Top 5 safeties in college football for 2018
After wrapping up the front-sevens, we now move on to the defensive backfield and we start with the safeties. This list includes a few different types of players, however. There are those rangy middle-of-the-field free safeties, more of those short-area and in-the-box strong safeties as well as combo guys, who can do a little bit of everything. Once again, we look at these young men as college players - not eventual draft prospects.
#1. Jaquan Johnson, Miami
For a Hurricane defense that feasted on turnovers and putting on that chain, Johnson was a turnover-machine with four interceptions, two forced fumbles and another one recovered. The second-team All-American seems to always be around the football and was named the team’s most valuable player in 2017 from the safety spot. While he has experience covering deep, Johnson played a lot in that robber role for Miami and consistently punished receivers for trying to go over the middle.
Johnson is an elite run-defender from center field as well as basically an extra linebacker in the box and he shows no fear of taking on bigger bodies as they try to block him. The Canes DB tracks the eyes of the quarterback and is not afraid of letting receivers run by him. He constantly buries his shoulder into opponents to knock the ball loose, but at times he wants to take somebody’s head off so bad, that he forgets that he has arms to wrap up and misses some tackles due to it.