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Farrell Freshman All-American team: Defense

Last week we revealed the final Farrell Freshman 15 for the 2016 season, the top 15 true freshmen in the country, but why stop there?

Here’s a look at the Farrell Freshman All-American defensive team, including starters and some players who impressed me enough to deserve a mention.

Note: The “Others I Liked” section doesn’t include every true freshman who had a good season, just a few that deserve a mention.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

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Others I liked: Benito Jones, Ole Miss; Julian Rochester, Georgia; McTelvin Agim, Arkansas

Farrell’s take: It's hard to make an early impact at the defensive tackle position. Oliver and Lawrence were five-stars and Agim and Jones were highly ranked as well, so Rochester is the surprise here. It wasn't that Rochester had a low ranking - he was a Rivals250 prospect - but I felt he needed to whip himself into shape quickly to make an immediate impact and he did just that. There are others who didn’t stuff the stat sheet I liked as well, but these five stood out to me the most.


Others I liked: Malcolm Roach, Texas; Joseph Jackson, Miami; Marlon Davidson, Auburn; Rashan Gary, Michigan

Farrell’s take: Jackson was the guy I debated about quite a bit when he was left off the Farrell Freshman 15 and that was a tough call. Davidson was on my mid-season list but fell off a bit at the end, same with Gary. Roach is the real surprise, a huge kid who played standing up in high school and developed much quicker than expected.


Others I liked: Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech; David Reese, Florida; Jordan Mack, Virginia; Omari Cobb, Marshall

Farrell’s take: The future looks very bright in Miami on defense as you can tell. Dye and Pinckney were three-star prospects, so they are well ahead of schedule while Quarterman was a member of the Rivals100. Brooks, Reese and Mack were all three-stars, while Cobb was a two-star with few offers. The 2016 season saw many freshman linebackers make an impact earlier than expected.


Others I liked: Julian Love, Notre Dame; Jordan Parker, Oklahoma

Farrell’s take: Jones was a four-star prospect while Rapp was a mid-level three-star who has emerged very early. For Jones, this impact wasn’t out of the question based on his ranking and the same can be said for Love and Parker. Rapp is the real surprise here. There are some others, but I liked these four a lot.


Others I liked: Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota; Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest; Marcelino Ball, Indiana; Jalen Thompson, Washington State

Farrell’s take: Lee is a shocker despite his four-star ranking because he was originally a 2017 prospect and therefore supposed to be playing high school ball this season. Schooler is a surprise as well as a lightly-regarded two-star wide receiver who had a great freshman year. Winfield is also a stunner as a two-star out of Texas, although he’s run into trouble recently. Bates and Ball were also two-stars, while Thompson was a low three-star. This position has obviously been full of surprises.