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Farrell Midseason 50: Nos. 36-40

With the college football season a little beyond the halfway point, it’s time for another installment of the Farrell 50, the top 50 college football players in the country. However, as usual here at, we take a quick look at how each ranked out of high school and if they are exceeding or simply living up to expectations. And with such a crazy season of injuries and disappointing seasons from some of the bigger names, you could be stunned at who’s missing from the list.

Today we look at Nos. 36-40 led by two of the nation’s most explosive receivers and an underrated OL.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

MORE FARRELL 50: Nos. 41-45 | 46-50


The skinny: As his senior season was fast approaching, Williams committed to Clemson over South Carolina. Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Tennessee were also involved, but this came down to an in-state battle between the Tigers and Gamecocks. A great deal was expected from Williams during the 2015 season, but a neck injury quickly ended those hopes. Now fully healthy, Williams has teamed up with Deshaun Watson for 39 receptions, 578 yards and four touchdowns.

Farrell’s take: Williams was a raw, skinny wideout with amazing upside out of high school in 2013. He made it inside our Rivals250 based on his body control and hands. He has now grown into a big, physical receiver who is a mismatch for smaller corners and a red zone natural. Bouncing back from his neck injury from last season has been good to see, although his production in the end zone is a bit lower than expected so far.

The skinny: Westbrook committed to Oklahoma out of JUCO over Utah, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas State, West Virginia and others based on his relationship with coach Bob Stoops, wide receiver Sterling Shepard and incoming transfer Dorial Green-Beckham (who never played for the Sooners in the end). After a solid season as a junior in 2015, Westbrook has broken out this season with 52 catches for 930 yards and 10 scores.

Farrell’s take: Westbrook was a four-star coming out of Blinn, where he put up big numbers and showed he could play outside or inside. He was a perfect fit for a spread offense and with the Big 12 being so wide open defensively, it’s no surprise he had a good first year. But what he has done in the last few games is simply ridiculous. He’s turning into one of the best wide receivers in the country very quickly.

The skinny: Jones had an eventful recruiting process, as he was committed to San Jose State and then Utah, before finally flipping to Washington after a January official visit to Seattle. Jones is coming off of a big 2015 that saw him finish with 45 tackles and four interceptions, and while his statistics may not end up matching last season’s, his performance has been even more impressive. With minimal throws coming his way, Jones currently has 19 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble, as he has helped further solidify an impressive Washington defense.

Farrell’s take: We had Jones as a three-star athlete out of high school because he could do it all – offense, defense and special teams – but he didn’t make that four-star status because he was skinny and lacking strength in press coverage and run support. However, after three years in a college weight room, he is clearly stronger and better against the run, which complements his uncanny coverage instincts and skills. He was always willing to mix it up in high school; he just struggled during contact. Now all of that has changed and he’s a pure lockdown guy who can do it all.

The skinny: Lattimore took official visits to Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia Tech, but at the end it came down to the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide. He made his commitment to the Buckeyes on national television during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. After dealing with hamstring issues during his first two seasons in Columbus, Lattimore has exploded onto the scene this fall. Totaling 26 tackles, three interceptions and eight pass break-ups, he is a major part of what has quickly become one of the top secondaries in the country.

Farrell’s take: We had Lattimore as an athlete coming out of high school because we felt he could play offense or defense in college, but he struggled a bit down the stretch against top competition at the U.S. Army Bowl and was surpassed by teammate and fellow defensive back Erick Smith in the state rankings. Now Lattimore is certainly coming into his own and beginning to live up to his initial national top 50 ranking.

The skinny: Williams, who had offers from coast-to-coast, committed to Texas during the beginning of his senior season and held firm with his word. While Texas has once again had its fair share of ups and downs on the field this season, one of the bright spots has definitely been Williams. Establishing himself at left tackle, Williams has taken his game to a higher level and should form an impressive offensive nucleus with freshman quarterback Shane Buechele for the Longhorns.

Farrell’s take: Williams was in our Rivals250 but wasn’t ranked as high as perhaps he should have been for a very good reason – he was a tight end until his senior season. A blocking tight end for sure, but he made the transition to tackle for one year of high school. The results were good enough to have him ranked so high and it’s clear the athleticism and footwork of playing his previous position as well as a long frame to fill out has helped him in college. With many disappointing performances from big-name offensive linemen this year, Williams has emerged as one of the elite.

FARRELL 50: Nos 46-50 | 41-45