2024 Mountain West CB Rankings: Is Jay’Vion Cole, Bryce Phillips, or Cameron Oliver CB1?

    As the 2024 Mountain West CB Rankings show, cornerback is one of the most talented position groups in the conference entering next season.

    The 2024 Mountain West CB Rankings showcase the top-tier talent in the conference, both new and old. The Boise State Broncos and San Diego State Aztecs land multiple in the top 10, and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors checked in with four overall. But who sits on the throne entering the 2024 season?

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    Mountain West 2024 CB Rankings

    10) JoJo Forest, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

    A former Oregon State transfer, JoJo Forest has struggled to stay on the field in two years at Hawaii. Still, he has proven to be a top-10 corner when healthy, logging 10 pass deflections in 16 games and limiting yards after the catch.

    Hawaii’s CB room is arguably the best in the conference, with Virdel Edwards II, Elijah Palmer, and Caleb Brown also in tow. But when healthy, Forest is the best of the bunch.

    9) Jeremiah Earby, Boise State Broncos

    Jeremiah Earby put his name on the map as a true freshman at Cal in 2021, earning an All-Pac-12 honorable mention. Across the last two seasons, the 6’2″ corner has registered 62 tackles, two interceptions (including this beauty), and 19 pass deflections. With Jaylen Clark dismissed from the team, Earby appears to be his direct replacement.

    8) Bennett Walker, San Diego State Aztecs

    All three of SDSU’s starting corners from last season are gone, forcing them to hit the transfer portal. The first addition on the list is Eastern Michigan’s Bennett Walker, who isn’t new to Southern California. Prior to EMU, Walker played two seasons at a JUCO in the area: San Diego Mesa.

    He flashed his ball skills in his lone season with the Eagles, snatching three INTs and five more pass breakups. With former Washington special teams coordinator Eric Schmidt now running the defense, expect more zone coverage looks and nickel packages in 2024.

    7) Alzillion Hamilton, Fresno State Bulldogs

    Alzillion Hamilton intercepted two passes and broke up eight more last season — production foreshadowed by his five PBUs on just under 60 snaps as a redshirt freshman in 2022.

    As a young CB, he was one of the most targeted defenders in the conference last year, but he more than held his own. With a year of starting experience behind him, Hamilton could finish in the top five in the final 2024 Mountain West CB Rankings.

    6) Avante Dickerson, Utah State Aggies

    After seeing the field sparingly at Oregon, Avante Dickerson transferred to Utah State last offseason and started the final seven games he played. He didn’t log an interception, but he also didn’t allow a touchdown and kept completions to a minimum.

    MORE: 2024 Mountain West EDGE Rankings

    Unfortunately, injuries have plagued his young career, but an entire season to display his talents could launch him up the board.

    5) Wrook Brown, Wyoming Cowboys

    Slot corners are difficult to compare to boundary defenders because of the difference in skill set required. But calling Wrook Brown a slot-only CB undermines the impact he has on any given game. He’s an add-on in run defense, disciplined (zero penalties in 2023), and can make plays on the ball (three INTs and four PBUs last season).

    4) A’Marion McCoy, Boise State Broncos

    After starring at the famed Laney College in Oakland, Calif., A’Marion McCoy led the Broncos with three picks last season. He can be more consistent as a tackler, but as one of the premier coverage defenders in the conference, a missed tackle here or there is swept under the rug.

    Clark’s dismissal will put more pressure on McCoy as the new CB1, but that pressure may turn his All-MWC honorable mention into a first-team nod.

    3) Bryce Phillips, San Diego State Aztecs

    Brother of former Utah great and current Atlanta Falcons Clark Phillips III, Bryce Phillips knows what it takes to get to the NFL. His path has had more twists and turns than his older sibling, as Bryce began his collegiate career at Santa Ana College before shining at Tennessee State.

    Now an Aztec, Phillips will have to prove himself for a third time, but if his previous stops are any indication, he’ll do more than that. Teams rarely tested his side of the field, but when they did, it was usually a wasted down. Phillips racked up 18 PBUs and an interception across 22 games, and his length and fluidity pose a problem for opposing WRs.

    2) Cameron Oliver, UNLV Rebels

    There are ballhawks, and then there is Cameron Oliver. He’s snatched 10 INTs in three seasons, including a conference-leading five last year.

    Primarily a boundary CB, Oliver has experience inside, and his violence as a run defender translates all over the field. He was beaten downfield a few times in 2023 and lost multiple contested battles, but with his length, quickness, and instincts, Oliver deserves the No. 2 spot.

    1) Jay’Vion Cole, San Jose State Spartans

    I love Oliver, but there is no denying who the top CB in the Mountain West is: Jay’Vion Cole. Following a year at Cal Poly, he was somehow better against FBS competition, nabbing three INTs and 10 more PBUs.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Mountain West Power Rankings

    Despite his diminutive frame (5’10” and 175 pounds), Cole is stingy in both man and zone coverage. And even when he does also a reception, he’ll wrap up quickly, leading to low YAC totals. Offenses now have film on Cole, so expect fewer targets going his way in 2024.

    2024 Mountain West CB Rankings | 11-20

    11) Tyrecus Davis, Wyoming 
    12) Michael Coats Jr., Nevada
    13) Jamari Bellamy, Air Force
    14) Caleb Brown, Hawaii
    15) Virdel Edwards II, Hawaii
    16) Dominic Morris, Colorado State
    17) Elijah Palmer, Hawaii
    18) Noah Avinger, New Mexico
    19) LaDarrius Bishop, UNLV
    20) Isaiah Essissima, Colorado State

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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