Fox Sports analyst Bruce Feldman ranked the top secondaries in college football and three Big Ten teams made the list.
Michigan, Iowa and Michigan State were each named to Feldman’s list, with the Wolverines leading the way at No. 4. Feldman admitted Michigan would have been rated higher if versatile defender Jabrill Peppers wasn’t moving from safety to linebacker in Don Brown’s new defensive scheme.
Feldman gushed over Michigan’s other incredible cornerback, Jourdan Lewis, who helped Michigan stymie opposing quarterbacks to a 47.5 completion percentage allowed last season. Channing Stribling and Jeremy Clark were also mentioned as important corners, while safeties Demonte Thomas and Delano Hill shouldn’t be slept on either.
Iowa was next at No. 7. Obviously, the headliner of this unit is cornerback Desmond King, who was named the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award recipient as the nation’s best defensive back. King does everything from picking off eight passes to recording 72 tackles last season. Greg Mabin also should be recognized as a three-year starter and Miles Taylor returns to his starting strong safety spot.
Michigan State squeaked in at No. 9 on Feldman’s rankings. The unit returns starters Montae Nicholson, Darian Hicks and Demetrious Cox all return to East Lansing, Mich., and sophomore Vayante Copeland should be one of the most exciting underclassmen to watch this season.