2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings: D’Angelo Ponds, Ethan Johnson Out in Front

    Several of the conference's top corners from 2023 are back for the coming campaign, but how do they stack up in our 2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings?

    While other positions in the Sun Belt are experiencing an abundance of attrition, cornerback is thriving, with a youth movement set to return in 2024. Some mainstays like Troy Trojans’ Reddy Stewart and Appalachian State Mountaineers’ Tyrek Funderburk are on their way out, but the rest of the best are all returners.

    Let’s see who’s got their hips square and backpedal on point in our 2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings.

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    2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings

    10) Chris Mills, Texas State Bobcats

    Heading into his fourth season with the Bobcats — seventh overall after three years at Mizzou (2018-2020) — Chris Mills is the elder statesman on the list with 35 games played at Texas State. In seven starts last season, he registered 28 tackles and five pass breakups, with a forced fumble and recovery.

    Texas State’s top corner last year, Kaleb Ford-Dement, is off to the NFL, leaving Mills and fellow senior Joshua Eaton to man the opposing No. 1 receiver.

    9) David Godsey Jr., ULM Warhawks

    After playing in just four games in his first two seasons, David Godsey Jr. played the whole slate last year, making 36 tackles with five pass breakups and three picks for the Warhawks.

    ULM struggled in 2023 but had the second-best pass defense in the Sun Belt, thanks in part to players like Godsey Jr, who earned an honorable mention for the CFN All-Sun Belt defense last fall.

    8) D’Yoni Hill, Marshall Thundering Herd

    After only playing on special teams as a true freshman in 2022, D’Yoni Hill broke into the starting lineup last season and secured his spot as a leader in the Herd’s defense. He registered 55 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and a pick.

    He’s returning as a junior in 2024 to help a Marshall defense that finished ninth in the conference against the pass.

    7) Ricky Fletcher, South Alabama Jaguars

    Ricky Fletcher hasn’t recorded a pick in two seasons with the Jags, but he knocked down an impressive 12 passes last season to go along with 38 tackles and a fumble recovery.

    With other South Alabama DBs moving on, his role as a leader on the Jaguars’ backend will only increase in 2024. Can he build on CFN 2023 Third-Team All-Sun Belt honor this coming campaign?

    6) Chauncey Logan, James Madison Dukes

    A two-year starter for the Dukes with eight in 2022 as a true freshman and 13 last season, Chauncey Logan heads into his junior season fresh off an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention campaign. He had 46 tackles, seven pass breakups, and an interception.

    MORE: 2024 Sun Belt QB Rankings

    He was an integral part of a JMU pass defense that finished 5th in the Sun Belt last season, and he’ll be back for 2024.

    5) T.J. Smith, Georgia Southern Eagles

    After spending his first three seasons at Kansas State, starting seven games in 2021, T.J. Smith transferred to Georgia Southern last year and instantly became a defensive leader. He started every game, recording 52 tackles with three picks and three pass breakups.

    He earned All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention in 2023 before opting to return to Georgia Southern for his final season of eligibility.

    4) Matthew McDoom, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

    After being named a 2022 CFN All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention kick returner as a true freshman in 2022, he earned All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention as a corner last year, recording 26 tackles, and 10 pass breakups.

    He didn’t return any kicks last season, but he had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2022, so he should be considered a threat in multiple phases for the Chanticleers.

    3) Gavin Pringle, Georgia State Panthers

    A three-time All-Patriot League player at Bucknell before transferring to Georgia State, Gavin Pringle earned All-Sun Belt Third Team honors last season. He had 31 tackles, seven pass breakups, and three picks in his first season in the conference.

    Pringle was listed as a senior last season, but he found an extra year of eligibility, so he’ll be back with the Panthers next season.

    2) Ethan Johnson, Appalachian State Mountaineers

    Ethan Johnson started two games as a true freshman in 2022 before taking over full-time last year, earning All-Sun Belt Second Team with 56 tackles, 12 pass breakups, and an interception. He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week after a game-sealing pick helped the Mountaineers upset JMU.

    He asserted himself as one of the top corners in the conference last year, and he’s set to do the same this season.

    1) D’Angelo Ponds, James Madison Dukes

    D’Angelo Ponds was named the All-Sun Belt Second Team as a true freshman for the Dukes last season after amassing 51 tackles, 15 pass breakups, two picks, and two fumble recoveries in 13 games.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Sun Belt RB Rankings

    He also scored a touchdown in JMU’s 36-35 win over Power Five Virginia, jumping on the ball in the end zone after a blocked punt. After earning CFN’s 2023 Sun Belt Cornerback of the Year award, Freshman Cornerback of the Year, and Freshman All-American accolades, Ponds is heading into his second season atop our 2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings.

    2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings | 11-20

    11) Joshua Eaton, Texas State
    12) Michael Caraway Jr., Southern Miss
    13) Rashad Reason, ODU
    14) Iziah Guy, Georgia State
    15) Josh Moten, Marshall
    16) Marc Stampley II, Georgia Southern
    17) Kenyatta Watson II, Georgia State
    18) Angelo Rankin Jr., ODU
    19) Jyron Gilmore, Georgia State
    20) Jordan Mahoney, Arkansas 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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