2020 Preseason All-American Projections: Safeties

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2020 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 2021 NFL Draft.

First-Team Safeties:

Andre Cisco, Syracuse

Over his first two seasons in college football, Cisco was a pure ball hawk for Syracuse. In 2019, Cisco had 65 tackles with five interceptions and five passes broken up. He put together a huge 2018 season with seven interceptions, 18 passes broken up, one forced fumble and 60 tackles. The instinctive free safety could have a hard time repeating his production, but if he comes close to it that should be good enough to get him All-American status.

Jevon Holland, Oregon

Holland (6-1, 200) has been a playmaker for the Ducks, putting together fabulous ball production over the past two seasons – nine interceptions with 10 passes broken up. With instincts and ball skills, Holland has been a dangerous threat to snatch interceptions and break up passes downfield. He could stand to get stronger to tackle in the NFL, but he had respectable tackle totals over his freshman and sophomore seasons. If Holland can stay consistent with his ball production, he will win plenty of postseason awards.

Second-Team Safeties:

Paris Ford, Pittsburgh

Ford had broke out for the Panthers in 2019. The redshirt sophomore led in Pittsburgh in tackles with 97 while also showing impressive ball production notching three interceptions and 11 passes broken up. Ford was all over the field in both phases, and team sources said he really jumped out to them when scouting other players. The 6-foot, 190-pound Ford could become a hot prospect as a junior and/or senior. If he stays consistent, he should be an All-American in 2020.

Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State

Florida State had a rough 2019 season, so some good players like Nasirildeen went under the radar. He was a really good defender for the Seminoles, collecting over 100 tackles and making some plays on the ball. It was the second straight season in which Nasirildeen (6-4, 212) contributed well in the tackling department for the Seminoles.

Nasirildeen might fit best in the NFL as a strong safety – provided he can fill out his frame. He has good length to help defend tight ends and tall receivers in the pro game.

Third-Team Safeties:

Richard LeCounte, Georgia

Team sources have told me that LeCounte has stood out to them at times for being a gifted player with upside. He totaled 61 tackles with four interceptions, three passes defended and two forced fumbles in 2019. For 2018, he had 74 tackles with two forced fumbles, an interception and three passes defended. LeCounte is undersized, but he is an instinctive player who is an excellent college safety.

Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Moehrig had an impressive 2019 season, putting together excellent ball production – four interceptions and 11 passes broken up – to go along with a solid 62 total tackles. It was his first season as a starter after being a good special teams contributor in 2018 as a freshman. Moehrig has good size to him, and it will be interesting to see how he performs as a junior.

Honorable Mentions: Texas’ Caden Sterns, Central Florida’s Richie Grant, Mississippi State’s Marcus Murphy, Oklahoma State’s Kolby Harvell-Peel, Florida’s Donovan Stiner, Cincinnati’s Darrick Forrest, Florida’s Shawn Davis and Pittsburgh’s Damar Hamlin.

2020 Preseason All-American Projections:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P

2020 Preseason Postseason Award Projections:
Thorpe Award | Biletnikoff Award | Outland Trophy | Rimington Trophy | Mackey Award | O'Brien Award | Doak Walker Award | Jet Award | Walter Camp Award

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