Comparing 2021 prospects to past stars: Nos. 21-30
The class of 2021 player rankings were recently released and it got us thinking about who some of these high school stars remind us of. We break them down 10 at a time this week.
No. 30: J.J. McCarthy
Overview: Committed to Michigan since May 2019, McCarthy has a lot of special tools at quarterback and could be a superstar in Ann Arbor. A transfer from Illinois to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, McCarthy can sit in the pocket and dissect defenses but he’s almost more comfortable getting out, keeping his eyes downfield and then finding open receivers. He’s also really good with pressure coming right at his face and McCarthy can run when needed as well.
Farrell’s take: McCarthy is a smooth prospect at quarterback who makes many things look effortless. He reminds me of White because they have similar builds and a good command of the field.
No. 29: Nolan Rucci
Overview: Penn State and Wisconsin are considered two top teams for Rucci, who is also considering Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford and Notre Dame. The high four-star is all of 6-foot-8 and he could still easily add at least 20 pounds to his frame, so he has not topped out physically. Rucci is a dominant run blocker, he’s light on his feet, and even at defensive end he makes plays and gets in the backfield. The Pennsylvania lineman is already ranked high, and he hasn't maxed out yet.
Farrell’s take: Rucci was a tough one because he’s still kind of thin as a 300-pounder, but he’s more filled out than a guy like Mike McGlinchey. Young has immense upside and the two play a similar game at the high school level.
No. 28: Monkell Goodwine
Overview: In mid-August, Goodwine committed to Alabama over Clemson, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Arizona State. Tracking the ball is Goodwine’s specialty, as he uses his power and speed to chase down the ball carrier. Goodwine can dominate offensive linemen both inside and outside and he loves to hit people and disrupt the quarterback’s progression. He’s an athletic kid who can play in space.
Farrell’s take: Morgan is a blast from the past, but he was a thick and aggressive end with good size and solid technique. Goodwine could end up inside if needed, and he should have a very good career like Morgan did.
No. 27: Jake Garcia
Overview: Garcia remains committed to USC, but Miami and other programs are trying to stay involved with him since the Trojans have two quarterbacks committed in this class. A transfer to Valdosta, Ga., from Southern California for his senior season, Garcia is smooth and effortless throwing the football, he has great vision, underrated athleticism and he makes every throw on the football field look easy.
Farrell’s take: Garcia is a tough one because he looks bigger than he is and has an adequate arm and can rifle the ball when needed. He’s a fiery leader like Cousins and more developed at the same stage.
No. 26: Troy Franklin
Overview: The top-rated receiver in California committed to Oregon over Washington, Alabama, Arizona State and others this summer. Franklin is wiry and athletic, long and lean and he does a whole lot with the football in his hands. He can easily stretch the field and make plays that way. He can also take a short pass and make people miss for big gains. Franklin has great hands, great play-making ability and he should shine in the Pac-12.
Farrell’s take: Another blast from the past, but this is spot on. Franklin and Jones are both excellent when the ball is in the air and adjust well on the sidelines. And both could make big plays at the high school level.
No. 25 Quaydarius Davis
Overview: A former Texas commit, Davis backed off that pledge and picked USC on May 1 over the Longhorns, LSU, SMU, Florida and Oklahoma State. Davis’ speed is devastating to defensive backs. When corners give him too much cushion, Davis catches a screen pass, makes a move and then he’s gone again. For someone who’s not big, Davis is also well-put-together and is tough to tackle.
Farrell’s take: Davis has great ball skills, he can make some acrobatic catches and he’s a solid route-runner. Rudolph ran better routes at the same stage, but Davis strikes me as a prospect who will catch a ton of passes in college.
No. 24: Kyle McCord
Overview: In Aprill 2019, McCord committed to Ohio State over Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Clemson and others, although the Buckeyes were always considered the front-runner. McCord has a terrific arm and he can fire into tight windows or put touch on it when necessary. He’s not a tremendous running threat but he does escape pressure well, feels it coming at him and then has the moxie to stand in the pocket and deliver strikes.
Farrell’s take: Darnold is a lofty comparison for McCord. They are very similar out of high school with a ton of arm talent, but a bit raw and erratic at times. Obviously, McCord would love to develop like Darnold.
No. 23: JC Latham
Overview: This summer Latham committed to Alabama over Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State and others. Originally a defensive end prospect, Latham has switched over to offensive tackle and it has worked out tremendously. He’s long and athletic and as Southeast Recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy puts it, “Latham seems to have been created in a lab to play offensive tackle.”
Farrell’s take: This wasn’t easy, either, because I had to think back to the absolute brick walls in history and then Nelson popped in my head. Latham will likely be a tackle, but we thought the same of Nelson. That’s how high Latham’s ceiling is.
No. 22 Tyreak Sapp
Overview: Sapp has been committed to Florida since Christmas Eve 2018, but in July he released a top five of Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Miami and Georgia Tech. Some think the Hurricanes could flip Sapp at some point. Sapp is a gap-shooting defensive lineman who makes plays, has size and power but also athleticism to slip blocks and live in the backfield.
Farrell’s take: This one was easy from the moment I saw Sapp. He’s not the tallest or longest, but he’s a powerful kid who could play inside or outside. Lawson has done well for himself and Sapp should as well.
No. 21 Jacorey Brooks
Overview: Brooks committed to Alabama over Florida and many others as the Crimson Tide once again dipped into South Florida for an elite receiver - and Brooks is arguably one of the best in this class. He has the bouncy athleticism of Jerry Jeudy and the play-making skills of other Alabama standouts in recent years. He’s right on the fringe of a five-star ranking, which could come with another big season.
Farrell’s take: Brooks is long, fluid, angular and smooth, and Greenberry was the same way. Greenberry famously flipped from Notre Dame to Houston and didn’t live up to the hype, but he was very impressive in high school.