2015 Preseason All-American Projections: Cornerbacks

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2015 college football season WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises, and the stars of next fall could be the headlining players next May in the 2016 NFL Draft.

First-Team Cornerbacks:

Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Hargreaves was the best cover corner in college football in 2014, and sources at NFL teams have said he would have been a top-10 pick if he could have entered the 2015 NFL Draft. Hargreaves totaled 50 tackles, three interceptions and 13 passes broken up. He went toe to toe with Amari Cooper and held his own in an impressive performance. While Cooper caught some contested passes, Hargreaves was the really only corner in 2014 who could run with Cooper and prevent separation.

As a true freshman, Hargreaves was Florida’s best and most consistent quarterback. Considering the Gators had established veterans in Marcus Roberson and Louichez Purifoy, it said a lot that Hargreaves was on the field immediately. Hargreaves recorded interceptions in his first three college games while totaling 11 pass breakups and 38 tackles for 2013.

The 5-foot-11, 192-pound Hargreaves has natural cover skills to run with wide outs and not allow separation. He has enough size to handle big receivers and the speed to run with deep threats. Hargreaves could end up being the best cornerback prospect to enter the NFL since Patrick Peterson or Joe Haden.

Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

In 2013 playing alongside his older brother Kyle, Kendall Fuller made an impact as a true freshman. Kyle became the Bears’ 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick and some believe that Kendall Fuller (5-11, 195) could become just as talented a prospect.

Fuller played at a very high level in 2014, racking up 17 passes broken up, two interceptions, 50 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He shut down East Carolina’s Justin Hardy in their matchup. Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd was a challenge for Fuller, but Fuller held his own.

After Hargreaves, Fuller is a favorite as the next best cover corner in college football. He has excellent instincts, speed, athleticism and agility to prevent separation. Obviously, Fuller is very skilled at playing the ball. He looks like a future All-American come the end of the season.

Second-Team Cornerbacks:

Adoree Jackson, USC

Jackson became a starter as a freshman and was a sensation who also contributed as a wide receiver and returner/coverage defender on special teams. Defensively, Jackson had 49 tackles with 10 passes deflected. He also caught 10 receptions for 138 yards with three touchdowns on offense. Jackson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and averaged 30 yards per kick return. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder is an explosive play-maker. He has a ton of upside to be a star over the next two seasons for the Trojans.

Tre’Davious White, LSU

White has played well the past two seasons with two picks in each year and solid run support. He recorded 55 tackles as a freshman and 33 stops as a sophomore. White has shown steady ball skills while batting away seven passes in 2013 and six as a sophomore. The junior has the potential to take his game to another level in 2015 and rise higher. White (5-11, 191) is fast with enough size and also is a dangerous punt returner.

Third-Team Cornerbacks:

KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame

Russell was suspended for the 2014 season for academic dishonesty. He was wise to return to school before going pro. Russell has some natural coverage ability and has been an excellent defender for the Fighting Irish. He is fast to maintain coverage with receivers in and out of their breaks, but also plays bigger than his listed size. Russell broke into the starting lineup as a freshman (58 tackles, two interceptions) and helped Notre Dame reach the National Championship. He produced another good year as a sophomore. Russell should be very motivated to prove his talents after missing last season.

Cam Sutton, Tennessee

Sutton was excellent for the Volunteers in 2014. He is a very physical defender who plays with a chip on his shoulder. As a sophomore, Sutton recorded 37 tackles with three interceptions, 13 passes broken up and four tackles for a loss. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder was one of many superb freshman cornerbacks in 2013. He quietly played really well for Tennessee. He recorded 39 tackles, seven passes broken up and two interceptions. Sutton could easily be rated higher on this list.

Honorable Mentions: Mississippi State’s Will Redmond, Mississppi State’s Taveze Calhoun, Virginia Tech’s Brandon Facyson, Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey, Florida Jalen Tabor, LSU’s Jalen Mills, Minnesota’s Eric Murray, Oklahoma’s Zach Sanchez, Ohio State’s Eli Apple, Ole Miss’ Tony Connor, Alabama’s Eddie Jackson, UCLA’s Fabian Moreau, Arizona State’s Lloyd Carrington, Penn State’s Jordan Lucas, Houston’s William Jackson and LSU’s Rashard Robinson.

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