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Farrell 50: Countdown of top CFB players rolls on with Nos. 6-10

Rivals national columnist Mike Farrell is counting down his top 50 players in college football for the 2021 season. Let’s continue with six through 10 on his list.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

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FARRELL 50: Countdown of top CFB players begins with Nos. 46-50 | 41-45 | 36-40 | 31-35 | 26-30 | 21-25 | 16-20 | 11-15

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10. Tank Bigsby, Auburn

The skinny: Bigsby committed to Auburn in the weeks leading up to his senior season. Georgia continued to push throughout the fall, and got him on campus for an unofficial visit, but it was never able to flip the four-star running back. Bigsby emerged as a top-level running back in the SEC during his true freshman season, totaling 834 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He also returned kickoffs for the Tigers.

Farrell’s take: Bigsby showed his ability last year as a runner and in the pass game and this year he will be utilized even more with a new staff. He makes a good case for the top running back in the country.

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9. Drake Jackson, USC  

The skinny: Jackson took official visits to USC, Washington, Arizona State and Illinois during his senior season before committing to the Trojans during the Early Signing Period. It came down to the Trojans and Sun Devils during the final stretch. Jackson burst onto the scene during his true freshman season and followed it up with a solid showing in 2020. Having totaled 66 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in his two seasons, an All-American caliber season is expected in 2021.

Farrell’s take: Jackson is making a push to be the top pass rusher in the Pac-12 and is an extremely active tackler for a big man. He’s going to see plenty of double teams this year, but it won’t matter much.

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8. Christian Harris, Alabama

The skinny: Harris initially committed to Texas A&M during the summer leading up to his senior season, but then flipped to Alabama almost four months later. With the Tide, Harris immediately made an impact as a true freshman and continued to flourish in 2020 with 79 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one interception. He is considered the leader of a defensive unit loaded with talent.

Farrell’s take: Harris is hands down the best linebacker in the county and has the size and speed that reminds me of Reuben Foster. But while Foster had only one great year at Alabama, Harris is already ahead of that pace and will dominate this season.

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7. Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame  

The skinny: Hamilton took spring official visits to Georgia and Michigan, but two previous trips to South Bend were enough for him to commit to the Irish in late April. Over his two seasons at Notre Dame Hamilton has become one of the top defensive backs in the country with 104 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 12 pass breakups.

Farrell’s take: Hamilton is smart, aggressive and a great tackler, but his length and ability to close on the ball have him as the top safety in the country this year. He can hurt you with a tackle for loss or with an interception. He plays all over the field.

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6. DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M  

The skinny: Texas was considered the frontrunner for Leal, but after taking an official visit to Texas A&M he committed to the Aggies. In College Station, Leal has established himself as one of the top defensive linemen in the country. Expected to have a monster season this fall, he had 37 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble in 2020.

Farrell’s take: As a massive end, Leal has the ability to move inside full time in the NFL or play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Big men who can move like he does don’t last long in the NFL Draft and he should be a top 10 pick.

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