Transfer Portal Rankings: Andrew Mukuba, Deshawn Pace Headline Top Safeties for 2024

    Former Clemson Tigers safety Andrew Mukuba heads the latest transfer portal rankings at the position ahead of the 2024 college football season.

    It’s a new era in college football, and every position can be upgraded through the transfer portal. Teams looking for help at safety should have no problem finding it, and our transfer portal rankings identify the top impact players heading into 2024.

    Top Transfer Portal Safeties for 2024

    10) Shawn Asbury II, Indiana

    If nothing else, Curt Cignetti is building a roster with players who have massive chips on their shoulders. He brought several Group of Five players to the Indiana Hoosiers, and guys like Shawn Asbury II are ready to prove their worth. Asbury had a huge year for the Old Dominion Monarchs in 2023, posting 93 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, four passes defended, and one interception.

    9) Jakeen Harris, North Carolina

    While Jakeen Harris was limited to just two games last year, he brings 43 other games of experience with him from the in-state rival NC State Wolfpack.

    MORE: 2024 WR Transfer Portal Rankings

    The North Carolina Tar Heels needed a boost in the secondary, and they added a player with 167 tackles, 11 passes defended, and four interceptions for his career.

    8) Jakobe Thomas, Tennessee

    The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders have had an underrated secondary over the past few years. Teams tested the Blue Raiders through the air and quickly learned their lesson. Throwing against this group wasn’t a wise decision.

    Jakobe Thomas had a big year in 2022 and followed it up with another one in 2023. He joins a Tennessee Volunteers secondary that lost a few key pieces and hopes to make a smooth transition into the starting lineup.

    7) Preston Hodge, Colorado

    While most of the attention was on Liberty Flames‘ offense this year, the defense also had a solid season. While some familiar faces led the way, new players like Preston Hodge also inserted themselves into the spotlight.

    Hodge joins a Colorado Buffaloes team that desperately needs help on defense. He’ll learn from Deion Sanders and bolster a secondary that already features superstar Travis Hunter. He doesn’t need to be special for Colorado, so there’s less pressure on him with his new team. Nonetheless, the Buffaloes will take big strides forward if he produces at the same level as in 2023.

    6) De’Rickey Wright, Texas A&M

    Many people didn’t watch Vanderbilt Commodore football this past year, but there were several players who played well despite the team’s struggles. De’Rickey Wright continued to be a bright spot for a team that didn’t have many, and he finally decided that a new home was needed.

    He joins a Mike Elko team that expects to be tough defensively, and Wright gives them a big defensive back at 6’4″ and 210 pounds. Anyone who watched Elko’s Duke team knows the importance of this addition, and the Texas A&M Aggies are hoping that turns into more wins this year.

    5) Key Lawrence, Ole Miss

    Lane Kiffin hammered the transfer portal again and bolstered the secondary with a multiyear starter from the Oklahoma Sooners. Key Lawrence, at times, flew under the radar with the Sooners. Playing for multiple different coaches most likely didn’t help his consistency early on, but he found his groove under Brent Venables last year.

    MORE: 2024 EDGE Transfer Portal Rankings

    Now with the Ole Miss Rebels, he’s hoping to produce his best season yet. Lawrence can play the ball exceptionally well downfield and has experience at multiple positions. Defensive Coordinator Pete Goulding will love what Lawrence brings to the defense and should help a unit looking to improve in 2024.

    4) Devin Grant, Syracuse

    College Football Network’s First Team All-MAC safety helped a Buffalo Bulls team that struggled all year and decided he wanted a fresh start. With Fran Brown taking over the Syracuse Orange, the fanbase expected him to bring in new talent to turn around the program, and Grant was one of those players.

    In his sophomore year with the Bulls, Grant recorded 79 tackles and five interceptions. The Orange have produced several talented defensive backs in the past few years, and Brown should have his hands on that group after doing the same with Georgia last year. As a result, Grant’s trajectory looks good with the Orange.

    3) Deshawn Pace, UCF

    If Deshawn Pace finds his 2021 form, he’ll be the best addition for any team at any position this year. He’s that good. After the UCF Knights got former linebacker/defensive back Jireh Wilson from the ECU Pirates, they did the same with Pace from the Cincinnati Bearcats. He transitioned to defensive back recently, so we’ll see how the Knights utilize him.

    Pace gives the Knights an athletic player with experience at multiple levels of the defense, making him a versatile weapon. In his 4 years with the Bearcats, he produced 247 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions.

    2) Kobe Savage, Oregon

    Oregon Ducks fans will have to watch Kansas State Wildcats football for the first time in a while if they want to know what they’re getting in Kobe Savage. The multiyear starter for the Wildcats helps the Ducks ease the loss of Evan Williams and should provide a similar style of play.

    Savage produced 115 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions for a tough Kansas State defense, and his mindset should fit well with Dan Lanning’s team. Oregon is looking to make a title run in 2024, and the staff continues adding talent to get them there.

    1) Andrew Mukuba, Texas

    At one point, Andrew Mukuba was considered a first-round NFL Draft pick by nearly everyone. The talent we saw on the field made it obvious, and all he had to do was put together another solid season to make it happen. Injuries sometimes limited him last year, but he still produced 42 tackles and six passes defended.

    MORE: 2024 Defensive Tackle Transfer Portal Rankings

    Mukuba hit the transfer portal and became one of the best players available. He’ll join a Texas Longhorns team that needs to upgrade their secondary after struggling to slow down the Washington Huskies in the College Football Playoff, and he sits atop our transfer portal rankings at the safety position.

    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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