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Farrell 50: Countdown of top CFB players rolls on with Nos. 21-25

Oklahoma linebacker Nik Bonitto
Oklahoma linebacker Nik Bonitto (Associated Press)

Here is Mike Farrell's list of the top 50 players in college football for the 2021 season, continuing with Nos. 21 through 25.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

FARRELL 50: Countdown of top CFB players begins with Nos. 46-50 | 41-45 | 36-40 | 31-35 | 26-30

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25. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

The skinny: Ohio State beat Texas and others for Wilson, who played at Austin (Texas) Lake Travis but who lived in the Columbus area until he was 12-years-old. Wilson committed to the Buckeyes in the spring before his senior season. In his two seasons in Columbus, Wilson has totaled 73 receptions for 1,155 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Farrell’s take: Wilson has shown flashes of his true ability so far in Columbus but he is expected to break out this season even with Chris Olave back. He’s a long receiver and his body control and ability to make tough catches is impressive.

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24. Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

The skinny: Linderbaum only had three offers at the time of his summer decision, but two were in-state programs Iowa and Iowa State. His familiarity with the Hawkeyes helped them pull off the recruiting victory. Linderbaum started the last 21 games at center in Iowa City. His performance last season earned him All-American honors, as well as preseason All-American honors for 2021.

Farrell’s take: Linderbaum is one of the best and most reliable linemen in the country and most feel he’s the best true center. He’s an absolute leader for the Iowa offensive line and it’s his year to shine.

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23. JT Daniels, Georgia

The skinny: Despite a hectic recruiting process, Daniels managed to focus his efforts on USC, Washington, Michigan and Stanford before committing to the Trojans during the summer leading up to his senior season. At USC, he was the starter in 2018, but an injury in 2019 sidetracked his season. He then transferred to Georgia in 2020, where he passed for 1,231 yards and 10 touchdowns in four games.

Farrell’s take: Daniels showed amazing potential coming out of high school and flashed some at USC and now Georgia but this has to be his breakout season and 30-plus touchdowns should be an easy mark to reach.

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22. Kaiir Elam, Florida

The skinny: Elam took official visits to Florida, Miami and Colorado, but this really came down to the Gators and Georgia. On National Signing Day he decided to stay in-state and committed to Florida. After impressing during his true freshman season in Gainesville, Elam became one of the defensive leaders for the Gators in 2020 with 39 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Farrell’s take: Elam has excellent size and is an off-the-charts athlete who is still learning the technique side of things. His ceiling is sky high and he could be a first-round draft pick.

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21. Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma

The skinny: Bonitto trimmed his list of top programs to Oklahoma, Texas and Louisville, but it was the Sooners who were considered the heavy favorite for months. He did the expected and committed to Oklahoma at the Under Armour All-American Game. After an impressive 2019 season, Bonitto became an elite defensive playmaker in 2020 with 33 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks.

Farrell’s take: Bonitto is a pass-rushing menace for Oklahoma and he has blossomed into a complete player who can also string out the run and pick the running lane to make tackles for a loss.

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