Virginia Tech Football: Will DB Caleb Farley Emerge As The Top Cornerback In ACC In 2020?

Sean Labar

In an era where elite college football players bolt for the NFL when their draft stock appears to be the highest, it was beyond refreshing when Virginia Tech DB Caleb Farley announced he was staying in Blacksburg. 

Hokies fans should be thrilled. The rest of the ACC should be terrified. 

Farley showed flashes of brilliance in 2018 -- his first season ever playing defensive back after making the transition from a high school wideout -- but battled the typical struggles associated with adjusting to the speed and position. 

2019 was a much different story. 

Without playing in the final two games of Virginia Tech's season due to injury, Farley still closed out 2019 as a first-team All-ACC selection and led the conference in passes defended for the year. He was also tied for second in the ACC in interceptions with four to close out the campaign. 

Pro Football Focus (PFF), the leading site for grading talent, named Farley as one of its top players from 2019. 

The PFF summary of Farley's brilliant 2019 season is below: 

Targets 50 times this season, Farley locked down receivers in his coverage better than almost anyone else in the country,” Pro Football Focus wrote. “In fact, of all cornerbacks who saw at least 25 passes thrown their way, Farley finished second with just a passer rating of 29.2 when targeted. As an example of how impressive that is, a quarterback receives a 39.6 for simply spiking the ball every play, and therefore, signal-callers were statistically better off by throwing the ball away than by testing Farley’s coverage this season. He allowed just 19 receptions for 265 yards and one touchdown against four interceptions and another nine pass breakups. He was one of the stingiest cornerbacks in the country when it came to limiting plays, and he did so all across the field. He lined up in press coverage on 99 snaps and was impressive in both man and zone coverage during his incredible 2019 season.”

Everything is in place for Farley to follow up the 2019 outing with an even better performance. We just may be looking at the top cornerback in the ACC.