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Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties! College football is a passion of mine, and as we continue to grow our brand and expand our reach with football fans in the UK and Europe, I want to make it my mission to introduce as much college football to all of you as possible. So this week, I’ve got College Footballs Top 10 Safeties heading into the 2021 season. These are ranked in order for me personally, tweet us @UndraftedTN and let us know what you think of the list!

Who doesn’t love a hard hitting safety, or a sweeping coverage guy who you always need to pay attention to at the back end? These guys have an opportunity this year to put the NFL on notice…

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Subscribe to our newsletter! That way you don’t miss out as we put together our College Football Top 100 in anticipation of the season. Here are the corners!

Disclaimer – We use the data from PFFs premium stat site, along with various other elements of research to put together our very own Undrafted Top 10s

1. Tykee Smith – Georgia Bulldogs – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Literally a waling highlight reel. Tykee Smith spent his first two seasons at West Virginia, and has since transferred to the Georgia Bulldogs following coach Jahmile Addae, now the defensive backs coach for the Dawgs. This is a huge get for Georgia. Tykee Smith was incredible as a freshman, putting up some serious numbers, and accompanying highlights, and now finds himself on a strong SEC roster, hoping to make even more of a name for himself ahead of declaring for the draft.

Smith is a very strong tackler, and just as good in coverage. He has 92 tackles and 4 interceptions to his name, split almost evenly across his first two years as a college athlete. He’s a short, stocky type safety, and his snaps are spent either as a slot safety/nickel corner, or as a box defender. Experts are expecting Georgia to utilise him more in the slot, displaying his excellent coverage skills, and big play ability.

Tykee Smith is one of those guys who can make something happen on every single play. He’s patient, with a great break to the ball, and can level you at any moment. This season the competition he faces will be better, but he’s also more experienced, and if he continues on the upwards trajectory he’s on, this young man could have his name called on day 1 of the draft, no problem.

2. Jaquan Brisker – Penn State Nittany Lions – (Year 3 – Upcoming 2022 draft)

A former community college prospect, Jaquan Brisker transferred to Penn State ahead of the 2019 season, so coming into the program as a junior. Brisker earned All American First Team honours from PFF this past 2020 season, and has one more year of eligibility before declaring for the draft.

Brisker adapted to a new role in the 2020 season, switching from a nickel/strong safety spot over to free safety, covering the deep field and the sideline. His tackling improved an incredible amount, and Brisker was ranked the number one tackler in all of college football, according to PFFs grading system.

Now going into only his second year as a starting free safety, with a much vaster wealth of experience, and his first 9 starts under his belt, Brisker has climbed the ranks fast. Considering he was a sub package contributor in 2019, and only started his first D1 game once he’d turned a senior in the 2020 season, his elevation is very impressive. He’s a guy to keep a strong eye on in the Nittany Lions backfield in 2021.

3. Smoke Monday – Auburn Tigers – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)

Smoke Monday, first of all, what a name for a commentator to yell as he lays the wood on somebody. And that’s exactly what this guy is going to do. Standing taller than your typical downhill safety, Smoke Monday is a 6 foot 2, 196 pound machine. He’s an excellent downhill run stuffer, and has been used on a blitz to great effect for the Auburn Tigers so far in his career.

NFL teams are going to love the versatility that comes with him, and the fact that he doesn’t get dominated in the box, with his taller physique. This past 2020 season, Smoke Monday was used either off the edge, or stacked in the box, on 248 snaps, spent 263 snaps in deep coverage, and 197 snaps in the slot. That screams NFL talent. When you can be that versatile, and successful in doing so, NFL teams are going to pay attention.

52 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass break ups this past 2020 season. He also saw almost twice as much game time as he had done his first two years with the program. With one more year of eligibility, there’s not many who are going to be looking to put on a show this year at the position more than Smoke Monday, and he could easily come out of that season with a very strong case for the top safety selected.

4. Kyle Hamilton – Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Let me start with the fact that Kyle Hamilton is 6’4, 219 pounds. That’s a very big safety. He might cut a little weight ahead of the draft, but this man is a presence on the field.

Hamilton burst onto the scene when he impressed in summer camp as soon as he arrived on campus as a freshman. The hype around him going into the season was intense, which he then backed up with an incredible showing as a young first year safety. Hamilton spent the majority of his snaps at free safety, and used his serious length and long arms to disrupt the play all season long. He fetched 4 interceptions, as a FRESHMAN, and 5 pass break ups. In each and every of those plays, you can see the dominant size and athletic ability of Hamilton in play.

He then improved as a tackler and a run defender in 2020, and heading into year 3 is now one of the most highly regarded defensive players in the country. With Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah moving on to the NFL there’ll be more responsibility for Kyle Hamilton this season, and I can’t wait to see it. A seriously exciting prospect.

5. Brandon Joseph – Northwestern – Sophomore (Year 2 – Draft Eligible in 2023)

The youngest man on the list, some are very very high on Brandon Joseph. After redshirting in 2019, Brandon Joseph jumped into the Northwestern defence this past 2020 season. The results were very impressive.

Joseph ended the year with 6 touchdowns, leading the nation across all DBs, including two games with two picks in the same game, against Iowa in an impressive comeback win, and Wisconsin. As well as a CRAZY pick against Justin Fields and the Buckeyes. He was subsequently named BIG10 Freshman of the Year, and heads into the 2021 season, being only his second year, as one of the guys everybody is talking about.

The only reason he isn’t higher on our list is because he’s just a freshman, but if he proves it once again this season, the rest of the BIG10 have a real problem to contend with…

6. Tre Sterling – Oklahoma State Cowboys – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)

Tre Sterling has gotten better year on year, and with 3 whole years of experience now under his belt, enters the 2021 season one of the veterans on his team, and across the division.

Sterling fetched a whopping 64 tackles, as he featured more prominently in the box than anywhere else on the field. He’s an excellent defender when it comes to meeting the ball carrier head on, and knows how to really hit low to give himself an advantage. He did struggle against Oklahoma this year, but picked up his game as the season drew to a close, and played a key role in the bowl game victory over Miami to see the season out.

Entering the 2021 season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have an experiences secondary, and I want to see them play out to their potential. With team mate and safety partner Kolby Harvell-Peel also being a name to watch and cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse, who made our College Football Top 10 Cornerbacks list Tre Sterling is a leader on the back end, and this could be a big year for him before entering the draft in April 2022.

7. Jordan Battle – Alabama Crimson Tide – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Alabama was missing strong tacklers in the back end this season, and it appears to be that Jordan Battle is the guy who stepped up to fill that void. His overall play is so well balanced and as the season went on, that became more and more evident.

Having played second string to now New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney, Jordan Battle stepped into that role for the 2020 season. He started out a little slow, needing to gain experience perhaps, but the Kentucky game he burst onto the scene, and from there on out, his entire game was better. Battle fetched a pick six, on a very good read, as well as a pass break up, and four tackles against Kentucky, one of the best graded games amongst all college football defenders last season.

With two more years of eligibility, I’d like to see Battle become one of the standouts on that Alabama defence this season, and as a result head to the draft a top prospect.

8. Jalen Catalon – Arkansas Razorbacks – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

It’s not always easy to stand out on a bad team. The Razorbacks finished the season 3-7, and as a struggling program have to face tough opponents week in week out, which almost makes it more impressive that Catalon was consistently good all season long. Having only contributed 33 snaps in 2019, Catalon faced all SEC opponents in 2020, after the NCAA ruled that you wouldn’t be able to play teams outside of your division.

Catalon then ended the season with 75 tackles, 75!! Add the 3 picks to that total and this man had a very impressive season. Primarily a free safety, Catalon could find himself suiting up on Sundays this time next year, if he puts on another display quite like that one.

9. Keith Gallmon – South Alabama Jaguars – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)

Gallmon dominated in the Sun Belt conference in 2020, and has progressed his game year on year in his three seasons with the Jaguars. Maybe not getting the recognition he deserves due to not playing for a power 5 program, Gallmon still belongs firmly in the top 10. The 5″9 Sunbelt division prospect accumulates 79 tackles in 2020, playing primarily at free safety. On top of that, 1 interception and 6 pass break ups rounded off a very impressive campaign.

Gallmon would likely be higher on the list if the weekly competition had been tougher, but a 13 tackle game in the seasons opener is impressive no matter the competition.

10. Yusuf Corker – Kentucky Wildcats – Senior (Year 4 – Upcoming 2022 Draft)

Corker is another safety on this list who heads into the season with plenty of experience under his belt. Corker has played three seasons in one of the toughest divisions in football, and consistency is the word I’d associate with his game. Corker does everything well as a stand off safety, and serves best in the free safety position.

In back to back years, Corker has totalled 61 and 56 tackles, including a forced fumble, as well as three interceptions, while his snaps have been well balanced between the box and free safety. Corker will head back to Kentucky this season for one last ride with his team mates, and enter the draft in 2022.

Take a look at our Top 10 College Football Cornerbacks right here!

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Safeties

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2 comments

College Football Week 1 Preview - Part 2 - Undrafted - The Network 3rd September 2021 at 11:41 pm

[…] Jaquan Brisker is one of the best safeties in the nation. He’s converting over to free safety from the strong side, and we have him ranked as our number 2 safety in the nation. […]

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Jaquan Brisker - College Football Spotlight No. 1 - Undrafted - The Network 5th September 2021 at 6:30 pm

[…] number one for tackles in 2020, Jaquan Brisker has been on my radar for a while now. I graded him the number two safety in the country ahead of the season, and after this weekend’s performance against Wisconsin, I […]

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