football Edit

Top 10 cornerbacks in college football entering 2022 season

Eli Ricks
Eli Ricks (USA Today Sports Images)

Spring football has begun and will be in full swing across the country soon. This leads to a look at the top 10 players returning at each position, continuing today with the cornerbacks.

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MORE: Top 10 QBs in college football entering the 2022 season | RB | WR | TE | OL | DT | DE | LB

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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1. Eli Ricks, Alabama

As a true freshman in 2020, Ricks was among the top corners in the country, living up to his five-star rating. His 2021 didn't get off to quite as good of a start and had his season cut short by a shoulder injury. But after transferring from LSU to Alabama this offseason, he comes in as the top returning corner due to his combination of elite athleticism and the production he showed in 2020.

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2. Kelee Ringo, Georgia   

Ringo played on an absolutely stacked defense, but he showed everyone in the national title game why he was considered a top-10 prospect in the country coming out of high school. He's got the long frame and quick-twitch ability that coaches covet. With another strong season, he's a first-round lock in 2023.

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3. Denzel Burke, Ohio State

Burke is the next guy in a long line of outstanding Buckeyes' defensive backs. As a true freshman last season, he was the best player at corner on Ohio State and enters 2022 as the best in the Big Ten at his position.

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4. Riley Moss, Iowa

Moss decided to come back for a fifth year in 2022, which is great news for the Hawkeyes. He's got ten career interceptions in 33 games, as well as three pick-sixes and 15 passes defended.

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5. Clark Phillips, Utah

The third-highest graded corner in the Pac-12 last season per PFF, Phillips was asked to do a lot of man coverage with no help on the back end from both the outside and in the slot.

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6. Jason Marshall Jr., Florida

In his true freshman season last year, the former Rivals100 prospect got better and better each week. He was starting midway through the season and graded out better than Kaiir Elam on his own team per PFF. He enters 2022 as the unquestioned CB1 for new coach Billy Napier.

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7. Tiawan Mullen, Indiana

Mullen missed more than half of the 2021 season with an injury, but back in 2020, he was one of the top corners in the country. If he bounces back from his foot injury, he'll be back in the mix as one of the top players at his position in the country.

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8. Cam Smith, South Carolina

Quietly, the former Rivals250 recruit had an outstanding season, allowing less than a 50 percent completion percentage when targeted, and only allowing 15 catches for the entire season. Don't sleep on him for All-SEC and potentially an All-American nod.

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9. Mekhi Williams-Garner, LSU

Garner was an all-conference corner the last two seasons at Louisiana, and is now headed down to Baton Rouge to continue the tradition at DBU. At 6-foot-2, he's got great size for the position.


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10. DJ Turner, Michigan

An All-Big Ten team performer last season, Turner really turned it on in the second half of 2022. He was exceptional in press coverage, tying for the highest grade in the country per PFF alongside Roger McCreary.

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Just missed: Tony Grimes (UNC), Azizi Hearn (UCLA), Jay Shaw (Wisconsin), Darrell Luter (South Alabama), Tyrique Stevenson (Miami)