2019 Preseason All-American Projections: Cornerbacks

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 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 April in the 2020 NFL Draft.

First-Team Cornerbacks:

Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Diggs took his game to another level in 2018 before going down with a foot injury that ended his season. He flashed in 2017, but he still was developing at cornerback after starting his career playing both offense and defense. In 2017, Diggs was able to focus on corner, and in 2018, his play took a huge jump. On the season, Diggs totaled 20 tackles with six passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception as he was blanketing receivers.

If Diggs picks up where he left off in 2018, he could be the best cornerback in college football in 2019. He plays for a high-profile program and won’t go under the radar. Diggs looks like a top candidate to earn a lot of postseason honors, including All-American status.

C.J. Henderson, Florida

Henderson was really impressive as a freshman, showing excellent coverage skills and ball skills. He totaled four interceptions with four passes broken up and 22 tackles in 2017. As a sophomore, Henderson was even better as he totaled 38 tackles with two sacks, seven passes broken up, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.

The 6-foot-1, 186-pounder has excellent size to go along with speed and cover skills. Henderson has a ton of upside and could be the top cover corner in college football in 2019.

Second-Team Cornerbacks:

Shyheim Carter, Alabama

Carter was very good for Alabama during the 2018 season and played better than his stats illustrated. He took over the star position that had previously been played by Minkah Fitzpatrick. Like Fitzpatrick, Carter showed an ability to play safety and slot cornerback. He totaled two interceptions, 10 breakups, one forced fumble and 27 tackles on the year. Carter could be even better in 2019 with his increased experience and development from the Crimson Tide coaching staff.

Jaylon Johnson, Utah

Johnson had a strong 2018 season for Utah with four interceptions, four breakups and 41 tackles. He totaled 25 tackles with an interceptions and six passes broken up as a freshman. Johnson (6-0, 190) has quality size and cover corner skills. With his skill set and experience, Johnson could easily take his game to another level in 2019. He definitely has All-American potential.

Third-Team Cornerbacks:

Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

Team sources have said that Dantzler was a player who jumped out at them in 2018 despite them not watching him closely as he was not eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. The sophomore totaled 43 tackles with nine passes broken up and two interceptions last season. Dantzler has good size, and the questions will be how well he runs and if he is fluid enough to maintain coverage and prevent separation.

A.J. Terrell, Clemson

Terrell has a good skill set and showed a lot of upside as a first-year starter in 2018. The sophomore helped Clemson win a National Championship as the other starting outside corner with Trayvon Mullen. On the season, Terrell produced well for the Tigers, totaling 54 tackles, three passes broken up, and three interceptions. Terrell also flashed as a freshman backup with an interception and seven breakups. He has a lot of talent and could rise over the season to come.

Honorable Mentions: Virginia’s Bryce Hall, Ohio State’s Shaun Wade, Florida’s Marco Wilson, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah, Notre Dame’s Troy Pride Jr., and Michigan’s Lavert Hill.

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