Three-Point Stance: Predictions, first-year coaches, rich get richer
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with some predictions on some of the biggest names in the 2019 class, a look at a few of the top first year head coaches and the correlation between top 10 classes and the playoffs.
1. PREDICTIONS FOR TOP UNCOMMITTED PROSPECTS
Whether they are committing this week, at an all-star game or in February, here are my latest predictions on some of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2019 class.
WR Jadon Haselwood – I think he ends up back with Georgia after looking around. It looks like he’ll make his decision at an all-star game, but could still sign early.
OT Evan Neal – Alabama has had the lead for the longest time and I don’t think the Crimson Tide lose it despite a late Georgia run.
DE Zach Harrison – This is a very tough one to call but Michigan had the edge before Urban Meyer retired so I think the Wolverines hang on and win this battle over Ohio State and Penn State. I might be in the minority here though.
DE Khris Bogle – He’s a must-get for Miami and I think the Hurricanes hold off everyone else for his services.
2. FIVE FIRST-YEAR COACHES THAT HAVE IMPRESSED
First-year head coaches have been quite successful on the recruiting trail in 2018. Here are the five that have impressed me the most heading into the Early Signing Period.
1. Chad Morris, Arkansas – No one has done a better job this year coming off an awful season than Morris. The Razorbacks have recruited so well and continue to gain momentum. It will be very interesting to see how they carry this over to the 2020 class.
2. Scott Frost, Nebraska – For the Huskers to be in the national top 20 with such a healthy average star ranking after the season they had impresses me as much as anyone else. And knowing what a great coach Frost is at developing players leads me to believe Nebraska will be a Big Ten West contender in no time.
3. Mario Cristobal, Oregon – The Ducks have a stranglehold on the Pac-12 right now and he’s done a great job recruiting California as well as hitting the Southeast. Beating Alabama and others for defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux on national television sent a message to the rest of the country.
4. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M – Jimbo has the Aggies in the national top five in his first full year of recruiting. That bodes very well for the future and perhaps the Aggies, a sleeping giant in the SEC, will awaken.
5. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee – The Vols have done a good job and could still close on some big names to push this class even higher. In fact, few programs have more momentum than Tennessee down the stretch.
3. THE RICH GET RICHER
Is it any surprise that the four playoff teams are in the national top 10 in recruiting? Alabama sits at No. 1 right now in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings, with Clemson No. 4, Notre Dame at No. 8 and Oklahoma at No. 9. And these teams have been recruiting at a very high level for the last many years leading up to their on field success.
Does this bode well for a few other teams when it comes to their future playoff chances? I think it does. I have little doubt that the recruiting efforts of Georgia, currently No. 3 in the nation, will lead to a national title under Kirby Smart. Texas A&M, currently No. 2 in the nation joins LSU (No. 6) as SEC West programs hoping to get past Alabama. Oregon is recruiting so well they could be the savior of the Pac-12 if it continues. The Ducks are currently No. 5 in the nation after landing top-10 prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux over the weekend.
Like it or not, recruiting rankings often lead to national titles and success at the highest level, which is good news for these teams recruiting so impressively.