Farrell Freshman 15: Nos. 10-12
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
The Farrell Freshman 15 continues today with a look at Nos. 10-12, featuring three standout defenders.
FRESHMAN 15: Nos. 13-15
The skinny: Horn initially committed to Tennessee but re-opened his process in late November. South Carolina quickly rose to the forefront and was able to seal his commitment a few weeks later after his official visit to Columbia. Horn shined in preseason camp and quickly earned extensive playing time. While he dealt with a nagging ankle injury at the end of the season, he still excelled with 45 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two sacks and eight pass break-ups.
Farrell’s take: Horn was a highly-regarded cornerback coming out of high school last year with good size, a nice frame to build on and excellent ball skills. His ability to get his head around and make plays on the ball was exceptional coming out and certainly showed his first year.
The skinny: Thompson was initially committed to South Carolina, but due to academic issues was asked to hold off on signing his National Letter of Intent. Eventually the Gamecocks decided to cut ties, opening the door for both Tennessee and Marshall. Many assumed that Thompson would end up taking the JUCO route, but he surprised many by signing with the Vols in late May. While he was the last addition to the class of 2018 for the Vols, he was the most productive with 32 tackles, four tackles for a loss, three interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble and four pass break-ups.
Farrell’s take: We had Thompson as a four-star athlete and Rivals250 member because he could excel on either side of the ball. On defense, Thompson had good size, was very strong and filled out, and had excellent instincts so it’s no surprise to see him impact early.
The skinny: Robertson took official visits to Arizona State, Oklahoma and Illinois before committing to the Sun Devils during the February National Signing Day. Linebacker was a position of need for Arizona State, so this was a big recruiting victory for Herm Edwards. In Tempe, Robertson immediately became an important contributor for the Sun Devils’ defense. Finishing with 77 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, Robertson has the tools to be a star in the Pac-12.
Farrell’s take: Robertson was a big, physical linebacker coming out of high school who arrived at the football with a thump. He was also solid in coverage despite having such great size and his versatility was one of the reasons we had him ranked so highly. It’s not a huge surprise he’s made such an immediate impact because he was college-ready from a physical standpoint.