Midseason Farrell Freshman 15: Nos. 4-6
As the regular season is at its midpoint, it’s time to update the Farrell Freshman 15, the top 15 true freshmen in the country. Here’s Nos. 4-6.
Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.
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6. RB Will Shipley, Clemson
The skinny: Shipley was just coming into his own in Death Valley when an injury sidelined him against NC State in late September. Until his injury, he had totaled 211 yards and five touchdowns rushing. While he isn’t expected back until late October, his early-season performance backed up the hype that was following him after his spring and summer workouts.
Farrell’s take: As the top all-purpose back in the country and No. 1 on my preseason freshman list I expected Shipley to contribute immediately and he did. Hopefully he’s back from injury soon. He runs with more power than people expect.
5. DB Denzel Burke, Ohio State
The skinny: At the early stages of the season, the Ohio State defense was coming up short at basically every position. Surprisingly, it was Burke who was one of the lone bright spots for the Buckeyes. Now, with the unity performing at a higher level, Burke has maintained his high-level of play while helping to stabilize the secondary with 14 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception, which was returned for a touchdown.
Farrell’s take: Burke has played like a veteran from the start for Ohio State and has the confidence to be the next great one for the Buckeyes. He tracks the ball so well in the air.
4. WR Xavier Worthy, Texas
The skinny: It may have taken the Texas offense a couple of weeks to hit its stride under new coach Steve Sarkisian, but with the help of Worthy, the unit is now buzzing. Teaming up with Jordan Whittington, the Longhorns have two young, explosive receivers who have given opposing defensive backs fits. With 25 receptions for 531 yards and six touchdowns, Worthy leads the Longhorns in all three categories after an explosive performance against Oklahoma.
Farrell’s take: The California speedster could end up at No. 1 on this list before all is said and done. His deep play ability has been a must for the Texas offense.