Mind of Mike: Farrell's thoughts on new 2021 Rivals100
The Mind of Mike is a dangerous place. Here’s a breakdown of the new Rivals100 for 2021 from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK CLASS OF 2021:
Monday: Top 10 revealed
Wednesday: Rivals250 revealed
Thursday: Position rankings revealed
As always, let’s start at the top. There wasn’t much of a debate about who should be No. 1 as California defensive end Korey Foreman remains on top. Foreman could be a star in college and just has to be a bit more physical and up his motor a bit to keep the top spot. Physically he reminds me of Chase Young from Ohio State. Foreman has that kind of athletic ability, and whoever lands him will have an immediate impact player on their hands.
The debate for No. 2 was much more interesting. Oklahoma quarterback commitment Brock Vandagriff was certainly in the mix, but was passed in-state and nationally by offensive tackle Amarius Mims who had a great junior season. Mims could play outside or inside at the next level and has great feet. In a good offensive line year, Mims is clearly the best.
Caleb Williams debuts as a new five-star and is No. 5 in the Rivals100. He is certainly in the discussion for the top player in the country. Here’s my take on each of the new five-stars:
QB Caleb Williams – A very fluid athlete who can make all the throws and extend the play. He’s not the tallest quarterback, but it doesn’t matter as he has excellent mechanics, can easily see over the line of scrimmage and is very good at finding windows to throw in. Williams is powerfully built and is a tough runner as well. This kid has it all to be special.
DT Maason Smith – Smith is a tall and athletic defensive tackle who plays with great leverage and could be a huge defensive end if needed. He uses his hands well, splits double teams regularly with his quickness and runs plays down. Smith is the kind of athletic defensive tackle everyone covets these days.
WR Emeka Egbuka – Our first five-star wide receiver usually comes in our first release but Egbuka debuts in our third 2021 release. Egbuka has solid size and does everything well as he’s a terrific route runner, sneaky strong after the catch and has excellent body control. He’s going to be some quarterback’s best friend.
There are always a number of prospects on the cusp of five-star status at this early stage of the ranking process. Here are a few that stand out:
QB Kyle McCord – McCord has good size and a very strong arm. He just needs to avoid trying to do too much with that rifle of his. McCord has been in the discussion for five-star status in the last two meetings.
LB Terrence Lewis – I like Lewis a lot because he’s a quick twitch kid who arrives at the football with suddenness and violence. He’s not that big and that’s a concern, so we will watch as he fills out.
QB Sam Huard – It’s a pretty good year at the top at quarterback when Huard is the fourth signal caller in the country. He’s still thin and needs to fill out, but his accuracy is excellent and he has a good command of the game. As Huard continues to fill out and add strength, we will see how he develops.
OT Blake Fisher – Fisher is a monster offensive tackle and a great get for Notre Dame early in the 2021 class. He’s a dominant player, but we just need to see more athletic development from him, especially when it comes to footwork and balance.
WR Jacorey Brooks – I like Brooks a lot as he’s a tall, rangy receiver who high points the ball and can gain separation with ease. He’s super skinny right now, so he needs to fill out and get stronger, but he has all the tools to be special.
And what about those moving on up? These guys all made big jumps either within the Rivals100 or came from outside of it.
DE Landon Jackson – Jackson is a tall, athletic rush end who will be massive by the time he gets to college.
WR Quaydarius Davis – Explosive outside receiver who could also play the slot and is very strong.
CB Jakailin Johnson – Smooth cover man with good length and size and is very fluid with his footwork.
ATH Billy Bowman – Bowman is at his best on offense and is a very good return man as well.
RB TreVeyon Henderson – A huge move up for the dynamic running back who has a great jump cut and hits top speed immediately.
TE Louis Hansen – Tall and athletic tight ends are key in the passing game these days and Hansen is a man among boys in New England.
LB Aaron Willis – He’s not the biggest or longest linebacker but he diagnoses plays well and is great at running things down.
QB Miller Moss – Overshadowed by some, Moss is rising on the boards of many and has a really good feel for the pocket.
DT Michael Hall – Agile defensive tackle still filling out who is also a solid offensive line prospect.
OT Rayshaun Benny – Very good athlete who has a great frame to fill out and who also makes plays on defense.
LB Ma’a Gaoteote – Recognize the name? Yep he’s the brother of the former five-star and continues to improve.
LB Jeremiah Trotter – Recognize the name? The son of the former NFL great hits like him and is getting bigger and stronger.
DE T.J. Bollers – A physical defensive end who works well off of contact, he’s also very strong in pursuit.
DT Kelvin Gilliam – Undersized defensive tackle prospect who works off the edge in high school and changes direction and gets back into the play well.
Finally, there are a few position battles to keep an eye on besides quarterback. The wide receiver race is being won right now by Egbuka but there are many wide receivers who could be five-stars by the end of this process. In addition to Brooks and Davis, Beaux Collins and Lorenzo Styles Jr. are high on our list. Keep an eye out for Mario Williams as he is the best pure slot in the country.
It’s a loaded year at offensive tackle and defensive end as well. For the first time in many years, the cornerback position looks to be a bit down.