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Transfer Tracker: Best available DBs in the portal

Jammie Robinson
Jammie Robinson

The Early Signing Period has come and gone, with some schools pretty much signing their entire 2021 class. But with the transfer portal becoming a bigger part of the college football landscape every year, several coaches talked about saving spots for incoming transfers.

So who is still available? We take a look at the top uncommitted defensive backs currently in the transfer portal and rank them in terms of their potential impact at their next school.



RELATED STORIES: Ten best available QBs in the portal | RBs | WRs | TEs | OL | DL | LB

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COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series


As a recruit: Robinson committed to South Carolina over Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Stats: Robinson stepped right into the lineup as a true freshman in 2019, making an immediate impact on the Gamecocks defense, logging 679 snaps and finishing as one of the best overall tacklers in the SEC, according to Pro Football Focus. Robinson was a full-time starter in 2020 as well. Over his two seasons with the Gamecocks, he had 135 tackles and two interceptions.

Eligibility remaining: Three seasons

Farrell's Take: This is a hard hitting safety who clearly has Power Five skills, so he will be heavily pursued. Many SEC schools wanted him out of high school and I would imagine many ACC schools will want him as well. He’s a great tackler.

As a recruit: Brents committed to Iowa over Ohio State and several others.

Stats: Brents was one of the best freshman defensive backs in the Big Ten in 2018, logging 363 snaps and allowing completions on just 45 percent of his targets. His career got off track after he suffered an injury in 2019 and redshirted. By 2020, he was out of the Hawkeyes rotation on defense.

Eligibility remaining: Three seasons

Farrell's Take: After such a great start, it’s unclear how much Brents has left of that talent he had out of high school because of injury. He might have to drop down a level to get a starting chance.

As a recruit: Mason initially committed to Mississippi State, but flipped to Arkansas a few weeks before Signing Day.

Stats: Mason has been a part-time starter each of the last two seasons for the Hogs. In his three seasons combined, he has 66 total tackles. He finished 2020 as one of the highest-graded tacklers in the SEC, according to Pro Football Focus.

Eligibility remaining: Two seasons

Farrell's Take: Another sure tackler on the board here and a physical kid who has linebacker size. He’s going to land someplace with a chance to win at the Power Five level.

As a recruit: Collier initially committed to Illinois but backed off that pledge and landed at UCF.

Stats: Collier was a four-year contributor for the Knights, including making a key play in the school's win over Auburn during his freshman season. He developed into a defensive star for the Knights in 2019, playing 835 snaps and recording one of the best coverage grades for a safety in the country according to Pro Football Focus. Collier was a starter for UCF in 2020, before being dismissed from the team midseason. He finished his UCF career with 150 total tackles, including eight for loss. He also has six career interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Eligibility remaining: One season

Farrell's Take: Talk about a plug and play guy for one season as a corner or safety, Collier can do it all. The problem? Off-field issues might hold him back and force him to a smaller FBS level.

As a recruit: Head committed to Stanford over Notre Dame, Northwestern and others.

Stats: After waiting his turn to get on the field, Head was a full-time starter for the Cardinal in 2019, logging 391 total snaps. But Head didn't play in 2020, opting out of the season instead. Over his Cardinal career, Head had 42 total tackles and two pass breakups.

Eligibility remaining: Two seasons

Farrell's Take: Head still has a lot of good football in him and could head back closer to home to finish his career. He’s a downhill kid in the run game and very smart.

As a recruit: Kimbrough committed to Florida over Ole Miss, Kansas and others.

Stats: Kimbrough saw action as a reserve in both of his seasons with the Gators, playing 245 total snaps, recording 15 total tackles and three pass breakups.

Eligibility remaining: Three seasons

Farrell's Take: He has the length and skill to impact at a high level but he hasn’t done so yet, so it will likely be a Group of Five team that takes a chance on him and he could excel at that level.

As a recruit: Hogan committed to Texas Tech over Colorado, Iowa State and Memphis.

Stats: Hogan saw plenty of playing time over the past two seasons, including making two starts in 2020. Over the two years combined, he had 16 total tackles and one interception.

Eligibility remaining: Three seasons

Farrell's Take: Hogan is a solid defensive back with good ball skills but he has seen mostly nickel action or mop up duty, so a move to the Group of Five is likely.

As a recruit: Buchanan committed to Tennessee over Louisville.

Stats: Buchanan became a full-time starter for the Vols in 2018, logging 771 total snaps that season. But he missed the last two seasons with injury and seemed headed for medical retirement. Instead, he's back on the market for his final year of eligibility. During his time with the Vols, Buchanan had 73 total tackles and five pass breakups.

Eligibility remaining: One season

Farrell's Take: Will someone take a chance on him for one last season? He’s an active player and showed flashes, but he’s a risk with that injury issue. I think he ends up FCS.

As a recruit: One of the nation's top defensive backs, Knott committed to Alabama over Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Miami and several others on Signing Day 2016.

Stats: Knott's career was derailed by injuries and he was headed to a medical retirement before getting healthy and transferring to East Carolina for the 2020 season. Knott suffered a hamstring injury and never appeared in a game with the Pirates.

Eligibility remaining: Two seasons

Farrell's Take: Injuries have destroyed Knott, who had such promise coming out of high school. I’m not sure there will be many big takers out there after another rough injury season at ECU.