ACC Defensive Back Rankings

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ACC Defensive Back Rankings

1. Florida State

Like the defensive front and linebacker units, this group of FSU defensive backs are among the best in the country. Lamarcus Joyner has corner skills but he hits like a safety. Xavier Rhodes is the best corner but he looks like a safety at 209 pounds. Greg Reid's dismissal will hurt the return game more than the defense. Ronald Darby might be the next great corner at FSU. The physically most impressive defensive back in America is new safety Karlos Williams. He is a 230-pound monster. This unit's only weakness is they can be over aggressive and often bite on double moves.

2. NC State

David Amerson has as good of ball skills as any corner I have seen in recent seasons. He is a rare athlete in that he is 6-3 but he covers like a 5-9 guy. Amerson had an incredible sophomore season that included 13 interceptions. The two safeties in Earl Wolf and Brandon Bishop are returning senior starters that combined for over 200 tackles and eight interceptions last season. C.J. Wilson is the other corner who returns as a starter as a senior. This is a terrific group of defensive backs.

3. Wake Forest

The best secondary I saw last season was Wake Forest. I talked to the Clemson staff the week of the Wake game last year and they were very concerned about Wake's talented secondary. Tiger fans will remember the number of passes that were dropped by this unit in the game a season ago. Bud Noel and Kenny Okoro return at corner. Noel was one of the top freshmen corners in the country last season. He broke up 19 passes a season ago.

4. Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum are among the best corner combinations in the country. Fuller is a physical guy that can cover and is a future NFL corner. Exum is one of the biggest corners in the country at 215 pounds. Detrick Bonner takes over at rover. He struggled in the ACC title game against Clemson.

5. Miami

Ray Ray Armstrong's dismissal will hurt this unit. I thought he was the leader and a future NFL safety. Vaughn Tellemaque now becomes the guy at safety. Brandon McGee is a returning starter at one corner. He has had an average career so far. Tracey Howard is the next great cover corner in Coral Gables. Devon Bush is another talented freshman.

6. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets return three starters from last season. Isaiah Johnson and Jemea Thomas are a lethal combination at safety. Thomas really hurt Clemson last year when the Jackets upset Clemson. Rod Sweeting and Louis Young return at corner and have a ton of experience.

7. Clemson

Rashard HallRashard Hall
Gr. Safety
#31 6-2, 210
St. Augustine, FL

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and Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
Sr. Safety
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC

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return at safety. Hall's knee is the key to the secondary. There is little depth at corner so staying healthy will be another key. The Tigers allowed over 3,000 yards passing for the first time in school history last season.

8. Boston College

The Eagles have some experience at safety with Jim Noel and Spenser Rositano but corner is another issue. Manuel Asprilla started as a true freshman last year at one corner. This group must improve after allowing 243 yards a game last season.

9. Duke

Walt Canty is a solid safety that returns for his senior season. The South Carolina native has enjoyed an excellent career in Durham. Another local product, Lee Butler returns at corner along with Ross Cockrell. The Blue Devils need to allow less than the 245 yards a game they allowed through the air last year.

10. Virginia

Demetrius Nicholson returns at corner and is an All-ACC candidate but the rest of the secondary is a concern. The Cavs could have three sophomores starting for the first time at the other three positions.

11. North Carolina

The Tar Heels had major issues in the secondary last season. They allowed 241 yards a game through the air. Tim Scott played as a true freshman and returns at corner. The Tar Heels are going to a 3-3-5 with Gene Robinson playing the new "RAM" position.

12. Maryland

The Terps are hoping to improve on the 241 yards a game they allowed last season. Dexter McDougle returns at one corner while Eric Franklin returns for his senior season at safety. The secondary has been an issue at Maryland in recent seasons.

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Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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