football Edit

Farrell 50: The nation's top players - Nos. 26-30

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

The college football season is over save for one kind of big game between LSU and Clemson. So it’s time to continue the Farrell 50, the top 50 college football players in the country. Here’s Nos. 26-30.

FARRELL 50: Nos. 31 - 35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50

FARRELL FRESHMAN 15: Nos. 1-3 | 4-6 | 7-9 | 10-12 | 13-15

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

Evan Weaver
Evan Weaver

The skinny: Weaver took an active recruiting approach, taking numerous unofficial visits before committing to Cal during a trip to Berkeley. He also considered Utah, Arizona, Boise State and Washington State. Coming off a season when he totaled 155 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks, some wondered if Weaver would produce at a similar level this fall. He responded by having an even bigger season, finishing with 181 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Farrell’s take: Weaver wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school mainly because he played in Washington state and not a lot teams recruit that area. He was a mid-range three-star defensive end out of high school who emerged as one of the top tacklers in the country and led a surprising Cal defense.

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AJ Dillon
AJ Dillon

The skinny: Dillon initially committed to Michigan during the spring after his junior season, but then flipped to Boston College in December. The Eagles’ coaching staff never let up on him after his commitment to the Wolverines.

Coming off a 2018 season that was shortened by injury, Dillon returned healthy in 2019 looking to once again prove himself. He did exactly this for the Eagles, finishing with 1,451 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, plus one more score through the air. Soon after the regular season concluded, he decided to forego his final season in Chestnut Hill and declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Farrell’s take: Dillon was a big running back with solid speed and very nifty footwork coming out of high school. We liked him, but he’s made a bigger impact than I expected. His vision is excellent and he always falls forward for additional yardage. Boston College was a great fit for him offensively and he was a huge flip for the Eagles from Michigan. He reminds me of Derrick Henry.

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Sam Ehlinger
Sam Ehlinger

The skinny: Ehlinger committed to Texas during the summer before his junior season and never wavered on his word. Coming off a 2018 season when he totaled 3,774 yards and 41 touchdowns, Ehlinger had another impressive, albeit inconsistent, season for the Longhorns. Finishing with 2,914 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air and 428 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, Ehlinger has confirmed that he will return to Austin for his senior season.

Farrell’s take: I had Ehlinger in my Commit Fit after National Signing Day when he came out of high school because he had the skill set that a Tom Herman offense covets. His injuries during his high school career, from his knee to his wrist, led to some question marks, but he was still so prolific as a stat-stuffer that there was no question he was in the Rivals100 range. He wasn’t the tallest quarterback, but he had a good arm, compact release and was powerfully built, which helped his running ability and ability to bounce off tackles. Ehlinger lived up to his ranking so far and then some and has improved each season.

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Tyler Biadasz
Tyler Biadasz

The skinny: Biadasz held a quartet of FCS offers when he took an unofficial visit to Madison and picked up an offer from Wisconsin. Less than two days later he committed to the Badgers. After redshirting in 2016, Biadasz firmly established himself as a team leader on the offensive line over the last two seasons. Paving the way for record-setting running back Jonathan Taylor during this time, he was a unanimous All-American during his final season in Madison.

Farrell’s take: Biadasz was a three-star prospect who lacked great size and power out of high school but had smarts and athleticism. We had him ranked as a defensive tackle because he seemed to excel at that position and was aggressive. Biadasz has taken that aggression and brought it to the offensive line. The level of competition he played wasn’t great and we worried a bit about his frame, but he’s turned into your typical underrated, nasty Wisconsin offensive lineman.

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Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson

The skinny: While Jefferson had to wait several months until his National Signing Day to put pen to paper, he signed with LSU as soon as cleared his academic hurdles. This did not come as much surprise as his two older brothers, Rickey Jefferson and Jordan Jefferson, both played in Baton Rouge. This fall, Jefferson took full advantage of quarterback Joe Burrow’s Heisman Trophy winning season by exploding on the national scene with 88 receptions for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Farrell’s take: Jefferson was a late throw-in for the LSU class because of academic issues and many schools backed off. The Tigers were very smart in believing in him and he’s shown that he was very underrated coming out of high school, although his evaluation was done well after the class had signed and was tempered by academic issues. But he is a two-star who is playing like a four-star (at least) and a huge key to the LSU offense.

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