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Exactly half of the players selected in first two rounds of NFL draft were four-star recruits; nearly 70% were four- and five-stars

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As the current NFL draft continues to show, recruiting rankings don’t mean everything. But they do mean a lot. Especially when it comes to the first two rounds.

In the first two rounds, a total of the 64 players found themselves their first professional football homes.  And, of those more than five dozen players selected, exactly half of them (32) were four-star signees* coming out of high school.  On top of that, another 11 were five-star prospects when they signed with their respective schools.

Of the first 20 players picked, 16 of them were either four-star (11) or five-star (five) signees.  The No. 1 overall pick, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, was a four-star coming into Ohio State.  His former five-star teammate, OSU defensive end Chase Young, was selected No. 2 overall.

As the No. 6 pick in the first round, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert was the highest-drafted three-star.  Offensive lineman Robert Hunt out of Louisiana was drafted with the seventh pick of the second round, making him the highest-drafted two-star.  And the highest-drafted zero-star?  Div. II Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger, who was selected two picks before Hunt.

All told, 46 of the 106 players (43.4 percent) selected in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft were four-stars in the recruiting rankings.  The next highest percentage was three-stars at 34.9 percent (37 out of 106).

After 11 in the first two rounds, just one five-star, Arkansas defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, was taken in the third round.

(*According to the 247Sports.com composite.)

FIRST ROUND
1. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow: four-star
2. Ohio State defensive end Chase Young: five-star
3. Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah: five-star
4. Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas: four-star
5. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa: five-star
6. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert: three-star
7. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown: five-star
8. Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons: three-star
9. Florida cornerback CJ Henderson: four-star
10: Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills: four-star
11: Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton: three-star
12. Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III: four-star
13: Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs: four-star
14. South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw: four-star
15. Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy: five-star
16. Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell: four-star
17. Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb: four-star
18. USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson: four-star
19. Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette: three-star
20. LSU defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson: four-star
21. TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor: four-star
22. LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson: three-star
23: Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray: three-star
24: Michigan center Cesar Ruiz: four-star
25: Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk: three-star
26: Utah State quarterback Jordan Love: three-star
27: Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks: three-star
28: LSU linebacker Patrick Queen: four-star
29: Georgia offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson: five-star
30: Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene: four-star
31: TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney: three-star
32: LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire: three-star

Five-star: 6
Four-star: 15
Three-star: 11
Two-star: 0
Zero-star: 0

SECOND ROUND
33. Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins: five-star
34. USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.: four-star
35. Georgia running back D'Andre Swift: five-star
36: Alabama safety Xavier McKinney: four-star
37: Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger: zero-star
38: Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos: four-star
39. Louisiana guard Robert Hunt: two-star
40: TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock: four-star
41: Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor: three-star
42: Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault: three-star
43: Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet: four-star
44: LSU safety Grant Delpit: four-star
45. Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr.: three-star
46. Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler: four-star
47. Auburn defensive tackle Marlon Davidson: four-star
48. Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor: four-star
49. Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool: four-star
50. Utah defensive back Jaylon Johnson: four-star
51. Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs: four-star
52. Florida State running back Cam Akers: five-star
53. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts: four-star
54. Iowa defensive end AJ Epenesa: five-star
55. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins: four-star
56. Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis: four-star
57. Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson: four-star
58. Boise State offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland: three-star
59. Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims: three-star
60. Michigan linebacker Josh Uche: three-star
61. LSU defensive back Kristian Fulton: five-star
62. Boston College running back AJ Dillon: three-star
63. Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay Jr.: four-star
64. Southern Illinois defensive back Jeremy Chinn: zero-star

Five-star: 5
Four-star: 17
Three-star: 7
Two-star: 1
Zero-star: 2

THIRD ROUND
65. Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson: two-star
66. Memphis wide receiver Antonio Gibson: three-star
67: Notre Dame linebacker Julian Okwara: four-star
68: Cal defensive back Ashtyn Davis: zero-star
69. LSU guard Damien Lewis: three-star
70. Texas defensive back Brandon Jones: four-star
71. Texas A&M defensive tackle Justin Madubuike: four-star
72. Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones: three-star
73. Ohio State defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton: three-star
74. Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun: three-star
75. Ohio State offensive lineman Jonah Jackson: three-star
76. Vanderbilt running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn: four-star
77. Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia: three-star
78. Temple center Matt Hennessy: two-star
79. Florida defensive end Jabari Zuniga: three-star
80. Kentucky wide receiver Lynn Bowden: four-star
81. South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards: four-star
82. Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore: four-star
83. LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry: three-star
84. Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis: four-star
85. Utah defensive back Julian Blackmon: three-star
86. Utah running back Zack Moss: three-star
87. Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings: four-star
88. Missouri defensive tackle Jordan Elliott: four-star
89. Mississippi State cornerback Cameron Dantzler: three-star
90. Florida defensive end Jonathan Greenard: three-star
91. UCLA tight end Devin Asiasi: four-star
92. Texas wide receiver Devin Duvernay: four-star
93. Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans: two-star
94. Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara: two-star
95. Arkansas defensive tackle McTelvin Agim: five-star
96. TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang: three-star
97: LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips: four-star
98. Ohio State linebacker Malik Harrison: three-star
99. UConn offensive tackle Matt Peart: two-star
100. Clemson safety Tanner Muse: three-star
101. Virginia Tech tight end Dalton Keene: three-star
102: Charlotte linebacker Alex Highsmith: zero-star
103: Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor: four-star
104: Utah safety Terrell Burgess: three-star
105: Dayton tight end Adam Trautman: zero-star
106. Mississippi State offensive tackle Tyre Phillips: three-star

Five-star: 1
Four-star: 14
Three-star: 19
Two-star: 5
Zero-star: 3

No. 5 LSU’s offense too much for No. 7 Florida

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No. 7 Florida’s defense figured to present perhaps the biggest challenge Joe Burrow and company would face all season long, fresh off their impressive 24-13 win over previously unbeaten Auburn last week in the Swamp. And if that’s indeed the case, look out.

Burrow completed 21-of-24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, LSU ran for 216 yards on 22 carries and the fifth-ranked Tigers rolled through the vaunted Gators defense like they have everyone else this season, scoring a 42-28 win on Saturday night. For those doing the math: that’s 509 yards of total offense — on 48 snaps — against the No. 1 scoring defense in the SEC.

Through the first half, though, the story was Florida’s offense, not LSU’s.

As the Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) rolled up more than 12 yards a snap through the first two quarters, Florida put up methodical drive after methodical drive. In fact, Florida answered all three of LSU’s touchdowns with long touchdown drives of their own: 12 plays, 75 yards; 13 plays, 75 yards; and 11 plays, 75 yards.

The second touchdown drive was the craziest of them all, as Emory Jones found running back Lamical Perine on a deflected fourth-and-goal pass.

The third touchdown drive was punctuated by a 6-yard Kyle Trask pass to Van Jefferson with four seconds left in the second quarter, evening the game at 21-21. While LSU gained 12 yards per play to Florida’s 5.72, the Gators remained in the game because they snapped the ball 43 times to LSU’s 22.

The Gators (6-1, 3-1 SEC) accepted the ball to open the second half and again marched down the field, going 76 yards in eight plays this time and taking their first lead on a 2-yard toss from Trask to Jefferson.

This time, though, LSU answered, going 75 yards in eight plays and knotting the score at 28-28 on Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s second touchdown run of the night. He rushed for 134 yards and two scores on 13 carries.

After the Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out — their first since Florida’s opening possession — LSU re-gained the lead on a 33-yard scoring dash by Tyrion Davis-Price.

Trailing 35-28, Florida appeared primed to notch its fourth game-tying touchdown drive of the night, moving from its own 8-yard line to the LSU 16 when, on a 3rd-and-1, Trask threw into the end zone and was intercepted by Derek Stingley, Jr. LSU’s defense finally held serve, and the offense took advantage, breaking open the game with a devastating 4-play, 80-yard drive that cashed in on a 54-yard toss from Burrow to J’Marr Chase, putting LSU up two touchdowns with 5:43 left in the game.

Florida — again — went 75 yards in an attempt to get back in the game, but LSU again turned the Gators away scoreless, as K’Lavon Chaisson slammed Trask to the turf on a fourth-and-goal option keeper from the LSU 2 with 49 seconds left to shut the door on a last-gasp comeback attempt.

Trask finished the game 23-of-39 for 310 yards with three touchdowns and an interception

No. 7 Florida hanging tough with No. 5 LSU through one half

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LSU’s offense has averaged more than 12 yards a snap, but Florida is hanging tough in Death Valley. At the half in Baton Rouge, the game is tied 21-21.

Joe Burrow has completed 10-of-11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire has five carries for 121 yards and a touchdown

LSU opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to J’Marr Chase, but Florida answered with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 5-yard toss from Kyle Trask to Trevon Grimes.

Burrow then put LSU back ahead with a 7-yard strike to Justin Jefferson, but Florida again answered with a 13-play touchdown drive, punctuated by this ridiculous fourth-down grab by Lamical Perine.

LSU knifed down the field in four plays, nudging back ahead on a 39-yard Edwards-Helaire rush, but again Florida answered with a methodical touchdown drive. Trask’s 6-yard toss to Van Jefferson, the 11th play of the drive, tied the game with four seconds left in the first half.

While LSU picked up 266 yards on its 21 snaps, Florida gained 246 yards on 43 clock-eating plays.

Florida will receive to open the second half.

Transfer WRs from Ohio State, Ole Miss granted immediate eligibility at Florida

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Thursday was a very big day for Florida’s receiving corps.

This morning, UF announced that a pair of transfer wide receivers, Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, have been granted waivers from the NCAA that gives them immediate eligibility for the upcoming season.  Grimes comes to Gainesville from Ohio State, Jefferson from Ole Miss.

Jefferson still has one hurdle to clear before taking the field in 2018 as the SEC must issue a waiver as well, although, with the conference’s new intra-conference transfer rule enacted this offseason, that approval is a mere formality.

“I’m excited for Trevon and Van,” first-year head coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. “We appreciate the NCAA’s understanding in both situations, and are thankful to the UAA’s administration and compliance staff for their role in helping guide Trevon, Van, their families and our coaching staff through this over the past six-plus months.”

This past season, Jefferson was third on the Rebels in receptions with 42 and fourth with 456 receiving yards.  For his career, the Tennessee native has totaled 91 catches for 999 yards and four touchdowns.

A four-star member of Ole Miss’ 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson was the No. 11 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in his home state; and the No. 106 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.

Jefferson announced his move to the Gators in December.

In October, Grimes took a leave of absence from the Buckeyes due to a family member dealing with a significant health issue.  The speculation at the time was that Grimes would likely transfer in order to be closer to his family in Miami; while initially denying it, the receiver moved on to the Gators in December of last year.

Grimes, a four-star 2017 signee, caught three passes for 20 yards during his brief time in Columbus.

SEC passes changes to intra-conference transfer rules, players no longer must sit out a year

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It’s been a rather sleepy set of league-wide meetings for the SEC in their annual retreat in Destin, Florida but the conference did release some rather notable changes to their rules on Friday that will be a net positive for several players. Most notably, that includes transfers who will no longer have to sit out a season when moving from one conference school to another.

At the heart of the matter is Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, who announced his transfer out of Tuscaloosa last month but has been seemingly in limbo awaiting a change to the SEC’s rules so that he could play immediately at either Tennessee or Auburn. Naturally, Nick Saban is not super happy at that possibility and has been upholding the league rules to block Kennedy from doing just that but Friday’s decision means it’s now out of the coach’s hands.

Also affected by the change should be former Ole Miss wideout Van Jefferson. He made the move to Florida following NCAA sanctions being announced on the Rebels but was similarly stuck in a bit of limbo trying to be eligible right away for the Gators.

The rules changes announced by the SEC are really just getting ahead of broader changes coming to the NCAA level in the coming months. Many coaches have been pushing back against a number of these ideas but it’s pretty clear by the vote coming out Destin that they’re going to be on the losing end of this battle.

That’s good news for players everywhere as they get a bit more freedom to pick where they want to play in the future.