Best of the Best: ACC Cornerbacks
I’ll go out on a limb and say cornerbacks aren’t exactly a strong point in the ACC this year.
Aside from Harris and Dowling, there just isn’t a strong pool of guys.
That's not a knock on my No. 3 guy though; Kenny Okoro from Wake Forest, is the real deal. And he’s only a sophomore.
Complete breakdowns available at ACC Blitz.
3. Kenny Okoro, Wake Forest
2009 Stats: 38 TCK, .5 TFL, 3 INT, 11 PBU, 14 PD
For being such a youngster (freshman last year), Okoro plays like a seasoned vet.
He tallied nearly 40 tackles, but more impressively had 14 passes defended to go along with three interceptions.
He was an honorable mention on the All-ACC team, and received recognition with The Sporting News naming him to their Freshman All-America team.
His passes defended per game ratio of 1.17 was good for fifteenth nationally.
2. Ras-l Dowling, Virginia
2009 Stats: 58 TCK, 2.5 TFL, 3 INT, 8 PBU, 11 PD
Dowling quietly had a standout season on a "not so standout team."
He tallied 58 tackles, three interceptions and a total of 11 passes defended (good for seventh in the league).
Despite Virginia’s record, Dowling was at least recognized for his efforts, earning a Second Team All-ACC selection.
He enters the season with the most career passes defended among active players (36).
The Cavs will need Dowling and his experience in a big way, especially with high caliber QB’s like Matt Berkley, Jacory Harris, and Christian Ponder on the horizon.
1. Brandon Harris, Miami
2009 Stats: 58 TCK, 6 TFL, 2 INT, 15 PBU, 17 PD
With Harris lining up on the outside in ‘10, Cane fans can breathe easy.
He is a true shutdown corner with a nose for ball location and the speed to keep up with just about anyone.
He finished first in the ACC and second nationally in passes defended (1.31 per game), as well as passes broken-up (15), and finished third in passes defended with 17.
In 2009, he earned First Team All-ACC honors and a Third Team All-America selection.