Who are the leading air defenders in the early part of the 2020 college football season? Let’s see who’s off to a hot start intercepting passes.
In this article, I am going to look at some of the nation’s leading air defenders and how they have performed this season. Some are well-known names and some may be breaking out for the first time. Either way, they all have been making plays all over the field and making it hard for opposing offenses to get anything going. Tackle numbers can be tricky depending on how the stat crew sees it, but for now, I will look at total tackles. Let’s take a look at who these air defenders are.
CB, Asante Samuel Jr. Florida State Seminoles
The first air defender on the list may sound like a familiar name – Asante Samuel Jr. His father played in the NFL for 11 seasons and Jr just might be even better than his old man. Through the first five games, Samuel Jr is tied for the lead in the nation with three interceptions. He also has 74 return yards on those picks, five pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries. The interception and fumble recovery totals are already his personal-best and he’s on pace to set career-highs in tackles, solos, and PBUs. Samuel is just a junior, so he has a year of eligibility left if he decides to stay, but with the season he’s having so far, I expect him to enter the 2021 draft.
SS, Richard Lecounte III, Georgia Bulldogs
The next air defender on this list is senior safety, Richard Lecounte III, of Georgia. Widely considered one of the top safeties in the country. He has been a star in the last two seasons and is playing even better this year. Lecounte is tied as the nation’s leader in interceptions with three, which is just one away from his personal-best of four he set last year. Lecounte is a physical tone-setter for the Bulldogs defense. Make no mistake, he can defend the airwaves just as good. This past Saturday against national powerhouse Alabama, he had five tackles, one for a loss, and one interception. A great all-around defender who will most likely be a 1st round selection in the 2021 NFL draft.
DB, Hudson Clark, Arkansas Razorbacks
Up next on the air defender list is a name many of you have likely never heard of unless you’re a Razorback fan. He’s not well known. That was until this past Saturday versus the Ole Miss Rebels. Hudson had one hell of a game. In that contest, he had an eye-popping three interceptions, along with five tackles. An impressive showing for a freshman – playing in just his third game at the college level. The three picks immediately tie him for the nation’s lead. Hudson is a name to watch and won’t be eligible to enter the NFL draft until at least 2023.
CB, Paris Ford, Pittsburgh Panthers
The next air defender on the list is the very talented, Paris Ford, of the Pittsburgh Panthers. The junior cornerback also has three interceptions on the season, tying him with the others on this list for the nation’s lead. The three picks already tie his personal-best that he set last year. Ford now has six interceptions in his career to go along with nine pass breakups.
CB, Shemar Jean-Charles, Appalachian St Mountaineers
The last air defender on the list is senior cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles. He doesn’t have an interception yet this season, but he is the nation’s leader in pass breakups with eight. Last season he had nine pass breakups, so he will shatter that mark easily. Jean-Charles plays opposite of star cornerback Shaun Jolly, so he will continue to see targets come his way, which will be more opportunities to get PBUs.
Thanks for reading my article and if you enjoyed it, you can read more of my articles on my author page at IDP Guys. I am a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers of America). You can also follow me on social media, on Twitter at @HollywoodTitan, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub I’m user KingTitan1 and you can tune in each week and listen to the podcasts, IDP Nation & Devy IDP Grind, that I co-host, on a number of different platforms. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers. #IDPNation #IDP #IDPDevy