Friday, December 20, 2013

the recruit: Jeffery Farrar

Name: Jeffery Farrar
Position: CB
Hometown: Upland, CA
School: Upland
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 194

24/7: 89, three stars; #38 ATH, CA #38
ESPN: 82, four stars; #27 ATH, CA #23, West #32, US #226
Rivals: 5.6, three stars; #40 ATH, CA #66
Scout: three stars; #88 S

Other offers: UCLA, Arizona State, Miami, Michigan State, Arizona, California, Utah, Washington State, Fresno State, Kansas, Nevada, Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, San Jose State

How excited should we be over pulling an athlete like Farrar out of the LA area?  That's certainly a tough place for UVA to be spending a lot of time recruiting, and I have no idea what it was that tipped off Mike London that Farrar would be interested in coming east.  This is a guy who was all UCLA for a little while there, to the point of being committed there at one time, depending on the definition of committed.

The answer to the question is a tough one, though.  Preseason, there was a fair amount of hype over Farrar.  He was close to a consensus four-star and still resides in the ESPN 300.  His school, Upland, is a couple notches below elite status out in CA - but only a couple, and they play against excellent competition, so he ought to have been well-scouted.  However, you might've noticed that as we tracked the senior seasons of committed recruits, Farrar had a fairly quiet year.  That might've been the impetus in the massive downgrade he took from Rivals, who used to call him a four-star prospect and dropped him all the way to middling three-star.

Farrar initially appears set for cornerback, and didn't play a great deal of wide receiver this season.  This is likely another reason for the big Rivals downgrade; most of the articles scouting him, written by western-team affiliates, took a WR angle to the story.  Not having played very much of the position made it hard to call him a four-star WR as they did back in April.  ESPN, incidentally, thinks WR is his best position, and on defense calls him a "corner who likely would move to safety."

They don't think much of his defense in general, really.  Athletically they've got plenty of well-deserved praise, but it's hard to like the phrase, "Concern on defense is that he isn't very assertive. He waits on plays, especially in run support."  This is sort of hilariously contradictory to the notion that he's a better safety than corner, since an un-assertive safety is about as useful as a midget wide receiver.  Maybe they think he'll be a free safety and hang out in the back all the time; at least he won't get beat deep.

At any rate, Farrar is one of the better athletes being brought in this year.  It'll give him a leg up on the competition, which there's plenty of.  Mike London has never, ever been shy about bringing in as-yet-unmolded athletes and turning them into cornerbacks, safeties, or receivers, with mixed results.  There are 16 scholarship DBs on the 2013 roster; one graduates and four join the party next year.  Even accouting for the need to have three starting-quality cornerbacks, 19 DBs is a ton.  That depth of competition alone will ensure Farrar has a nigh-impossible time finding the field as a true freshman, unless he gets used on special teams.  Mike London is proving to be equally free and easy with true-freshman playing time as Al Groh was, so that's a possibility.  That said, I'd guess - and only guess, thanks to the fairly quiet season and the 3,000 miles of distance that ensured that not a lot of news made it out east to begin with - that Farrar shows up in more need of polish than your average recruit.  Consider him a high-ceiling, low-floor kind of player with anything possible in the range between total bust and all-conference.

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