Were you afraid that we'd forgotten about the Reviewing the Redshirt series?
Have you been itching for some more discussion on the freshman that sat out 2011?
Well, we're back with another edition today as the 2011 recruiting season has passed (except for Davonte Neal---keep your fingers crossed) and we have a few more RtR's to complete.
Up next is a former soccer player turned football defender turned wide receiver. For a look at past players, click on the links below:
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Height: 5'10" 1/2
Rivals: 3 stars, unranked
ESPN: No. 92 athlete, 77 grade, 3 stars
Scout: No. 82 cornerback, 3 stars
247: 3 stars, 83 grade
Need at Position: High to Very High
Expected Spot on 2012 Depth Chart: Pushing for minutes into the two-deep
Farley is a fascinating player---a former soccer player with only two years of football experience before coming to Notre Dame who was surprisingly jacked up and physical once reaching South Bend. Although he was thought to be a safety in college, he was moved to receiver rather quickly once on campus.
Here are Kelly's comments on Farley from last year's National Signing Day:
Here's another young man that, Matthias Farley outside of Charlotte Christian High School, small school. They turned out a lot of BCS players. If you go back look at Charlotte Christian in terms of what that program has done relative to turning out BCS players is relatively amazing for such a small school. New school.
Extremely gifted young man. Incredible family. Wonderful family. But, more importantly, he's all of six foot and he's about 195 pounds. I mean, he's put together. He looks like a college football player.
If there's one guy in the skill group that physically, when he walks in here, he looks like a college football player. He has that presence about him. Great young man. With great speed. And, again, he's a young man that can play extremely versatile. Can play at the corner position, the safety position. He can play wide receiver. We'll kind of sort that out as we move forward. See him here on defense. And you can see got great ball skills. Here he's tracking the ball. I think that's after the speed element, which was pretty clear, we loved his ball skills. They're outstanding.
You'll get a chance to see it on both sides as well. Do we have offensive clips on this as well? Again, physical player. You can see him lower his pads. Again, I just would say that physically he's probably in the top percentile relative to his position, relative to his physicalness. Watch him attack this. Good tackler. Again, sets the edge on the defense here. You see how aggressive he is.
I think the thing I'd like to point out is that I believe Mike Elston, are you here, Mike? What, two years, Chuck, two years of playing football. He's been at this two years. So we'll get a young man that is just starting to learn how to play the game.
Again, physical player. Get a couple of clips here from an offensive standpoint. Watch him attack the football. Go up and get it. Get another look here. Soft hands. Very, very nice athlete. One more clip in the slot here. Catching the football in space. And a great burst.
Farley won the award for most over-hyped recruit from the 2011 class who didn't really deserve the hype (how many people thought he'd have a Golden Tate-like freshman season?), but even still there is a lot to like with Matthias.
First of all, Farley seems to revel in the physicality of football and could develop into a mean blocker and tough after the catch runner. When that is added to his solid frame, you've got the makings of a quality receiver.
Secondly, Farley has good speed and has a really impressive stride. If he's in the upper-echelon with his speed then Irish fans might have legitimate cause for celebration.
A few concerns:
Farley was listed between 6'0" and 6'1" by all of the recruiting services, but comes into Notre Dame officially as much as 2 1/2 inches shorter. Clearly not the end of the world as he can make up for it with physicality, but for someone who is thought to be an outside receiver, he's even shorter than TJ Jones.
Since Farley doesn't have a ton of football experience, it's a legitimate concern whether he has the hands and ball skills to be a quality Division I wide receiver. If he's an outside receiver, will he be able to go up and get the ball?
One of the criticisms with Farley was that he had tight hips and lacked agility in some areas. Will he be a dangerous open field runner and be able to get open on his routes so he can utilize his speed?
Despite Farley being an under-the-radar prospect with all the concerns surrounding his lack of experience, there is a lot to like about him and his potential. That he was the runner-up to He Who Shall Not Be Slept On for Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year is a good sign that Farley is ready to contribute in 2012.
He'll be in competition with a lot of bodies and a talented freshmen class (hopefully including Davonte Neal), but I expect to hear Farley's name this upcoming season as he sees some minutes on the field.