Farrell Freshman 15: Countdown begins with Nos. 13-15
The midseason Farrell Freshman 15 begins today with a look at Nos. 13-15, led by a top defensive back, a rising quarterback and a surprise wide receiver.
The skinny: Smith took official visits to Texas and USC during the spring, before committing to the Longhorns at the conclusion of his trip to Austin. He had piled up approximately 30 offers at the time of his decision, but had trimmed his list to Texas and USC.
Smith has made an immediate impact on the Longhorns’ offense this fall. He has also made the most of his opportunities, with four touchdowns and 173 yards on only 16 receptions. He has also added one offensive carry, plus returned five punts, to further showcase his impressive athleticism.
Farrell’s take: Smith was compared by some to Christian McCaffrey out of high school because of his versatility and athleticism, which is heady stuff. He could have played many positions in college but was always more dangerous on the offensive side of the ball. He’s going to be a terror in the Big 12 before long.
The skinny: The son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix was always considered a heavy lean with the Tigers. So, it came as no surprise when he decided to stay home in early January, 2018.
He battled Joey Gatewood throughout the off-season for the starting job, which he finally won out in late August. While there have been a few ups-and-downs, as should be expected for a true freshman quarterback in the SEC, Nix has performed admirably with 1,125 yards passing and eight touchdowns, plus two rushing touchdowns, for the one loss Tigers.
Farrell’s take: Nix was a five-star out of high school for many reasons — he was a winner, played with great confidence and he had accuracy and arm strength — and reminded me a bit of Drew Brees when evaluating him. He’s hit the ground running and has been a big surprise for Auburn early. He has a great career ahead of him.
The skinny: Williams initially committed to Oregon during the spring after his junior season, but reopened his recruitment less than two months later. He then committed to Washington in late July over Oklahoma, Nebraska, USC and the Ducks.
The Huskies have produced several NFL-caliber defensive backs in recent years, and Williams should be one down the line. Having totaled 17 tackles and three interceptions, including two during a victory at USC, Williams has already entrenched himself as an important piece of the Washington defense.
Farrell’s take: Williams was a high three-star in the 2019 class, a slightly undersized safety with excellent ball skills who was regionally recruited. He could look great in one instance and then take too many chances in the next, but he has found his stride early in college.