Farrell 50: The best players of the 2020 season
It’s that time of year. The college football season is almost over, so it's time for a look at the Farrell 50 — the top 50 players in college football and how they were ranked as recruits. We begin today with Nos. 46-50.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
50. LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
The skinny: Davis committed to Kentucky after picking up an offer and attending a Junior Day in Lexington. At the time of his decision, he also had offers from Purdue, NC State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Tulane.
Davis enjoyed his best collegiate season in 2020, finishing with 89 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and two forced fumbles.
Farrell’s take: Davis was a skinny linebacker from Georgia found by Kentucky and turned into a star. He was a low three-star but he’s played like a four-star this season.
49. DB Talanoa Hufanga, USC
At USC, Hufanga established himself as one of the top defensive players in the Pac-12. Named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, he finished with 62 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and four interceptions.
Farrell’s take: Hufanga was a four-star athlete out of high school who could have played many positions but ended up as one of the best safeties in the country. His game is very well-rounded from run support to blitzing to pass coverage. He’s lived up to the hype.
48. DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
The skinny: Texas was considered the front-runner for Leal, but after taking an official visit to Texas A&M, he committed to the Aggies soon after. After showcasing his potential last season, Leal continued to improve his game this fall with 30 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.
Farrell’s take: Leal is just starting to emerge as one of the best players in college football. He requires so much attention up front he frees up everyone else. He was a five-star for a reason and could easily be one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
47. DB Tykee Smith, West Virginia
He made a lasting impression as a true freshman last fall, and in 2020 emerged as one of the best defensive players in the Big 12. Finishing with 61 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups. Next season he should be one of the top defensive backs in the nation.
Farrell’s take: Smith was a compact and powerful four-star safety coming out of high school and was a huge recruiting win for West Virginia. He was aggressive at the line of scrimmage and loved to hit and it shows in college.
46. DB Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
The skinny: Hodges-Tomlinson had a somewhat quiet recruitment, eventually committing to TCU a couple of weeks before National Signing Day. He also had offers from Baylor, Kansas State and Texas State.
Hodges-Tomlinson had a breakout sophomore season in 2020, finishing with 26 tackles and a Big 12 leading 13 pass breakups. He recently was named to the AP All-American Second Team.
Farrell’s take: We should have known, right? The nephew of LaDanian Tomlinson, we should have ranked him higher than a two-star despite his relatively light recruitment. It was all about a lack of size and length for Tomlinson but he’s easily overcome that.