Updated: Apr 28
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
We continue our count down of LSU Odyssey's Best XI Tigers of 2021, and much like last season's Top 10 Tigers of 2020 list, we were forced to analyze a season which will live on as a volatile, dangerous time for LSU, a scary year full of uncertainty and disappointment....
However, through it all, many Tigers treated fans to individual & collective brilliance at an elite level, showing out for the Tigers Community in our darkest, most desperate hours of need.
Who stepped up when LSU needed them most?
We reveal our Best IX Tigers of 2021.....
We keep the countdown going with # IV
NEIL FARRELL JR (DT)
-4 QB HITS
-#1 PFF GRADED DT (SEC) 89.8 Grade
Despite being ruthlessly snubbed by the All-American committee, senior LSU defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr's 2021 season will live on in a collection of face-melting highlight reel action vs the best SEC offenses, all-world performances which kept LSU bowl eligible and no doubt raised #92's NFL Draft stock immeasurably.
Farrell Jr seemed to be among the site's Top 5 performing Tigers for every single contest this year, no mistake on our part. While he led LSU's defensive linemen in sacks throughout 2019's title season (3.5), Farrell enjoyed an even better individual campaign as a super senior:
Backed by safety Jay Ward at safety, with linebacker Damone Clark operating through the middle, Neil fronted a reliable veteran spine for Defensive Coordinator Daronte Jones' injury-ravaged unit, constantly disturbing the opposition backfield.
At either the 0 nose or 1 technique, Farrell Jr grades out as one of the most productive DTs nationally, making the Pro Football Focus All-American team.
His 24 run stops ranked 4th among all active DL, while Neil also played his part as a pass rusher, adding 19 pressures and 4 QB hits alongside a pair of sacks.
Farrell even recorded three straight outings of 7 tackles, all against top competition which bolstered strong team showings (Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss), supplying multiple tackles for loss in 4 different appearances.
In fact, on paper only Damone Clark and B.J Ojulari recorded more tackles for loss than Neil's 9.5, though we count 3.5 more uncredited stops behind the line next to a litany of blown up plays, all from a position where success isn't reliant on stat-stuffing.
For example, Tyler Shelvin was a 4th round pick based on his 3 TFL, 0 sacks stat line from 2019...but that's because surface stats mean nothing when judging the impact or value of a defensive tackle....
.....however, when you have an interior DT wreaking havoc, owning the line of scrimmage and stuffing the box score with the kind of subterranean menace as Neil Farrell Jr dealt throughout 2021, then you have a special event on your hands.
Neil Farrell Jr's 2021 season was a special event for Tiger fans everywhere, as the senior became one of the team's most beloved veterans.
Appearing in 49 games as a Tiger, Neil arrived at LSU back in 2017 under the recruitment of Les Miles, won a National Championship with Orgeron in 2019, and graduated right as a new era begins under Head Coach Brian Kelly....
Big Neil has seen & done it all during his 6 years at LSU....and he finished in the best way possible.
Follow some of our coverage from #92's unreal 2021 displays:
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2022 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
SHOUTOUTS: Thank You For an Incredible 6 Years at LSU, Champ! I know you're going to be great at the NFL level, Neil! LOVE ALWAYS!