Midseason Farrell 50: Countdown concludes with Nos. 1-5
The Midseason Farrell 50 is here, my list of the top 50 players in college football - and I can say that this season has been like no other so far.
Here’s Nos. 1-5.
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
5. QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
The skinny: Pickett initially committed to Temple, but after picking up a few additional offers he re-opened his process. One of these new offers came from Pittsburgh, which resulted in two visits and then his commitment a month later.
In his fifth season with the Panthers, and his fourth as a starter, Pickett is putting together a breakout performance this fall. Having passed for 1,934 yards, 21 touchdowns and only one interception, he leads a Pittsburgh offense that is one of the more explosive in the country.
Farrell’s take: Did we see this coming? Pickett has come so far from the Pickett we saw a couple of years ago it’s astonishing. He’s making all the right decisions and makes few mistakes.
4. OT Evan Neal, Alabama
The skinny: 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 recommitted to the Tide during the Early Signing Period. A unanimous preseason All-American this year, Neal has performed at that level since game one. Showing a unique combination of size, strength and athleticism he is also an offensive leader for the Tide.
Farrell’s take: Neal is an athletic freak of nature who simply shuts down his opponents and keeps the blind side clear. He could be the top overall pick in the NFL Draft.
3. RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
The skinny: Walker committed to Wake Forest at the conclusion of his December official visit to Winston-Salem. Wake Forest was his only Power Five offer. After two productive seasons with the Demon Deacons, Walker transferred to Michigan State, where he has had an All-American caliber first half.
Having rushed for 997 yards and nine touchdowns, while adding a receiving touchdown, Walker is on the Heisman Trophy shortlist at this point.
Farrell’s take: The Wake Forest transfer has been amazing for the Spartans, running with speed, power and vision. But it’s his balance that impresses me as he’s hard to knock down and he can bounce off tackles.
2. QB Bryce Young, Alabama
The skinny: Young initially committed to USC during the summer leading up to his junior season, but he then flipped to Alabama in the early stages of his senior season. He took a visit to Tuscaloosa during the weekend that he made his flip official.
During his first season as a starter Young has performed like the five-star that he is. Having passed for 2,082 yards, 24 touchdowns and only three interceptions he has the Alabama offense humming along as if he has played in Tuscaloosa for years.
Farrell’s take: Young has lived up to the hype as a five-star and his maturity in the offense has been remarkable. He seems to be able to slow down the field somehow with his amazing patience and vision.
1. RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
The skinny: Robinson trimmed his long list of top schools down to Texas, Ohio State and USC before committing to the Longhorns during the summer leading up to his senior season. The Buckeyes were considered the leader for a majority of his process leading up to his decision.
After somewhat of a slow start as a true freshman, Robinson showcased his potential during the first half of this season. That has resulted in 924 and 10 touchdowns on the ground plus 207 yards and three touchdowns receiving.
Farrell’s take: Robinson is simply the best player regardless of position in college football this season. He has burst, elusiveness and great vision. He’s a rare running back.