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Ask Farrell: Who might emerge as the best recruit in the 2019 class?

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team


MORE ASK FARRELL: Can Texas A&M sustain its in-state momentum? | Which coordinator hire will have the biggest impact in 2019?

Derek Stingley Jr. was the longtime No. 1 prospect in the 2019 class but the five-star cornerback did not go wire-to-wire in the top spot.

Early on, four-star athlete Quavaris Crouch took the nod at the top of the rankings, but he finished No. 70 overall and there were some hefty debates about which prospect should take over the No. 1 position.

Stingley has all the tools as a special cornerback and he has been drawing some rave reviews through spring practice at LSU. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound recruit is a physical and athletic specimen who looked great throughout his high school career, including at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas last summer.

But throughout the rankings process, there were some discussions about whether another prospect who continued to dominate and projected as a superstar should eclipse Stingley in the pole position.

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy teammates Nolan Smith, an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid, and hard-charging running back Trey Sanders finished second and third, respectively, in the rankings. After some flip-flopping at receiver, Oklahoma signee Jadon Haselwood finished at fourth overall. Defensive tackle and Alabama signee Antonio Alfano rounded out the top five after an unstoppable showing at the All-American Bowl.

Oregon defensive end signee Kayvon Thibodeaux, Georgia wide receiver signee George Pickens, Alabama offensive tackle signee Evan Neal, South Carolina defensive end signee Zacch Pickens and Texas A&M defensive end signee DeMarvin Leal finished in the top 10.


Which one of those prospects - or another five-star standout - might emerge in the coming years as the best recruit to come out of the 2019 class, someone we might regret not having No. 1 overall?

We ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.

“Based on history, it’s doubtful it will be a wide receiver or running back, but it could be one of the defensive linemen. Alfano is a special talent who is just starting to realize his potential, and Pickens and Leal are both raw with amazing upside. Thibodeaux is the most college- ready and a pure outside pass rusher and has the freaky athleticism to dominate in college and beyond and we all know pass rushers go high in the draft. I still think Stingley Jr was the right choice and will be a very high pick at corner, but if someone outshines him, I’d bet it will be one of the defensive linemen. It’s a really good group of four in the top 10.”