Farmer was considered the best high school player in California as a senior and the best wide receiver, ahead of guys like Odell Beckham Jr.
But Farmer’s career at USC did not go as planned. He suffered a concussion and even was slowed by a spider bite. He missed the 2013 season with torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments. He returned in 2014 and caught just 25 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite the lack of production, he declared early for the NFL draft. He was not selected and signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, earning a $15,000 signing bonus and $55,000 guaranteed.
“It’s been really rough,” Farmer said of his journey since high school. “I went through a lot of obstacles and adversity. It’s also taught me to be a better person. It made me who I am today. I wouldn’t have changed anything that the past has given to me. It’s been a pretty rough road, but you’ve got to go through those things and experience those things to get to where you want to be. It’s not going to be a straight line to success. I just look at it as a part of my life that I had to go through to get to where I am now.”
The Cowboys had him at Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit and toyed with the idea drafting him in the seventh round. Even though they passed on him, they thought enough of him to give him the second-largest signing bonus to an undrafted rookie (La’el Collins received $21,000).
“He certainly has the physical traits and so we knew about him and we were kind of tracking him and following him and we thought it was a good idea,” coach Jason Garrett said.
Farmer is the last of his high school teammates to make it to the NFL. He played at Serra High School with Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Paul Richardson, but he will have work to do to make the final roster.
“Everybody’s journey is different,” Farmer said. “You can’t dwell on somebody else’s success. Big ups to those guys. They had good careers and hopefully they have good ones in the NFL, but this is my destiny, this is my journey, and I’m focused on what I have to do.”