2024 Big Ten CB Rankings: Will Johnson Is the Nation’s CB1

    Several future NFL cornerbacks fill the 2024 Big Ten CB Rankings, but before they go pro, they'll lock down collegiate WRs one more time.

    Offseason lists are subjective, but there is no denying that the 2024 Big Ten CB Rankings are home to multiple future NFL corners. I’m not talking about UDFAs who have to grind their way onto a roster — I’m talking about potential first-rounders. But one stands above the rest.

    Big Ten 2024 CB Rankings

    10) Jordan Hancock, Ohio State Buckeyes

    After biding his time as a reserve defensive back, Jordan Hancock broke into the starting lineup last season and never looked back. He has the size (6’1″, 195 pounds), length, and explosiveness needed to make plays from the slot, as showcased by his two interceptions (one pick-six), two sacks, and two forced fumbles last year.

    9) Kam Alexander, Oregon Ducks

    The definition of a grinder, Kam Alexander has parlayed a zero-star recruit rating into three seasons at Sam Houston State, an impressive campaign at UTSA, and a spot on Oregon’s starting lineup.

    He ranked fourth in the nation with 15 pass breakups last year, adding two interceptions to his tally. The ball skills are obviously there, but Alexander makes it a coin-flip for QBs targeting any pass catcher in his area.

    8) Jalen Huskey, Maryland Terrapins

    As a true sophomore last season, Jalen Huskey snatched four INTs en route to first-team All-MAC honors. His playmaking ability was more than needed at Maryland, as all three of their leading CBs from last season (Ja’Quan Sheppard, Tarheeb Still, and Corey Coley Jr.) are gone, not to mention star safety Beau Brade.

    Huskey has the length and movement skills to mirror most WRs across from him. He’s also a strong tackler in space, eliminating potential yards after the catch.

    7) Tommi Hill, Nebraska Cornhuskers

    After beginning the year as a two-way player, Tommi Hill solidified his CB1 role and showcased his WR skill set, snatching four INTs. His fluidity is plain to see on film, and it’s not surprising that he has kick and punt return experience under his belt.

    MORE: 2024 Big Ten Weekly Football Schedule

    Spending the offseason honing his craft will only benefit Hill in 2024. Although coverage statistics tend to be volatile from year to year, he has the tools to post 10+ pass deflections once again.

    6) Jabbar Muhammed, Oregon Ducks

    Jabbar Muhammed isn’t the biggest corner (5’10”, 187), but he brings gnat-like annoyance levels in coverage, logging three INTs and 16 PBUs in 2023. His lack of size was visible at Washington as a tackler and when contesting passes vs. taller WRs, but head coach Dan Lanning should put Muhammad in a better position to succeed with the Ducks.

    5) Ricardo Hallman, Wisconsin Badgers

    Ricardo Hallman tied for the most INTs in the FBS last season with seven, showcasing his obvious ball skills. He works to keep himself in position with the ball in the air and reads the field like a safety.

    While Hallman isn’t quite as sticky as some others on the 2024 Big Ten CB Rankings in man coverage, he maintains his leverage and only flips his hips when necessary.

    4) D’Angelo Ponds, Indiana Hoosiers

    D’Angelo Ponds received Sun Belt CB of the Year, Freshman CB of the Year, and Freshman All-American honors from CFN after generating 51 tackles, 15 pass breakups, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries in 13 games as a true freshman last season.

    The high school track star showcased his speed on the boundary, easily carrying routes downfield. Ponds helped James Madison to an 11-2 record in the school’s second season in the FBS but followed head coach Curt Cignetti to Indiana, where he could showcase his talent on the national stage.

    3) Denzel Burke, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Denzel Burke burst onto the scene with a one-INT, 12-PBU true freshman campaign but suffered a bit of a sophomore slump in 2022. Yet, his 2023 tape should be mouthwash for disgruntled fans, as Burke registered one INT, eight PBUs, and a forced fumble in two fewer games than his freshman year.

    Burke has to come to balance as a tackler to crack down on whiffs, but he is also a willing support defender against the run.

    2) Sebastian Castro, Iowa Hawkeyes

    A rocked-up nickel at 5’11” and 204 pounds, Sebastian Castro was arguably Iowa’s biggest playmaker last season (outside of punter Tory Taylor, of course). He racked up 67 tackles, eight TFLs, a sack, three picks, and eight PBUs.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten WR Rankings

    Castro has the size, lateral agility, and demonic demeanor to fill gaps in run defense and the athleticism to shut down the short and intermediate parts of the field in coverage.

    1) Will Johnson, Michigan Wolverines

    Will Johnson could’ve been a Day 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. And another standout season could propel him into the top 10. His 6’2″, 200-pound frame comes equipped with the athleticism of a smaller corner, allowing him to stick to his opponent’s hip all over the field. Add in Johnson’s competitiveness, patience, and high football IQ, and you have the top CB in the country.

    2024 Big Ten CB Rankings | 11-20

    11) Justin Walley and Ethan Robinson, Minnesota
    12) Jermari Harris, Iowa
    13) Theran Johnson,
    Northwestern
    14) Xavier Scott, Illinois
    15) Davison Igbinosun, Ohio State
    16) Ephesians Prysock and Elijah Jackson, Washington
    17) John Humphrey and Jacobe Covington, USC
    18) Devin Kirkwood Jaylin Davies, UCLA
    19) Chance Rucker, Michigan State
    20) Robert Longerbeam and Eric Rogers, Rutgers

    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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