As we try and tide ourselves over the best we can until Fall camp kicks off, we take a look at the top 5 ACC cornerbacks to keep an eye on in 2018. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.
5. Essang Bassey - Wake Forest
Bassey had a breakout season for the Deacs in 2017, earning Honorable Mention All-ACC. He started every game and led the team in defensive snaps played, accumulating 75 total tackles, 6 TFL, 16 passes defended, and 3 INTs, one being a pick six. At 5’10” the redshirt junior isn’t one of the bigger corners you will see on the field, but he makes up for it with tenacity. He was recently named preseason 3rd Team All-ACC.
Had Virginia Tech’s Adonis Alexander not been ruled academically ineligible, he was a candidate for this spot.
4. Michael Jackson - Miami
A 6’ 2” senior, he is one of the most experienced players the Canes have at corner, as well as one of the fastest. Last season Jackson had 43 tackles and 4 INTs, along with 1 sack and 2 QB hurries. He also broke up 5 passes and had 1 fumble recovery. Miami coaches raved about his consistency and experience throughout the spring, something that helped earn him 2nd team preseason All-ACC honors.
3. Trayvon Mullen - Clemson
In 12 starts, Mullen turned in a solid season for the Tigers in 2017, earning Honorable Mention All-ACC. He had 42 tackles, 3 INTs, and broken up 7 passes. After what coaches say was a great spring, many think he will develop into the lockdown corner in 2018 that most envisioned when he signed. Mullen, a junior, was recently named preseason 2nd team All-ACC and looks to play a key role in what should be one of, if not the, best defensive unit in the nation in 2018.
2. Mark Gilbert - Duke
After the season he had in 2017, Gilbert led the league in votes among corners, in turn earning himself 1st team All ACC honors. The 6’0” junior totaled 35 tackles, 3 TFL, 6 picks, as well as 15 passes defended last year, and is a preseason 1st team All ACC selection. Lindy’s lists him as the 4th best corner in the nation for the upcoming season and he is tied for 4th in the ACC in INTs among active players.
1. Levonta Taylor - FSU
On a defense that had its issues in 2017, Taylor was one of the bright spots. At 5’ 10” the slightly undersized junior has great instincts, and that along with his athleticism, allow for him to easily make up for his height. He is already a lockdown corner, as teams avoided him last season, helping earn him preseason 1st team All-ACC honors. He leads the nations returning corners by having allowed a reception only once every 30.6 snaps he spent in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.
Keep checking back with STS, as we will take a look at the ACC players to keep an eye on from every position group over the next week or two.