas that shouldn’t be a problem. Is this the year they break through and beat Alabama? If that happens, watch out when it comes to recruiting under Ed Orgeron.
Florida State and Miami are not playing well but both will end up in the national top 15 in recruiting before all is said and done. The ‘Noles even have a chance to once again finish in the top 10. There are certain programs, and Florida State is one of them, that will always be near the top of the recruiting rankings regardless of play on the field because of reputation and home-state advantage. The big question, of course, is whether the current staff is the right one to lead all of the talent.
MORE NOLES/CANES: ACC team recruiting rankings