2024 Sun Belt SAF Rankings: Jaden Voisin, J.J. Roberts at the Apex

    Despite plenty of departures, upperclassmen with extended eligibility back for one final hurrah own the 2024 Sun Belt SAF Rankings.

    Some Sun Belt teams saw their safety cores depleted, like ODU’s starters and 2023 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mentions, Terry Jones Jr. and Shawn Ashbury II, transferring to Indiana or Appalachian State graduating starters E.J. Jackson and Nick Ross after they combined for 148 tackles in 2023.

    Despite the departures, upperclassmen returning to the conference dominate the 2024 Sun Belt SAF Rankings, with many of them playing one final season.

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    2024 Sun Belt SAF Rankings

    10) AG McGhee, Marshall Thundering Herd

    After playing sparingly in five games as a true freshman in 2022, AG McGhee started six games last year, splitting time at safety with Kerion Martin. He registered 46 tackles, a pick, and four pass deflections in 11 games.

    With Martin in the portal, McGhee is cleared to be the running mate with J.J. Roberts on the Herd’s backend.

    9) Tory Spears, Texas State Bobcats

    The eldest of all the Sun Belt elder statesmen, Tory Spears is back for an astounding seventh season after two at Iowa State (2018-2019) and the last four at Texas State (2020-2023). He was a 2022 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention after amassing 77 tackles and a 94-yard pick-six, but he only played three games last year.

    A season-ending injury cut his year short but bought him an extra one with a medical waiver as he looks to get back to All-Sun Belt form in 2024.

    8) Jacob Thomas, James Madison Dukes

    A versatile player who made starts at free and strong safety last year, he started 12 of 13 games for the second-best scoring defense in the conference. He registered 54 tackles and six pass breakups as a true sophomore.

    With several of the Dukes’ defenders transferring or graduating, Thomas will be called upon more as a leader as one of the few experienced returners.

    7) Tyrell Davis, Georgia Southern Eagles

    Tyrell Davis wasn’t a full-time starter with just six, but he played in all 13 games and finished second on the team in tackles with 65. As a true freshman in 2021, he played in all 12 games, starting the last five, before taking a redshirt in 2022.

    Impressive stats off the bench with three of experience under his belt warrant an expanded role for Davis heading into his redshirt junior season.

    6) Dylan Lawrence, Southern Miss Golden Eagles

    After four seasons at Mississippi State (2019-2022), registering 14 tackles in 16 games, Dylan Lawrence racked up 78 in his first season at Southern Miss in 2023.

    MORE: 2024 Sun Belt CB Rankings

    A sixth-year senior, Lawrence proved he can handle a starting spot last season as he heads into 2024 as a team leader.

    5) Kaleb Culp, Texas State Bobcats

    One of nine players that followed G.J. Kinne from Incarnate Word, Kaleb Culp was a full-time starter for Kinne at UIW, but didn’t take over at Texas State until Tory Spears was injured. He made up for lost time with 81 tackles, a pick, and four fumble recoveries, including a scoop-and-score against South Alabama.

    With his running mate on the backend — All-SBC Honorable Mention Shawn Holton — graduated, Culp and Spears are the two lead dogs at safety for the Bobcats.

    4) Tyrone Lewis Jr., Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

    After not starting a game his first four years in college, 2019-2020 at Kansas State and 2021-2022 at Louisiana, Tyrone Lewis Jr. started all 13 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns last season. Finally given a chance, Lewis made the most of it with 74 tackles and three picks.

    Now a sixth-year senior, he’s the Ragin’ Cajuns’ main relief over the top for his final season.

    3) Jeremiah Johnson, Georgia State Panthers

    After starting his career in Junior College at Mississippi Delta CC (2020-2021), he started one game in 2022 before taking over full-time last year. Starting every game, he racked up 74 tackles with two picks to earn 2023 an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention.

    An extra year has Johnson back as a fifth-year leader for the Panthers in 2024.

    2) J.J. Roberts, Marshall Thundering Herd

    A part-time starter at Wake Forest his first three seasons (2020-2022) with five starts in 31 games, J.J. Roberts transferred to Marshall and found a full-time role. In 10 starts last year, he grabbed two picks and finished second the team with 73 tackles, earning a 2023 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention.

    With a free year as part of the 2020 COVID class, Roberts returns to the Herd as a fifth-year senior firmly established as a team leader.

    1) Jaden Voisin, South Alabama Jaguars

    The most decorated safety on this list, Jaden Voisin is back for a sixth season, all with South Alabama. He didn’t make a start until 2022, but he’s made 25 starts in the last two years, earning 2023 All-Sun Belt First Team and a 2022 All-SBC Honorable Mention.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Sun Belt Power Rankings

    In the last two seasons, he has had 150 tackles and six picks, four of which came last season. With 43 career games under his belt, Voisin tops the Sun Belt rankings as he moves into his final season.

    2024 Sun Belt SAF Rankings | 11-20

    11) Jordan Favors, Appalachian State
    12) Tobias Fletcher, Coastal Carolina
    13) Jalen Clark, Louisiana
    14) Tyree Skipper, Louisiana
    15) Justin Parks, Arkansas State
    16) Alonzo Edwards Jr., Texas State
    17) Jacobie Henderson, Marshall
    18) Jalik Thomas, Appalachian State
    19) Mario Easterly, ODU
    20) Justin Meyers, Georgia Southern

    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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