Farrell 50: Countdown of top CFB players rolls on with Nos. 26-30
Here is Mike Farrell's list of the top 50 players in college football for the 2021 season, continuing with Nos. 26 through 30.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
FARRELL 50: Countdown of top CFB players begins with Nos. 46-50 | 41-45 | 36-40 | 31-35
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30. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
The skinny: Hutchinson piled up offers from several elite programs through the winter, but since his father, Chris Hutchinson, played at Michigan, the Wolverines were always seen as the clear favorite. He didn’t pull any surprises and committed to Michigan. A fractured leg in 2020 cut Hutchinson’s season down to two games, but now that he's fully healthy expectations are high that he will perform at the level that he did in 2019, when he finished with 69 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Farrell’s take: Hutchinson is a freak athlete with a nonstop motor who is effective against the run and pass, and clogs passing lanes as well. He only played a couple games last season, but he’s going to break out this year after a great freshman season.
29. Treylon Burks, Arkansas
The skinny: Burks committed to Arkansas during the summer leading up to his senior season over offers from LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss. After an impressive true freshman season, Burks became one of the best wide receivers in the SEC last fall with 51 receptions, 820 yards and seven touchdowns. He has made several preseason All-American teams this summer.
Farrell’s take: Burks has tremendous size and he’s a powerful pass catcher who snatches the ball and boxes out well. He has speed to go with his size, and he’s a red zone nightmare.
28. Darian Kinard, Kentucky
The skinny: Kinnard committed to Kentucky during the spring after his junior season over offers from Penn State, UCLA, West Virginia, Iowa State and Indiana. He has made 26 consecutive starts at tackle in Lexington, was named Second-Team All-American after 2020 and is on most preseason All-American teams this year.
Farrell’s take: Kinnard is one of the elite linemen in college football, and his decision to come back could make him a first-round NFL Draft pick. He’s durable, physical and he can reach the second level. And he’s a tremendous leader.
27. Mo Ibrahim, Minnesota
The skinny: Minnesota was not a major player for Ibrahim until coach PJ Fleck took control of the program. Fleck quickly made Ibrahim a priority, which led to the three-star's commitment in January. During his three seasons with the Gophers, Ibrahim has quietly become one of the top running backs in the Big Ten. He has totaled 2,840 yards and 31 touchdowns on the ground.
Farrell’s take: Ibrahim is a warrior who does a lot of work off of contact and always seems to fall forward, which is a great sign for a back. He isn’t a burner, but he has sneaky speed and he wears teams down.
26. Justyn Ross, Clemson
The skinny: It was believed that Ross would choose between Alabama and Auburn, but a very successful official visit to Clemson in December quickly changed everything. Despite taking official visits to both Tuscaloosa and Auburn in January, Ross committed to the Tigers on National Signing Day. During his first two seasons with the Tigers, Ross was dynamic with 112 receptions, 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. A spinal injury sidelined him during the 2020 season. Now medically cleared, the hope is that he regains his previous level of play.
Farrell’s take: Ross is expected to have a monster season as the lead receiver for Clemson. The only reason he’s this low is because of that injury concern.