BOONE, N.C. — Speedy receiver Jalen Virgil has repeated as a top-15 pick on the national “Freaks List,” and he’s joined this year by Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr.
Virgil is No. 15 and Fehr is No. 33 on The Athletic’s countdown of the nation’s 50 most-gifted athletes in college football. The annual list from writer Bruce Feldman aims to “showcase guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the type of rare physical abilities that wow even those folks who are used to observing gifted athletes every day.”
Virgil is the top-ranked Group of Five conference player on the list, and he ranks No. 2 among FBS receivers, behind just Auburn’s Anthony Schwartz. Fehr ranks No. 3 among FBS linebackers, behind only Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons and Penn State’s Micah Parsons.
Virgil and Fehr are also the only Sun Belt Conference players listed.
The 210-pound Virgil, who shared the No. 11 spot last year with App State running back Jalin Moore, makes the list again after catching 17 passes for 238 yards in 2018 and then finishing second with a time of 10.30 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
His 35-yard reception to set up App State’s first score in an R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl win against Middle Tennessee showed off some of the athleticism that has allowed him to produce a 40.5-inch vertical jump, leap 10 feet, 11 inches in the broad jump and bench press 405 pounds.
Fehr, a first-team All-Sun Belt selection last season, has a remarkable combination of strength (415-pound bench press), speed (4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (40.5-inch vertical jump) for a 230-pound linebacker. Those assets helped him record a team-high 5.5 sacks and amass 86 tackles for the nation’s fourth-ranked defense in 2018.