2024 ACC CB Rankings: Virginia Tech’s Dorian Strong Enters Year 5 as No. 1

    Shutdown corners come in all shapes and sizes, and that's clear to see in the 2024 ACC CB Rankings. But who is the best of the best?

    The conference lost several talented playmakers, such as Nate Wiggins, Jarvis Brownlee Jr., Renardo Green, and Jarrian Jones, but as the 2024 ACC CB Rankings show, there is more than enough star power returning this season. Quarterbacks will need to know where each of these athletes is on the field at all times, lest they throw an interception.

    ACC 2024 CB Rankings

    10) Devin Grant, Syracuse Orange

    As a three-star athlete in the 2022 class, Devin Grant committed to Buffalo. He spent his first year as a reserve corner but transitioned into a starting safety entering the 2023 campaign. The result?

    A MAC-leading five interceptions and the second-most tackles on the team with 79. The 6’4″ DB is moving back to the corner with Syracuse, where he’ll use his pterodactyl length to suffocate WRs on the outside.

    9) Alijah Huzzie, North Carolina Tar Heels

    Alijah Huzzie played 34 games (30 starts) at East Tennessee State, racking up 179 tackles, 12 INTs, and 30 PBUs. He parlayed his ridiculous ball production into a spot on North Carolina’s defense, where he recorded another three INTs and six PBUs from the slot last season. Y

    et, that wasn’t all of his impact, as he registered UNC’s first punt-return TD in five seasons, further highlighting his athleticism.

    8) Marcus Harris, Cal Bears

    Marcus Harris began his collegiate career at Oregon State but transferred to Idaho in 2021, spending the last three seasons there. In that time, he has accumulated six INTs and 30 PBUs, earning All-Big Sky honors in 2022 (second team) and 2023 (first team).

    The 5-foot-11, 185-pound CB will now spend his final year of eligibility at Cal, where his inside-out versatility, ball skills, and willingness to crack down against the run will shine.

    7) Cale Sanders Jr., SMU Mustangs

    The Group of Five doesn’t have to deal with Cale Sanders Jr.’s reign of terror anymore, with SMU joining the ACC. It’s the Power Four’s turn to experience his gnat-like annoyance from the slot. After two years of good but not great play as an outside CB for Fresno State, Sanders transferred to SMU and dominated from the inside.

    He doesn’t have the same ball production as others on the 2024 ACC CB Rankings, but he is a plus run defender and is reliable as they come in coverage.

    6) Corey Thornton, Louisville Cardinals

    Corey Thornton used his prototypical 6’1″, 195-pound build to devastating effect as a four-year starter for UCF. He loaded up on PBUs (24) and produced four INTs, three of which came last season.

    MORE: 2024 ACC Regular-Season Win Totals

    With the size, length, hip fluidity, and mirroring ability, Thornton was built to play man-to-man. He is still growing his skill set as a zone corner, but put him across from a WR and tell him that’s the only player he has to worry about, and he’ll practically erase that WR from the game.

    5) Aydan White, North Carolina State Wolfpack

    Aydan White has been one of the most consistent CBs in the conference across the last two years, posting six INTs and, according to the NC State website, allowing zero TDs. He is too grabby at times, and his press technique isn’t always reliable, but White’s physicality, lateral movement skills, and trigger make him a premier CB.

    4) Avieon Terrell, Clemson Tigers

    As a true freshman, Avieon Terrell proved to be one of the best DBs in the conference, recording an INT and four PBUs in just five starts. His last name should be familiar to Clemson fans, as he’s the younger brother of former Tiger and current Atlanta Falcon A.J. Terrell. The youngest Terrell clearly inherited the lockdown gene, and he should only get better with time.

    3) Daryl Porter Jr., Miami Hurricanes

    Darly Porter Jr. flashed his potential during his second year at West Virginia in 2021, earning a spot on Miami’s roster. However, he hasn’t had a full season with the Hurricanes, playing in nine games in 2022 and 10 in 2023.

    Health permitting, DPJ will have the opportunity to completely shut down his side of the field, as he did last year. He broke up four passes and conceded one pass over 10 yards downfield, keeping nearly every play in front of him.

    2) Quincy Riley, Louisville Cardinals

    Over the last four seasons (first two at Middle Tennessee, last two at Louisville), Quincy Riley has notched 13 INTs and 26 pass breakups. His fluid movement ability and natural ball skills have allowed him to capitalize on his discipline and technique in coverage. ACC teams tested his side of the field often in 2023 — expect that to change in 2024.

    1) Dorian Strong, Virginia Tech Hokies

    Dorian Strong logged eight PBUs and three INTs last season. But his impact extends beyond the stat sheet. Not only did he allow practically nothing into his coverage, but QBs rarely looked his way.

    KEEP READING: 2024 ACC QB Rankings

    That’s the respect from a reputation as a momentum changer, which Strong has earned by recording five picks and 22 pass breakups across 32 starts since 2020. This time next year, he’ll be gearing up for training camp on an NFL team.

    2024 ACC CB Rankings | 11-20

    11) Azareye’h Thomas and Fentrell Cypress II, Florida State
    12) Chandler Rivers,
    Duke
    13) Kendren Smith, Virignia
    14) Ahmari Harvey, Rodney Shelley, and Syeed Gibbs, Georgia Tech
    15) Zahran Manley and Collin Wright, Stanford
    16) Nohl Williams and Lu-Magia Hearns III, Cal
    17) Marcus Allen, North Carolina
    18) Jeadyn Lukus, Clemson
    19) Capone Blue, Wake Forest
    20) Jayden Bellamy and Clarence Lewis, Syracuse

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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