Farrell Freshman 15: Nos. 4-6
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
The midseason Farrell Freshman 15 continues today with a look at Nos. 4-6, led by some talented big men.
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 Day. This was a competition between the Trojans and Sun Devils until the last minute.
After an extremely impressive spring, there was plenty of buzz coming into the season for Jackson. He has not disappointed thus far, with 27 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and three pass breakups for the Trojans.
Farrell’s take: Jackson was close to being a five-star and was discussed in rankings as such. He ultimately landed as a top-50 player overall. He had length, good size and power and was extremely athletic. His impact early at USC is no surprise and he could be a three-and-out first-rounder if he continues to develop.
The skinny: As with Trey Sanders, Neal was a very early commit to Alabama, but then re-opened his recruitment and took official visits to Georgia, Miami and Oklahoma during his senior season. He eventually re-committed to the Tide during the Early Signing Period.
Neal has become an immediate contributor this fall, starting five games at left guard. He will likely move over to tackle next season, but for now he is doing an incredible job against elite defensive linemen in the SEC.
Farrell’s take: Neal was a massive offensive tackle coming out of high school who carried a ton of weight but re-conditioned his body midway through his high school career and improved his footwork greatly. He was a no-brainer as a five-star and a national top-10 prospect who was a star at IMG. Now he’s a starter already at the SEC level and has a great future.
Several early enrollees performed very well for the Tigers during the spring, but it was Davis that earned the most buzz. He has translated that into a veteran-level performance during the fall, with 17 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks, while helping to anchor the interior defensive line for the Tigers.
Farrell’s take: Davis was a powerful defensive tackle with excellent athleticism and the ability to pursue the quarterback coming out of high school. I loved the way he hustled and ran plays down to the outside. We had him ranked in the Rivals250, but he’s played like a Rivals100 prospect so far and could end up being the next great defensive tackle at Clemson.