Three-Star Checkup: Defenders that showed up big in Week 6

Woody Wommack, Recruiting Analyst
Rivals Articles

Each week during the college football season we’ll use Wednesday as a chance to look back at former three-star prospects that shined during the previous week’s college football action. This week we look at some unsung recruits on defense who came through in big ways for their teams on Saturday.

MORE CHECKUPS: Five-Stars | Four-stars

Tight end

3 STARS

South Carolina
Stone Mountain

RR: 5.5

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 225.0

Class: 2016

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POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

South Carolina

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USA TODAY Sports Images

As a recruit: Initially set on playing tight end in college, Wonnum committed to Iowa State and seemed content on playing for the Cyclones. But a growth spurt and a move to defensive end opened new options for him, including South Carolina, and he jumped on the chance to stay close to home and sign with the Gamecocks shortly after an official visit in January, 2016.

What he did this weekend: Wonnum’s rapid development late in his high school career led to him being under the radar in the rankings and on the recruiting trail but he’s thrived almost from Day 1 in Columbia. In Saturday’s blowout victory over Arkansas, Wonnum had four tackles, two pass deflections and one quarterback hurry as he caused all types of chaos for the Razorbacks' offense. His length and speed off the edge make him a nightmare matchup for tackles and he looks well on his way to having a great career and NFL potential.

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Safety

3 STARS

Notre Dame
Fort Wayne

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 205.0

Class: 2014

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Notre Dame

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USA TODAY Sports Images

As a recruit: Early in the process, the Indiana native got an offer from Purdue and jumped on the chance to play for the Boilermakers. But an offer from Notre Dame prior to his senior year changed everything in his recruitment and after wavering for a few months, he eventually flipped to the Irish.

What he did this weekend: Tranquill has seen his share of success and adversity at his time in South Bend, including a knee injury that cost him most of the 2015 season. But Tranquill is back healthy and serving as a team captain. In Saturday’s blowout victory over North Carolina, he led the team in tackles with seven and had a key fumble recovery. Traquill is one of the Irish’s team leaders and his play has been key in the team’s turnaround season in 2017.

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Dual-threat quarterback

3 STARS

Iowa State
Ankeny

RR: 5.5

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 200.0

Class: 2013

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POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

signed

Iowa St.

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USA TODAY Sports Images

As a recruit: A three-star quarterback in the class of 2013, Lanning committed to Iowa State shortly before the start of his senior season. Nebraska was his only other Power Five offer.

What he did this weekend: Lanning has had a roller-coaster career for the Cyclones, starting out at quarterback before eventually moving to linebacker prior to the start of this season. In Saturday’s stunning win over Oklahoma, Lanning made his presence felt on both sides of the ball, recording 13 total tackles and a fumble recovery while also seeing time at quarterback, where he ran for 35 yards and passed for 25 more. Lanning’s willingness to move to defense shows why he’s one of the team’s leaders and without his play on Saturday, the Cyclones wouldn’t have been able to upset the Sooners.

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