Saturday, June 22, 2024
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College football’s second tier of stars for the 2024 season: Players who could crack the Top 100

It’s only been over a month since we ranked college football’s top 100 players in the 2024 season, but so much has happened in the industry that it feels like a decade. 

Nevertheless, with everything but actual football dominating the headlines — even video games are having their moment in the sun — we decided college football fans deserved a break from the legalese. 

Presenting the next cut of top players in college football, from Nos. 101-150. Spring football is long gone. Summer workouts begin soon. August will be here soon. 

College football’s top players, Nos. 101-150

101. Aydan White, CB, NC State

White has first-round ability written all over him as a height, weight, speed prospect. Add lockdown corner to the list of description, as White has not given up a touchdown in two seasons and has eight career interceptions.

102. Deion Burks, WR, Oklahoma

The explosive slot receiver turned a ton of heads this spring after transferring from Purdue. His spring breakout comes as no surprise if you’re a Purdue fan. Burks is a weapon with excellent speed and the ability to create space and hit the home run. 

103. Earnest Greene III, OL, Georgia

Greene held down the blind side last year, yielding one sack in almost 500 pass attempts. One of the most consistent tackles in the country, expect Greene to be in the conversation as a first-rounder in 2025.

104. Sebastian Castro, DB, Iowa

One of the top returning corners in the country on a Hawkeye defense that’s always stifling and suffocating. Excellent coverage skills and rarely allows much space before or after the catch, Castro is also a physical presence in run support.

105. Damien Martinez, RB, Miami

Miami upgrades its running back room with proven production with an explosive and powerful runner who excelled in a run-first offense at Oregon State. Martinez has excellent footwork, patience, and vision and the ability to churn out explosive runs on a Miami offense that has a ton more weapons than he had at Oregon State. 

106. Kaidon Salter, QB, Liberty

The dynamic dual-threat passer that was Conference USA MVP in 2023. One of the best quarterbacks that most have not watched. The one-time Tennessee signee can absolutely take over a game. Now can he take Liberty to the playoff

107. Tacario Davis, CB, Arizona

Elite length and size is why Davis was one of the most coveted corners in the transfer portal. Arizona did a very nice job in keeping him, because I’m telling you — he was a wanted man. Davis excels in contested catches and does a nice job playing the receivers’ hands with the ball in the air.

108. Phil Mafah, RB, Clemson

Will Shipley left early for the NFL Draft, but Clemson truthers will tell you the best running back from last season’s tandem — Mafah — is sticking around. The Georgia native had a breakout season punishing ACC defenders with his physical and explosive running style (Notre Dame got it, too, as Mafah steamrolled for 186 yards and two touchdowns on an absurd 36 carries). Mafah is an excellent all-around back in protection and the passing game as well. 

109. Keon Sabb, S, Alabama

Sabb played well at Michigan and is off to a great start in Tuscaloosa through the spring. Great instincts, speed, and length, and plays with physicality at free safety. Potential to be the best player in Alabama’s secondary paired with Malachi Moore gives them an elite back end.

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Texas can rely on Jahdae Barron to step up in big moments.  Getty Images

110. Jahdae Barron, S/N, Texas

One of the best nickels in the country and a special teams demon, Barron tends to come up in huge moments for the Texas Longhorns. He had a big interception of Jalen Milroe on the road in Tuscaloosa. He pretty much won Texas a nail-biter vs. Houston when Quinn Ewers was knocked out. He put a sloppy Wyoming game on ice with a clutch one-on-one tackle on third-and-short. Texas was happy to get him back for one more go at it in 2024. 

111. Donovan Jackson, OG, Ohio State

A former five-star recruit, Jackson has been a multi-year starter for the Buckeyes at guard and is expected to have a breakout season. Jackson is athletic and fluid at the next level and is consistent in both phases at the line of scrimmage. His experience and leadership will be critical for a deep run OSU is expected to make this year.

112. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, LB, Kentucky

Johnson had his season cut short with a fractured forearm but has been an excellent blitzer and run defender the last few seasons at Georgia. He plays with a high IQ in the box and is solid in coverage as well. Big, big add for Kentucky’s defense under Mark Stoops.

113. Mitchell Evans, TE, Notre Dame

Evans had his season cut short after eight games with an ACL injury but is expected to make a full recovery. The next in line at Notre Dame’s tight end assembly line, Evans has soft hands and has the ability to make defenders miss. Big-time weapon when he’s healthy and is expected to be one of the top tight ends in the country.

114. Chris Brazzell II, WR, Tennessee

Long and productive receiver who transferred from Tulane and will flourish in Tennessee’s tempo- and choice-based passing offense. Excellent hands and huge catch radius should inject some life into a receiving corps that struggled last year.

115. Khalil Barnes, S, Clemson

A True Freshman All-American is primed to have a huge season after forcing three fumbles and tallying three interceptions in seven starts last year. Barnes finished the season strong as his reps increased as a force on the back end in both phases. He’s likely to become a big name this fall. 

116. Oscar Delp, TE, Georgia

It’s impossible to replace Brock Bowers but Georgia brings on one of the best tight ends in the country with Delp and Benjamin Yurosek. Delp has a big frame and has been a solid contributor the last two seasons, racking up 24 catches for 284 yards and three touchdowns last year. Solid blocker in 12 personnel as well.

117. JT Tuimoloau, Edge, Ohio State

A playmaker from the edge who had some big moments and the ability to cause havoc. He showed some improvement overall in 2023 but has yet to be the dominant edge we expected as the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021. Had an outstanding game vs. Penn State‘s Olu Fashanu last year. He’s back for another run and would love to play his way into Round 1 consideration. 

118. Tyleik Williams, DT, Ohio State

Another Buckeye here — Williams is an impactful interior presence who has the ability to take over inside with suddenness and an exceptional get-off. Williams is a bit undersized in the interior but plays with great technique and is excellent in movement and games on a stacked Buckeye front.

119. Quincy Riley, CB, Louisville

Riley has excellent instincts and technique and is primed for a huge season after turning in a dominant 2023 campaign. Riley only allowed 23 catches last season and had three interceptions and led the ACC with 15 passes defended. 

120. Antwaun Powell-Ryland, Edge, Virginia Tech

Twitchy edge rusher who tallied 9.5 sacks and added 14.5 TFLs for a much-improved Hokie defensive front in 2023. Powell-Ryland has excellent get-off and speed around the edge and can run the hoop and cause chaos.

121. Dillon Thieneman, S, Purdue

The 247Sports True Freshman of the Year, Thieneman made a big splash his freshman season and steadily improved as the season progressed, tallying six interceptions. His open-field tackling can improve but expect a big sophomore season for the ball hawk under coach Ryan Walters’ watchful eye. 

122. Luke Hasz, TE, Arkansas

Hasz was on a heater last year in his freshman campaign,, catching 16 balls for 253 yards and three touchdowns before breaking his collarbone in the fifth game of the season. He’s a big-time prospect who has excellent hands and can make defenders miss. Future NFL prospect.

123. Maxwell Hairston, CB, Kentucky

Hairston is a long, athletic ball hawk who led the SEC with five interceptions, including two for touchdowns. Harrison is no slouch in run support as well and someone to keep an eye on as a mover up the draft board this season.

124. Dorian Strong, CB, Virginia Tech

When I watch Strong, I see a player with excellent man-to-man skills who turns into a ball hawk when the ball’s in the air. Strong excels in contested balls and has make-up speed to jar the ball loose if he is slightly beaten off the snap. Expect more improvement behind a disruptive Hokie defensive line that I’m a big fan of. 

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Squirrel White could be the favorite target of sophomore Vols QB Nico Iamaleava.  Getty Images

125. Squirrel White, WR, Tennessee

White is an explosive and dynamic slot who has big-play ability every time he touches the ball. Had 67 catches for 803 yards and two touchdowns last year. An improved supporting cast and a better passer at quarterback should increase those numbers in 2024.

126. Dasan McCullough, LB/S, Oklahoma

McCullough plays a hybrid linebacker role and wears a ton of hats. He was very effective in his first season at Oklahoma after transferring from Indiana. The former elite recruit is a versatile, explosive and effective in all phases. He’ll have an expanded role this year with a year of Brent Venables’ scheme under his belt and will likely be playing on Sundays in 2025. 

127. Kevin Winston Jr, S, Penn State

One of the best tackling safeties in the country at the toughest position on the field to get stops. Winston Jr. is a big-time run stuffer who can play in the box and he’s no slouch in coverage, either. Does a nice job baiting quarterbacks into bad decisions.

128. Will Howard, QB, Ohio State

Howard can hurt you with his legs if things break down but grew into an excellent dual-threat quarterback at Kansas State. Perhaps I have him lower than I might have after he turned in a so-so spring. Expect him to get the first crack at leading a loaded Buckeye offense, but the role probably won’t just be handed to him Day 1 of fall camp.  

129. Ethan Downs, DE, Oklahoma

Downs has been a disruptive force off the edge, starting 25 games the last two seasons. He’s a high-effort player who can turn the edge and harass quarterbacks as well as hold up in the run game.

130. Clay Webb, OL, Jacksonville State

Webb is a former five-star recruit from Georgia who finally got a chance to show off his skills and was dominant in his first season at Jacksonville State. Mauler in the run game and a finisher and one of the best guards in college football. 

131. Peter Woods, DT, Clemson

Did a nice job his freshman season getting his feet wet but is expected to make the jump with Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro off to the league. Woods is excellent in both phases and plays with excellent hand placement with the ability to shock and shed opponents and take on doubles.

132. Jeffrey Bassa, LB, Oregon

Bassa had his best season in Eugene under Dan Lanning last year and is one of the best coverage linebackers in the country as he can stay on the field for every snap. Excellent tackler in the box and can also blitz the quarterback. 

133. Garrett Nussmeier, QB, LSU

Nussmeier finally gets his time to shine after being behind one of the best quarterbacks in college football, Jayden Daniels. Nussmeier shined in his only start of his career, the ReliaQuest Bowl Game win over Wisconsin, throwing for almost 400 yards and three touchdowns but has played in multiple games over his career at LSU. Nussmeier has excellent mechanics and a big arm that can touch all the critical spots on the field. Expect some big numbers once again for LSU’s offensive attack. 

134. Benjamin Yurosek, TE, Georgia

One of the most sneaky transfer portal additions of the offseason was Georgia tapping into Yurosek to join the platoon of players replacing Brock Bowers. Yurosek was one of the better tight ends his sophomore year but has struggled to stay healthy over the last two seasons at Stanford. Explosive after the catch, expect a big year from Yurosek with an elite offense around him led by Carson Beck. Yurosek has the ability to not only stretch the middle of the field but can also high-point the ball and be a chain mover and red-zone target.

135. Aireontae Ersery, OT, Minnesota

Huge frame at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds — Minnesota loves its beef! — and a mauler in the run game, Ersery excels in the Gophers’ zone running game led by stud back Darius Taylor. Ersery is solid in protection as well and has had some good games vs. some of the stronger opponents in the Big Ten, most notably against Ohio State.

136. Josaiah Stewart, Edge, Michigan

Stewart made the jump from Coastal Carolina and has flashed as an excellent two-phase edge despite being undersized. Stewart can win with speed to power on the edge and uses his hands well to hold the point in the run game, using his leverage to his advantage.

137. Blake Miller, OT, Clemson

A rising junior, Miller is a two-year starter at right tackle and is one of the most dominant run blockers in the nation but struggles in pass protection at times. Plays with a nasty streak and strong hands and base at the point. If he can clean up his pass sets, he has the ability to be really good.

138. Cobee Bryant, CB, Kansas

Physical corner on the backend who had seven interceptions for the Jayhawks last season. Bryant is one of the best corners in the Big 12 and has the ability to have his name called early in the 2025 NFL Draft if he can continue to build off his success last year. 

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A one-time national champ at Georgia, Bear Alexander is hoping to anchor a USC defense that must rebound.  Getty Images

139. Bear Alexander, DT, USC

Alexander had a solid first season manning USC’s front, generating 35 pressures, but was not the difference-maker many expected. Part of that was he was playing out of position at the nose most of the season. He’s excellent against the run but the lack of big bodies around him forces him to take the majority of double teams. Alexander has a tremendous power rush to crush the pocket and needs to be a better closer with lots of near-misses getting home to sack the quarterback. He flirted with transferring but will anchor new defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn’s revamped defense. 

140. Jason Marshall Jr, CB, Florida

A former five-star recruit, Marshall Jr. is a lengthy cornerback who has led the Gator defense in pass breakups two years in a row with 19 combined — as well as two interceptions. Had some of his better games vs. Georgia as well. Can he make one final leap in 2024? 

141. Oronde Gadsden II, TE, Syracuse

A hybrid tight end who has great hands and lives in the slot, Gadsden can stretch the field and catch the contested balls. Only played in two games last year before suffering a Lisfranc injury. 

142. Donovan Edwards, RB, Michigan

Edwards was surprisingly not involved much in Michigan’s offense (119 total carries) until it really mattered in the national championship game where he had six carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns — an effort that perhaps rewarded him with primo position on the EA Sports College Football 25 cover. Edwards has elite homerun speed and can catch the ball out of the backfield. With Blake Corum gone, Edwards will be Michigan’s main man. 

143. Nic Anderson, WR, Oklahoma

Anderson was an explosive play waiting to happen last year, averaging 21 yards per catch on 38 balls. Anderson is long and smooth and has scored from every area of the field but excels on the intermediate to deep balls. Anderson can beat press coverage and knows where to sit in the zone against two-high zone. Expect quarterback Jackson Arnold to target him a ton this season.

144. Ajani Cornelius, OT, Oregon

A transfer from Rhode Island last season, Cornelius is a powerful run-blocker who can move defensive linemen off the ball. He plays with good pad level and hand placement. He struggles more in pass protection at times but those issues can be fixed with better technique. Could also kick down and be a solid guard at the next level.

145. Billy Bowman Jr., S, Oklahoma

Can you tell I’m expecting an Oklahoma rebound in 2024? Bowman has ridiculous film — when he’s good, he’s great: six interceptions, including three (!) returned for touchdowns with a school-record 238 return yards. When he’s bad, it’s a bunch of missed tackles and coverage busts. Bowman has a ton of experience starting 29 games and is poised for another big season. If he cleans up a few lapses, he’ll easily be a top 100 player. 

146. Dontay Corleone, DT, Cincinnati

I had high expectations for the Godfather, but Corleone wasn’t as disruptive last season. Still, he showed flashes of why he was one of the better defensive tackles in 2022. Corleone has heavy hands and a strong anchor and a nice power rush to crush the pocket.

147. Jonah Monheim, OL, USC

Multi-year starter and captain with versatility to play both at tackle and guard with 34 starts in his career. Better suited inside at the next level, Monheim is expected to start at center which should be beneficial to all.

148. Moose Muhammad III, WR, Texas A&M

Muhammad fell out of favor with Jimbo Fisher but is expected to have a breakout season under a new coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Collin Klein. Muhammad is a big-bodied strong receiver who can make contested catches and be a top deep threat.

149. D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Florida State

Uiagalelei had a bounceback season at Oregon State and was one of the hottest quarterback names in the portal. He threw for 21 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, and while his accuracy and consistency are still not where they need to be, they have improved from his Clemson days. Uiagalelei has a huge frame and can move the chains with his powerful legs. Now he gets to play with the most talent he’s ever had — and under the guidance of one of the best play-callers in the game, Mike Norvell.

150. Avery Johnson, QB, Kansas State

Johnson had a huge debut as a freshman despite only starting two games. Johnson struggled with his accuracy much of the season but was a huge weapon rushing the football and is poised to have a big year in Manhattan as a full-time starter.

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