Transfer Portal Rankings: Top 10 Safeties Include Andrew Mukuba and Deshawn Pace

    The transfer portal rankings for safety are impressive, particularly at the top. Andrew Mukuba and Deshawn Pace are two of the best transfers in the portal.

    If you’re confused about the transfer portal, you are not alone. It’s the Wild Wild West out there, and we’re all just trying our best to keep up. That’s why CFN created the transfer portal rankings, so we can keep track of the best players in the nation, and their next destination.

    The players on this list are the ones who entered their names into the portal and have not already chosen their next destination. When they do, we will provide a note that the player has chosen his next destination.

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    Top Safeties in the Transfer Portal

    The CFN Top 10 Players in the Transfer Portal series continues. Find all the previously published positional rankings here: QB | RB | WR | TE | DE | CB | K | P

    10) Kamari Wilson, Florida

    Things did not go well for Kamari Wilson at Florida. After a strong start as a freshman, he lost his starting job in 2023. Then things got so bad that he ended up off of the travel roster.

    But the IMG Academy standout was a highly-touted recruit with great size and athleticism who will get a second chance at a new school. The former top-100 recruit redshirted this season, meaning he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining to iron things out.

    9) Corey Ellington, Mississippi State

    The Mississippi State safety took his time before seeing the field for the Bulldogs. The slender defensive back slid into a starting role as a junior, and he played well as one of the team’s three main safeties.

    MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    The Bulldogs will return only one of their defensive back starters, unless Decamerion Richardson returns, using the COVID season for extra eligibility.

    8) Bryon Threats, Cincinnati

    Bryon Threats is a menace against the run and has spent time in the box, the slot, and traditional safety alignments. The sub-200-pound safety will be a solid addition for teams looking for an alignment-versatile playmaker.

    7) B.J. Allen Jr., Texas

    B.J. Allen has a lot of eligibility remaining, and he is a former consensus four-star recruit, ranging from the 71st-ranked player nationally by ESPN to the 200th-ranked player by Rivals. He redshirted in 2022 and then barely saw the field in 2023.

    6) Jaise Oliver, Tulsa

    Jaise Oliver’s production exploded in his senior season at Tulsa, intercepting four passes. Calling Oliver a safety is a bit disingenuous because he played a majority of his snaps in the slot. However, we’ve seen more than a few slot-specific players end up being safeties in the NFL.

    Additionally, Oliver has spent time on the back end and in the box, so the safety designation makes sense.

    5) De’Rickey Wright, Vanderbilt

    We don’t often get the chance to see 6’4″, 220-pound safeties playing primarily on the back end. These unicorns are usually pseudo-linebackers, playing in the box and matching up against tight ends.

    But De’Rickey Wright has spent most of his time at Vanderbilt as a free safety. Wright is a former four-star recruit according to 247Sports and ESPN. He’s intercepted five passes and defended 12 others over his past two seasons.

    4) Phillip Dunnam, Indiana

    Phillip Dunnam has raised his stock since arriving in Indiana. He began college life as a three-star prospect, but he has raised his stock as an excellent coverage player on the back end.

    The sophomore has good size at 6’1″ but could stand to add a bit of mass to his frame over the next few offseasons. With two years of eligibility remaining, that’s not out of the question for the Miami native.

    3) Akili Arnold, Oregon State

    The Oregon State safety has been around for a long time. He’s been on the roster since 2019 and has gotten snaps in each of those five seasons.

    Arnold exploded in 2023 for the Beavers. He lined up in the slot, in the box, and on the back end in their defense and made his mark in each area. However, his incredible coverage chops are what makes him such an enticing portal player.

    2) Deshawn Pace, Cincinnati

    Deshawn Pace will be an outstanding weapon for whatever team he lands with. He’s a hybrid linebacker/safety who thrives in the box but can also do more than hold his own in the slot and as a split-field safety.

    The “STAR” role is big in many college programs, and Pace is a perfect fit for it. His lateral quickness and violent nature should be used in the pressure game, and his size and athleticism make him an interesting matchup in coverage.

    1) Andrew Mukuba, Clemson

    Andrew Mukuba’s ranking in the transfer portal is self-explanatory. Maybe the committee didn’t give Mukuba a high-round draft grade, but considering his tape, that seems difficult to believe.

    What isn’t hard to imagine is the safety heading back to Austin, TX, for his final season of college football. Mukuba will help transform the Texas defense if that’s where he ultimately decides to call home for his senior season.

    He can play anywhere, but it would be nice to see him play more on the back end as a split-field safety in 2024.

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