01/13/19- *Saivion Smith, Jr, Alabama, 6-1, 200 Alabama cornerback Saivion Smith is entering the NFL draft. Smith announced his decision Saturday on Twitter, becoming the fifth Crimson Tide underclassmen to turn pro this week. The junior college transfer played in all 15 games during his lone season at Alabama, starting 12. He had 60 tackles, three interceptions and eight tackles for loss. Smith was a five-star recruit who played one season at LSU before transferring to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He joins defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, left tackle Jonah Williams, running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Irv Smith Jr. in declaring for the draft. The decisions for the other four were announced Friday at a news conference. Safety Deionte Thompson and linebackers Anfernee Jennings and Mack Wilson are among other Tide juniors who haven't announced their intentions yet. - AP College Football
01/09/19- *Trayvon Mullen, Jr, Clemson, 6-1, 195 Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen and linebacker Tre Lamar are going out on top. The two defensive stars announced Wednesday afternoon that they are turning pro after their junior seasons and entering the NFL draft. Mullen was named the Defensive MVP of the national title game after he recorded an interception and a sack in Clemson's 44-16 victory against Alabama. He finished his junior season with 36 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. He also had three pass breakups and forced a fumble. "I want to thank the Clemson family for the experience I've gained and the opportunity to play on this team for the past three years. This school and program have helped me become a better person on and off the field," Mullen said as part of a statement. "It was a tough decision, but I left it in God's hands. I am ready to move on to the next chapter in life. I have decided to forgo my senior year and declare for the NFL draft." - Matt Connolly, The State
01/07/19- *Byron Murphy, rSo, Washington, 5-11, 182 The Huskies, as expected, have lost another top defensive back early to the NFL draft. Washington cornerback Byron Murphy on Monday morning announced he will enter the NFL draft, leaving the Huskies with two seasons of eligibility remaining. As a third-year sophomore, Murphy is eligible to enter the 2019 draft. He is the second UW defensive back to leave early since the Rose Bowl, following junior safety Taylor Rapp's announcement last Wednesday. Both Murphy and Rapp received second-round grades from the NFL College Advisory Committee.
Murphy, from Scottsdale, Ariz., was an Associated Press second-team All-American in 2018 and a first-team all-Pac-12 selection. He was the MVP of the Pac-12 championship game after he returned an interception 66 yards for the game's only touchdown, helping the Huskies to a 10-3 victory over Utah last month. After a redshirt season in 2016, Murphy appeared in 20 games for UW over the past two seasons, all starts, and posted 74 career tackles, seven interceptions, 27 pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He missed six games in 2017 because of a broken foot. - Adam Jude, Seattle Times
01/07/19- *Hamp Cheevers, Jr, Boston College, 5-10, 180 Boston College junior cornerback Hamp Cheevers announced Saturday that he will forego his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft. The nation's co-leader with seven interceptions in 2018, Cheevers had a breakout year in his first season as a starter for the Eagles. Cheevers earned All-America honors by six organizations following the season. The Trenton, Fla., native, tied for second on the squad with seven pass breakups in addition to his seven interceptions. For his career, Cheevers played in 30 games with 56 career tackles, 2.5 TFLs, nine interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He forced three fumbles and recovered a fumble during his career at the Heights. - Boston College Football
01/04/19- *Julian Love, Jr, Notre Dame, 5-11, 193 Notre Dame All-America cornerback Julian Love and tight end Alize Mack are forgoing their final seasons of eligibility and entering the NFL draft. Both players made their announcements Friday on Twitter. Love's decision was no foregone conclusion and will leave a big hole in the Fighting Irish secondary in 2019. The 5-foot-11, 193-pound Love told reporters after the Cotton Bowl loss last week to Clemson that he received a second-round grade from the NFL draft advisory board. The junior broke up 36 passes the past two seasons at Notre Dame, including a school-record 20 in 2017. Mack was a senior, though he missed the entire 2016 due to academics and had another season of eligibility. The former four-star recruit caught a career-high 36 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns. - AP College Football
01/02/19- *Clifton Duck, Jr, Appalachian State, 5-10, 175 Appalachian State junior defensive back Clifton Duck has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. He announced his decision on Tuesday afternoon through a Twitter post. Duck is the first App State player to leave early for the NFL during the FBS era, and he's believed to be the first in school history. "I would like to thank all the people who have supported me on this journey," Duck's message said. "Playing at App State was the opportunity of a lifetime - three straight Sun Belt championships and three straight bowl wins are memories I will always cherish. "Special thanks to my Mom, Dad and my siblings for their never-ending support. Thanks to Coach (Bryan) Brown for what he taught me about the game. To the LOB (Legion of Boone) and my teammates - my brothers forever." Underclassmen have until Jan. 14 to apply for special eligibility for the draft. Should he carry out that process, he will forgo his senior season and cannot return to App State. His decision also puts an end to a stellar cornerback tandem. Tae Hayes, who started opposite Duck, just finished his senior season. Both were key figures in a defense that's grabbed 73 interceptions since the start of the 2015 season. - Andrew Dye/Journal Now
01/02/19- *David Long, Jr, Michigan, 5-11, 198 Michigan cornerback David Long is entering the NFL draft and skipping his senior season. Long made the announcement Wednesday on social media. The eighth-ranked Wolverines were without defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush in their 41-15 loss to No. 10 Florida in the Peach Bowl after both juniors declared themselves eligible for the draft. Long chose to play in the bowl while weighing his options to stay or go pro. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, offensive guard Ben Bredeson, cornerback Lavert Hill and safety Josh Metellus have all said they're coming back for their senior seasons. Long was voted All-Big Ten in 2018 by coaches. He had one interception, broke up eight passes and made 17 tackles as a junior. - AP College Football
01/02/19- *JoeJuan Williams, Jr, Vanderbilt, 6-2, 208 Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams is bypassing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Williams revealed his plans via Twitter on Saturday. The 6-foot-3 Williams finished his junior season with 61 tackles, four interceptions and 13 pass breakups. He was a second-team selection on The Associated Press all-SEC team and the coaches' all-SEC team. Williams said in his tweet that he "had many memorable experiences at Vandy" and he wanted to thank "everyone who has made an impact" on his college career. He added: "I'm going to miss my teammates the most, over the years I acquired a set of brothers and we share a bond that will never be broken." Vanderbilt (6-7) finished its season Thursday with a 45-38 Texas Bowl loss to Baylor. - AP College Football
12/29/18- *Jamel Dean, rJr, Auburn, 6-1, 208 CB Jamel Dean ended his college career on a winning note. Hours after Auburn trampled Purdue 63-14 in the Music City Bowl on Friday, Dean announced via social media that he was planning to make himself available for the 2018 NFL Draft. Dean registered 30 tackles, two interceptions and one sack in 12 games for the Tigers this season. He appeared in 26 games over the past two seasons, making 22 starts.
12/21/18- *Justin Layne, Jr, Michigan State, 6-2, 185 Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne will miss the team's bowl game after declaring his intention to leave for the NFL draft. Layne, a junior, said on Twitter last week that he would be entering the draft. Coach Mark Dantonio said Wednesday that Layne wouldn't be playing in the Redbox Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 31. Dantonio said the decision to miss the bowl disappointed him. "Everybody these days has a different philosophy on how these things are working out," Dantonio said. "My philosophy is you finish, you finish the season, that includes playoff or bowl games. Other people feel differently. Doesn't mean that I'm right and they're wrong, just a difference of philosophy." - AP College Football
11/27/18- Juanyeh Thomas, Fr, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 200 NOV 26 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Juanyeh Thomas, Georgia Tech, Fr., KR; Niceville, Fla.,...Thomas set or matched five school records with his 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter against No. 5 Georgia ... He tied three previous Yellow Jackets for the longest in school history ... He became the third player in school history with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single season and the first Georgia Tech freshman with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single game ... Thomas became the first player in school history to return kickoffs for touchdowns in consecutive games (he returned a free kick – statistically considered a kickoff – 77 yards for a score on Nov. 24 versus Virginia). - ACC Football
11/27/18- Arquon Bush, Fr, Cincinnati, 6-0, 180 NOV 26 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Arquon Bush, Cincinnati, Fr., CB, Euclid, Ohio,...Bush led a Cincinnati defense that limited ECU to six points, 303 total yards and five turnovers in a 56-6 win. Bush had a hand in three of the five takeaways as he had a fumble recovery and two interceptions, including a 36-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter. - American Athletic Conference Football
11/22/18- Jimmy Moreland, rSr, James Madison, 5-10, 179 2018 COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jimmy Moreland, James Madison,...Moreland had a record-setting season for a JMU defense that ranks in the top 10 nationally. The senior cornerback tied for the CAA lead and was eighth in FCS with five interceptions. He set a CAA record by returning three interceptions for touchdowns and his 217 interception return yards broke the Dukes' single-season mark. Along with the interception numbers, Moreland contributed 40 tackles, 3.5 TFL, a team-high nine pass breakups, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt. He owns JMU's career interceptions record with 18 and his six career interceptions for TD's is a CAA record. A finalist for the STATS Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in FCS, Moreland is JMU's second straight Defensive Player of the Year honoree. - Colonial Athletic Association Football
11/22/18- Christian Benford, Fr, Villanova, 6-0, 190 2018 COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Christian Benford, Villanova,...Benford tied for the CAA lead with five interceptions in nine contests and ranked sixth in FCS in interceptions per game (0.6). The freshman cornerback picked off three passes in a win at Richmond, becoming the first Villanova player to do that since 2011. He also contributed 49 tackles, 2.0 TFL and six pass breakups, which tied for the team lead. Benford is a finalist for the STATS Jerry Rice Award, which is given to the top freshman player in FCS. - Colonial Athletic Association Football
11/20/18- Stanford Samuels III, So, Florida State, 6-1, 183 NOV 19 ACC DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Stanford Samuels III, Florida State, So., CB; Pembroke Pines, Fla.,...Samuels recorded a career-high nine tackles and his team-high fourth interception of the season in FSU's 22-21 win over No. 20 Boston College ... Samuels' four interceptions are the second-most for a Seminole in the past 10 seasons, trailing only Tarvarus McFadden's eight in 2016 ... Samuels has registered an interception in each of the Seminoles last two games. - ACC Football
11/19/18- *Ryan Pulley, rJr, Arkansas, 5-11, 196 DB Ryan Pulley will not play in the season-ending game against Missouri. He and Kamren Curl have been suspended. "They will not be here today or yesterday or any part of this week for unacceptable behavior, actions that are completely unacceptable to anything we're about," Morris said. Morris did not specify the violations that warranted the suspensions, but the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Pulley and Curl were seen talking to and having their pictures taken with members of the Mississippi State cheer squad before Saturday's game. Former Arkansas All-American tight end DJ Williams, who is now a TV reporter, was the person who witnessed the interaction, according to the report.
11/19/18- Lawrence Woods, So, Truman State, 5-09, 171 2018 GLVC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Lawrence Woods, So., KR/PR, Truman State,...Woods was electric in the return game this year as he became the first Bulldog and GLVC standout to return three kickoffs for a touchdown in a season. His third score came in a 45-38 win at McKendree, where he accumulated 223 return yards that ranked second all-time in school history and just three yards shy of the GLVC single-game record of 226, set by Spencer Elrod of Missouri S&T in 2014. A first-team All-GLVC return specialist and defensive-utility standout this year, Woods led the league with a 50.8 kick-return average, having racked up 609 yards on 12 returns. The St. Louis, Missouri native and two-time GLVC Special Team Player of the Week honoree becomes the second Truman standout to earn a major GLVC award as quarterback Jaden Barr was named Freshman of the Year in 2016. - Great Lakes Valley Conference Football
11/14/18- Jamal Hampton, Fr, Chowan, 5-11, 180 2018 CIAA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM: Jamal Hampton, Chowan,...The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), with its Football Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, released the 2018 All-CIAA First, Second, and Honorable Mention Football Teams as well as All-Rookie Team on Friday (11/9) afternoon. Connor O'Brien and Jamal Hampton earned Defensive All-Rookie nods for their play as defensive backs. - Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Football
11/12/18- Jericho Flowers, Jr, UNLV, 5-10, 175 NOV 12 MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JERICHO FLOWERS, UNLV,...Junior, Cornerback, Los Angeles, California/Hamilton HS,...Helped lead UNLV to an upset victory over San Diego State (27-24), recording 10 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup...All 10 tackles were solo...With UNLV clinging to a three-point lead and under two minutes remaining, SDSU faced a second-and-10 at its own 49-yard line...Needing just a field goal to tie, the Aztecs went to the air, but the pass was intercepted by Flowers at the Rebels 34-yard line, preserving the upset victory...Led a defensive unit that held SDSU to only 89 rushing yards, about 85 yards under the Aztecs season average. - Mountain West Football
11/12/18- Davante Davis, Sr, Texas, 6-1, 205 NOV 12 BIG 12 CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Davante Davis, DB, Sr., Texas,...Davis stymied a pair of Texas Tech drives in the red zone with an interception at the goal line and a forced fumble and fumble recovery to prevent a Red Raider score. Davis totaled five tackles and two TFLs in the win. - Big 12 football
11/12/18- Jaleel Scroggins, So, Shaw, 5-09, 180 2018 ALL-CIAA HONORABLE MENTION: Defensive Back - Jaleel Scroggins, Shaw,...The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), with its Football Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, released the 2018 All-CIAA First, Second, and Honorable Mention Football Teams as well as All-Rookie Team on Friday (11/9) afternoon. 15 Bulldogs Earned 2018 All-Conference Honors. Scroggins was the team's fourth-leading tackler this year with 53 total (38 solo) and an average of 5.3 tackles per outing – which ranked 16th in the league, eight tackle for losses, two pass breakups and one interception. - Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Football
11/07/18- Duke Shelley, Sr, Kansas State, 5-09, 180 Kansas State cornerback Duke Shelley was arrested this week for failure to appear and released after paying a $500 bond, though his status for this weekend's game against Kansas remains in question. A school spokesman said any punishment will be handled internally. The Wildcats' best cornerback, Shelley had a warrant issued by Manhattan Municipal Court after he was cited for driving without proof of insurance and having expired tags. He was arrested Tuesday. The senior from Georgia has 33 tackles and three interceptions this season, even though he has missed the past two games with a leg injury. Wildcats coach Bill Snyder expected him to return at some point this season, possibly in time for the Sunflower Showdown against the Jayhawks. - AP College Football
11/05/18- Tre Brown, So, Oklahoma, 5-10, 182 CB Tre Brown has been in the starting lineup ever since Ruffin McNeill took over as defensive coordinator three games ago and has solidified himself as the Sooners' top cornerback. Last week against Texas Tech, the Red Raiders rarely challenged Brown but when they did, the sophomore came up with a few critical plays.
11/05/18- Bryce Thompson, Fr, Tennessee, 5-11, 180 CB Bryce Thompson snared his team-leading third interception, picking off pass from Charlotte quarterback Evan Shirreffs. The freshman also earned his first career sack, giving him his second tackle for loss in as many games and fourth on the year.
11/05/18- Jalen McKie, rFr, Northern Illinois, 5-07, 169 NOV 5 MAC WEST DIVISION DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Northern Illinois DB Jalen McKie,...Northern Illinois redshirt freshman Jalen McKie (Gurnee, Ill.) made three huge plays in the Huskies' 36-26 win at Akron, including a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, the first of which he returned for 23 yards for a touchdown to extend NIU's lead to 10 points with 9:05 to play. It was the first interceptions, and first touchdown, of his career, as well as the first defensive touchdown of the year for the Huskies. His second interception came on Akron's last possession of the game and enabled the Huskies to run out the clock. He added three solo tackles and broke up a pass in the end zone on third and goal to hold Akron to a field goal in the third quarter. Those plays on defense do not take into account McKie's biggest play of the game when he caught Ben LeRoy's blocked PAT in the air and ran it back 80 yards for two points, turning a potential tie game into a three-point Huskie lead late in the third quarter. - MAC Football