Farrell 50: The best players of the 2021 season

It’s that time of year. The college football season is almost over, so it’s time to take a look at the Farrell 50, the top 50 college football players, and how they were ranked as rookies. Let’s start today with numbers 41-50.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

50. WR Drake London, USC

The skinny: London engaged with USC during the summer leading up to his senior season. In fact he was committed to both football and basketball, which was an important factor in his decision. After scoring 72 receptions during his first two seasons with the Trojans, London ended 2021 with 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns despite suffering a season-ending injury during the eighth game of the season.

Farrell’s opinion: London had emerged as arguably the best receiver in college football prior to his injury with his size and catch range. He is likely to be a first rounder and reminds many of Mike Evans.

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*****

49. TE Trey McBride, State of Colorado

The skinny: McBride has received a lot of interest in recent times, with Power Five programs such as Kansas State, Colorado, and many more. But McBride chose instead to stay close to home and play for Colorado State, committing himself during his senior season. Having already established himself as one of the best return tight ends in the country, McBride took his game to an even higher level this fall with 86 receptions for 1,017 yards and a touchdown for the Rams.

Farrell’s opinion: McBride was a local two-star recruit out of high school who wasn’t heavily recruited but quickly emerged as a word of mouth threat. This year was the most productive tight end in the country.

*****

48. WR Garrett Wilson, State of Ohio

The skinny: The state of Ohio beat Texas and others for Wilson, who played Austin (Texas) Lake Travis but lived in the Columbus area until the age of 12. Wilson engaged with the Buckeyes in the spring before his senior season. Wilson made an immediate impact in Ohio State, but enjoyed his best season in 2021 with 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Buckeyes.

Farrell’s opinion: Wilson had another very good season and was particularly effective in getting into the end zone. He has a first-round vote for the most part in next season’s NFL Draft and started slow due to a new quarterback, but really made it mid-season.

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*****

47. DE Sam Williams, Ole Miss

The skinny: The JUCO recruit engaged with Ole Miss during the spring which led to her final season at Northeast Mississippi CC, but then made an official visit to the state of Florida in December. Despite this belated look at the Seminoles, he remained with the Rebels on National Signing Day. After two very productive seasons at Oxford, Williams became one of the SEC’s top defensive players this fall with 56 tackles, 14 tackles per loss, 12.5 sacks. and four forced fumbles.

Farrell’s opinion: Williams was a four-star JUCO linebacker and quickly became one of the SEC’s top pure pass rusher. Not only does he pursue well, but he has a knack for making big plays at big times.

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*****

46. ​​WR AT Perry, Wake Forest

The skinny: Perry made an official visit to Wake Forest in early December and immediately engaged with the Demon Deacons. He chose Wake over Iowa State, Appalachian State, Liberty, UAB, Southern Miss, and many more offers. Expectations were high that Perry would become a bigger part of the Wake Forest offense this fall, but not many expected him to score 61 receptions for 1,166 yards and 14 touchdowns for the explosive Demon Deacons attack.

The skinny: A large but enamel-free two-star, he only had two Power Five offers outside of high school despite playing in Florida. He has added speed and his hands are excellent as it has become a nightmare match.

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*****

45. LB Damone Clark, LSU

The skinny: At the time of his decision in early January, shortly after his junior season ended, Clark also received offers from Florida, Miami and the state of Mississippi, but made a commitment to LSU due to his proximity to his home. He made a belated official visit to Texas but remained loyal to the Tigers. While the season didn’t go as planned in Baton Rouge, Clark’s play has been a constant bright spot. Concluding with 135 tackles leading the SEC, along with 15 tackles for one loss, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception, he became one of the SEC’s top defensive point guards.

Farrell’s opinion: A somewhat underpowered local linebacker in high school, he was still a four star and took some time to develop. This season has been a turning point for him and he has shown he can face, cover and anticipate.

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*****

44. RB TreVeyon Henderson, State of Ohio

The skinny: Initially, Virginia Tech and Virginia were the main contenders for Henderson, followed by Ohio State, North Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas. With COVID-19 closing options for further visits, Henderson made a commitment to the Buckeyes in late March after establishing a strong relationship with the coaching staff. After some initial questions to Columbus about who would be the lead in 2021, Henderson presented himself to the occasion as a true rookie and scored 1,457 offensive yards and 19 touchdowns.

Farrell’s opinion: Henderson came with a lot of hype, and it lived up to that and then a little bit. We’ve been criticized for not having it as a five-star, and that certainly seems like a big mistake. She has explosive speed and looks like a future Heisman winner and is one of the few true freshmen on this list.

*****

43. QB Brennan Armstrong, Virginia

The skinny: Armstrong had initially committed to Minnesota, but after reopening his recruitment, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Cincinnati were in contention before his engagement with the Cavaliers in late November. After a promising 2020 season, Armstrong had a dynamic performance in 2021 with 4,444 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also rushed for nine touchdowns.

Farrell’s opinion: A mid-tier three-star from Ohio, Armstrong was lightly recruited but found a great fit with the Cavaliers. His accuracy has improved dramatically over the past two seasons and, despite a medium arm, he manages to insert the ball.

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*****

42. WR Jerreth Sterns, western Kentucky

The skinny: Sterns joined the Army, as a quarterback recruit, during his senior season, but then decided to stay closer to home and signed with the Houston Baptist. Navy, Princeton, and Davidson also volunteered. Moving to western Kentucky during the offseason, Sterns had no problem adapting to FBS football this fall. Combining with transfer mate and former teammate Bailey Zappe, he finished with an incredible 150 receptions for 1,902 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Farrell’s opinion: Speaking of traveling, the former two-star went from quarterback to wide receiver and found his home in western Kentucky as the prime target of a prolific offense. Its numbers are ridiculous.

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*****

41. OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

The skinny: Green was one of the first engagements for LSU, but after reopening his recruiting and announcing a top 10, he surprisingly made a commitment to Texas A&M about a month later. Being two hours from his home was a big factor for Green in picking the Aggies. In his final season with the Aggies, as he recently stated for the NFL Draft, Green earned multiple All-American accolades while being the only NCAA player to record 80 or more plays in four different positions on the offensive line.

Farrell’s opinion: Green was a five star who has emerged as one of the most versatile players in the country. He can play in or out and has a first round vote.

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