Every preseason for the last many years I’ve rolled out the Farrell 50, my list of the top 50 players in college football for the 2021 season. Let’s continue with 41-45.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

45. WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU

The skinny: Boutte committed to LSU during his junior season. He did take an official visit to Alabama during his senior season, and flip rumors persisted, but he stuck with the Tigers. After somewhat of a slow start to his true freshman season, Boutte finished with 45 receptions for 735 yards and five touchdowns, which included 27 receptions for 527 and four touchdowns in his last three games against Alabama, Ole Miss and Florida.

Farrell’s take: Boutte flashed the speed and skills that almost made him a five-star coming out of high school and much more is expected this season as a 1,000-yard season is certainly possible.

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*****  

44. DB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

The skinny: Gardner took an unofficial spring visit to Cincinnati which eventually led to his summer commitment to the Bearcats. He also had offers from Kentucky, Iowa State, Indiana and several from the MAC. Gardner has enjoyed two successful seasons at Cincinnati, having totaled 59 tackles, six interceptions and 12 pass breakups with the Bearcats.

Farrell’s take: Sauce doesn’t get the attention he deserves as a Group of Five player but he may be too low on this list and the NFL scouts love him. He plays the ball in the air as well as anyone.

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*****  

43. DB Jordan Battle, Alabama

The skinny: Battle initially committed to Ohio State during the summer leading up to his senior season, but then flipped to Alabama during the Early Signing Period. Urban Meyer’s departure from Ohio State greatly helped the Tide’s chances with Battle. After showing glimpses of stardom as a true freshman, Battle took his game to a higher level in 2020 with 66 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one interception and four pass breakups.

Farrell’s take: Battle is a terrific tackler who can act as an extra linebacker at times but also has the coverage skills to break up plays from his safety position. The defensive backfield at Alabama is loaded and Battle is arguably the leader.

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*****  

42. QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

The skinny: Corral initially committed to USC and then to Florida during the summer leading up to his senior season, but then took official visits to Ole Miss and Alabama. A few days after his visit to Oxford he flipped to the Rebels. Corral split time in 2019 before becoming the starter in 2020 with 3,337 yards and 29 touchdowns. He is also a threat on the ground with 506 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Farrell’s take: Corral has the arm talent to be a first-rounder and he just needs to cut down on the mistakes and stop forcing the ball when he loses a bit of confidence. A season of 40 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions is possible.

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*****

41. WR Arik Gilbert, Georgia

The skinny: Gilbert focused his recruiting efforts on LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and Texas A&M, but it truly came down to the Tigers, Bulldogs and Tide. While Alabama was considered the leader at one point and he took an official visit to Georgia the weekend before his decision, at the end LSU snuck in and grabbed the commitment. However, he then transferred to Georgia earlier this year after finishing his true freshman season at LSU with 35 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Farrell’s take: Gilbert is an elite talent who had a standout season at LSU as a tight end but off-field issues led him to Georgia in a roundabout way. He will play wide receiver for the Bulldogs and reminds me a bit of Kyle Pitts with his ability to make catches on 50/50 balls.

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