football Edit

Mind of Mike: Farrell's thoughts on new Rivals100

Bryce Young
Bryce Young (Nick Lucero/

The Mind of Mike is a scary place. National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell shares his thoughts on the latest Rivals100 release.

RIVALS RANKINGS RELEASE: New Rivals100 | Breaking down the new five-stars | Top 10 breakdown | Who could still finish in the top 10? | Why is Bresee No. 1?



Monday: Class of 2020 top 10 | Who could jump into top 10

Tuesday: Class of 2020 Rivals100

Wednesday: Class of 2020 Rivals250

Thursday/Friday: Class of 2020 position rankings

Saturday: Class of 2020 team rankings breakdown

Sunday: Class of 2020 state rankings


D.J. Uiagalelei
D.J. Uiagalelei (Nick Lucero/

Let’s start at the top. Personally I lean toward D.J. Uiagalelei as the No. 1 player in the country, but when the debate began about who should be ranked higher, Uiagalelei or Bryce Young, I knew we needed to have a new No. 1. I wasn’t comfortable putting Young No. 1 overall despite his talents because I still think size will catch up with one of these quarterbacks someday. Maybe I’m wrong and the game is clearly changing, but give me the monster quarterback who can move around over the short quarterback who can drive you nuts with his feet. It’s simply a durability issue.

I had zero issue with Bresee at No. 1 because of that motor he has. This kid loves football and can play any position along the defensive line. Heck, he could even be a standup linebacker if needed. Who will finish No. 1? I’m not sure. I expect all three players to have excellent all-star performances and you can’t count out Justin Flowe and some others. I will say this – the last few times there was a final debate at No. 1 we chose wrong. We picked Byron Cowart over Josh Rosen and Da’Shawn Hand over Myles Garrett. All-star games are great, but we always try to stay true to the full body of work.


Derek Wingo
Derek Wingo (Nick Lucero/

Aside from Young moving up 50 spots to No. 3, there weren’t that many big moves in the top 10. Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. moved up a bit, defensive end Jordan Burch slid down a bit and Elias Ricks distanced himself a bit from fellow cornerback Kelee Ringo. The big moves came with the new five-stars and I can’t remember adding this many at this stage of the cycle in a long time. We are at 33 five-stars and our highest in recent years has been 35, so this is a very deep class.

Here’s my take on each of the new five-stars:

QB Bryce YoungYoung is dynamic in every way and an accomplished passer. He’s not as fast as Kyler Murray but he can do many of the same things.

OT Broderick JonesI’ve liked Jones for a long time since I first saw him at the Future 50 what seems like years ago. He has refined his technique and maintained his aggression and has earned that fifth star.

LB Derek Wingo Wingo is an exceptional athlete. He’s not that long but he reminds me of Devin Bush or Roquan Smith at the same stage – guys we ranked lower because they weren’t that long. We’re not making that mistake with Wingo.

RB Tank BigsbyI love Bigsby because he can run inside the tackles, bounce it outside and he can catch the ball. Heck, he could be an X or Y receiver if he wanted.

LB Demouy Kennedy Kennedy reminds me a bit of Mack Wilson because of his big hitting ability and his love of special teams. He’s going to be a terror as a middle linebacker at the next level.

LB Trenton Simpson Simpson can run sideline to sideline and cover in space and I like his frame. He’s a sure tackler and will be a standout at the college level diagnosing plays.

RB Marshawn Lloyd Lloyd earned his fifth star back by showing he has the speed coveted at the next level and the athleticism. He’s a well-rounded back and should be a weapon for South Carolina.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba Smith-Njigba is going to be an elite slot receiver at the next level with his route running and hands. He could have a prolific career as he did in high school.


Drew Sanders
Drew Sanders (

And here’s my take on a few guys that came close to that coveted fifth star:

LB Drew Sanders This kid is a beast and has a ton of upside with his size and length. He can do it all – tackle in space, rush the passer and cover. Is he quick-twitch enough to be a five-star outside linebacker? That’s the question we are hoping to answer.

DT DeMonte Capeheart Capeheart has come a long way since we first saw him. He’s now a legit pass rusher as an interior lineman who can also play defensive end if needed. His versatility has us very intrigued.

TE Michael Mayer Talk about a player getting overshadowed in a year with elite tight ends, everyone talks about Arik Gilbert and Darnell Washington but this kid could be better than either long term.

WR Gee Scott Jr. He’s prolific and dominates competition in Washington and he’s done well nationally against elite talent. We want to see that level of dominance one more time in all-star play.

QB Harrison Bailey Bailey has been on the radar since seventh grade. He’s improved quite a bit over the summer and into the season, but is he that elite leader that can make a team that much better? We’ll see in our last evaluation.


CJ Stroud
CJ Stroud (CJ Stroud)

Let’s take a look at some key position battles:

QB: I’ve already talked about the battle between Uiagalelei and Young for No. 1 at the quarterback position and Bailey’s quest for a fifth star, but watch out for CJ Stroud, who has risen higher than anyone on the list. This kid could be special.

RB: Wow, six five-star running backs. I honestly don’t like that. In a few years are we going to see all six of these guys become first-rounders? Of course not. This number might have to be whittled down. Guys I’m not 100% sold on personally: Kendall Milton, Zachary Evans and Marshawn Lloyd.

WR: As always, there are a ton of five-star wide receivers but not as many knocking on the door as there has been in recent years. The big question? Will Ohio State match Oklahoma last year with three five-star wide receiver commitments.

TE: Who’s better, Gilbert or Washington or is Mayer better than both?

OL: Myles Hinton is on my radar as a guy who might not be a five-star and Walker Parks is a kid that I’ve liked for a long time. This is not an elite or deep group along the offensive line.

DT: I love Bresee and Rogers and think they can be absolute beasts. Next in line for me is Timothy Smith, who is going to be a superstar.

DE: Is there a Chase Young in this group? I like Jordan Burch a ton and can’t wait to see him one more time. This is a weak year overall at defensive end.

LB: We’re going to look back at this year as the one where we should have ranked 10 linebackers as five-stars and not 2016, which was a colossal failure. This position is loaded.

CB: We love the big two of Ricks and Ringo but Fred Davis doesn’t get enough love and could be a star in the ACC. Another one I like a ton? Jaylon Jones.

S: I’m very high on Jordan Toles. He could be the next great one at LSU but this isn’t an elite group.