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. 16-20.
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
20. DB Matt Hankins, Iowa
The skinny: Hankins trimmed his list of top schools to Iowa, Texas Tech, Duke and Houston before committing to the Hawkeyes soon after a visit to Iowa City. With the Hawkeyes, Hankins has been a consistent contributor since he stepped foot on the field as a true freshman. This fall he is putting together his best season to-date with 25 tackles, one tackle for a loss and three interceptions.
Farrell’s take: Hankins was a high three-star out of Texas for Iowa and is another in a long line of defensive backs that the Hawkeyes have developed. He’s been efficient, instinctual and has great ball skills.
19. DB Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
The skinny: While he held upwards of 15 offers, Brisker was always leaning toward Penn State after taking multiple visits there during his recruiting process. He finally made his decision public in mid-May. Brisker was expected to contribute immediately as a JUCO addition and has not disappointed. He has continued his excellent play this fall with 25 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and three pass breakups.
Farrell’s take: Brisker impacts games as much as anyone from the safety position and always seems to be in proper position. He’s won games nearly by himself.
18. WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
The skinny: Olave trimmed his list of top schools to Ohio State, USC, Oregon, Florida, UCLA and Utah before committing to the Buckeyes in late January. An in-home visit with Ohio State a few days before his decision helped cement the commitment. At the conclusion of his excellent Ohio State career, Olave is once again excelling this fall with 30 receptions for 494 yards and seven touchdowns, which leads the Big Ten.
Farrell’s take: Olave has been as impressive as expected and will get more targets as the quarterback position becomes more established. He’s sudden and a great route runner.
17. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
The skinny: Thibodeaux trimmed his extensive offer list to Oregon, Alabama, Florida State and Florida before committing to the Ducks a few days prior to the Early Signing Period. While an ankle injury has hampered Thibodeaux this season, his time on the field has been impressive with 13 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. Look for a big finish for one of the top picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Farrell’s take: Despite being injured for some key games, Thibodeaux has been his dominant self when healthy and can’t be stopped off the edge.
16. DE Tre Williams, Arkansas
The skinny: Once Missouri offered Williams, it immediately became the favorite. While he waited a couple of months before making it official, he didn’t pull any surprises and committed to the in-state Tigers in early May. After four productive seasons in Columbia, Williams transferred to Arkansas. With the Razorbacks, Williams is excelling with 17 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
Farrell’s take: Williams has been amazing for the Hawgs as an experienced leader on defense who makes things very hard for quarterbacks and running backs.