Top Returning SEC Cornerbacks For 2017

    With the departures of Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White, the SEC has openings for the top cornerbacks entering the 2017 season.

    March 14, 2017

    With the departures of Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson, Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White, the SEC has openings for the top cornerbacks entering the 2017 season.

    Alabama, Florida and LSU all lost top-tier cornerbacks, with the NFL about to eagerly scoop and sign each of them later this spring. However, in typical fashion for three of the nation’s perennially nastiest and deepest defenses, the Tide, Gators and Tigers have another lockdown candidate waiting in the on-deck circle. With Anthony Averett in Tuscaloosa, Duke Dawson in Gainesville and Donte Jackson in Baton Rouge, all three programs are still going to have the potential for cutting off half the field on opposing quarterbacks in 2017.

    Top Returning SEC Cornerbacks

    5. Carlton Davis, Auburn

    Davis is at the halfway point of his Tiger career, and he’s ready to take his game to a higher level. The junior already has 19 starts on the resume, making 46 tackles and a team-high 10 pass breakups in 2016. At 6-1 and 195 pounds, Davis has the long arms and gait to stay with the SEC’s rangier receivers. Expectations will be high in 2017, especially now that Auburn is searching for defensive leaders to supplant the likes of linemen Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson.

    4. Malkom Parrish, Georgia

    Parrish plays with maximum energy and ferocity, which jumps off the film every time the Dawgs are in action. He’s a physical bump-and-run corner, with outstanding open-field tackling skills, especially for his position. Parrish operates with the mindset of a safety, flying up from the secondary to fill running lanes and upend ballcarriers. He started all but one game in 2016, making 49 stops, a sack, two interceptions and a team-high nine pass breakups.

    3. Anthony Averett, Alabama

    Now that Marlon Humphrey is gone, Averett is ready for an increased role in the Crimson Tide defensive backfield. The 6-0, 183-pound Averett earned the start a year ago, chipping in with 48 tackles, three stops for loss, a team-best eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Speed has always been the calling card for the former high school track star. However, he has also improved in pass coverage, a trend the staff expects to continue in his senior year.

    2. Donte Jackson, LSU

    Jackson is the epitome of a dynamic LSU athlete, a sprinting champion who has lined up on offense, defense and special teams in Baton Rouge. In the junior, the Tigers might have the fastest player in the FBS. Jackson cracked the lineup a year ago, finishing with 39 stops, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. And with continued development, he’ll probably be off to the NFL following 2017. Jackson can help his cause by adding more muscle and fine-tuning his coverage skills now that he’s the anticipated leader of the LSU unit.

    1. Duke Dawson, Florida

    Dawson is expected to relocate from nickel to corner this season to help offset the departures of Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson. No one in Gainesville is concerned about the senior’s ability to make the transition. Dawson is the type of heady and instinctive defender who produces no matter where he lines up. He’s a punishing 5-11, 208-pound veteran of three letters. And he understands the importance of what’s at stake for his future in this final season as a Gator.

    MORE: Top Returning Cornerbacks In College Football For 2017


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