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Jack Follman’s 2023 Preseason Pac-12 DB Unit Rankings

It could be trial by fire for these groups facing some serious passing attacks in the Conference

Posted on July 6, 2023

  By Jack Follman, SuperWest Sports

As I noted when ranking the Pac-12’s top returning DBs, it’s a bit of a rebuilding year with secondaries across the conference.

Some of the top units from last year like Cal and Oregon State lost a lot of experience and a lot of multi-year starters are gone.

These groups are going to be facing some serious passing attacks in the Pac-12 and it could be a lot of trial by fire as new starters enter the fold.

1. Utah

CB JaTravis Broughton, CB Miles Battle, CB Zemaiah Vaugh, CB Tao Johnson, S Cole Bishop, S Sione Vaki

The Utes have top-end talent and are super deep and tough in the secondary. What else is new? Bishop is an All-American candidate and Broughton and Vaki are really good as well.

2. Oregon State

CB Tyrice Ivy Jr., CB Ryan Cooper, CB Jaden Robinson, S Kitan Oladapo, S Akili Arnold, S Alton Julian

It’s tough not to have the Beavers first even with all they lost from last year. Cooper and Oladapo are first team All-Pac-12 type talents and Arnold and Julian are amazing depth at safety.

3. USC

CB Christian Roland-Wallace, CB Jaylin Smith, CB Ceyair Wright, CB Domani Jackson, CB Zion Branch, S Calen Bullock, S Bryson Shaw, S Max Williams

USC has started to get stacked with young talent. Bullock is the star and Arizona transfer CRW is a nice transfer pick up but it’s all about the potential of Wright, Jackson, and Branch.

4. Cal

CB Jeremiah Earby, CB Nohl Williams, CB Matthew Littlejohn, CB Collin Gamble, CB Lu-Magia Hearns III, S Craig Woodson, S Patrick McMorris

Cal has had some of the best secondaries in the conference ever since Justin Wilcox showed up. Earby, Williams, and Woodson are the best of a group here which should be very good again.

Washington football pac-12

5. Washington

CB Jabbar Muhammad, CB Elijah Jackson, S Asa Turner, S Dominique Hampton, S Mishael Powell

This unit struggled last year and Oklahoma State transfer Muhammad should help with that. As should veteran Turner coming back and Powell moving from cornerback to safety.

6. Oregon

CB Dontae Manning, CB Trikweze Bridges, CB Khyree Jackson, CB Tysheem Johnson, S Evan Williams, S Bryan Addison

There’s talent in this group, no doubt, thanks to a big boost from transfers. Fresno State transfer Williams and Alabama transfer Jackson should make instant positive impacts.

7. Washington State

CB Chau Smith-Wade, CB Cam Lampkin, CB Kapen Gushiken, S Jaden Hicks, S Sam Lockett III

Hicks is a star in the making and one of the best safeties in the Conference already. CSW is an underrated player who was really good in 2022.

8. Colorado

CB Travis Hunter, CB Cormani McClain, CB Miles Slusher, S Trevor Woods, S Shilo Sanders

The most promising of Colorado’s positional units. Huge expectations for Hunter and incoming five-star McClain as well. Woods brings some experience to the table.


CB Jaylin Davies, CB Devin Kirkwood, CB Alex Johnson, S Jordan Anderson, S Kenny Churchwell III

This group has to replace a lot but is still solid. The players with experience have room to grow and Bowling Green transfer Anderson should make an immediate impact.

10. Arizona State

CB Ed Woods, CB Jordan Clark, CB Ro Torrence, S Xavion Alford, S Sharmari Simmons

There’s experience coming back here with players such as Woods, Clark, and Torrence. They have a bit to prove, though. USC transfer Alford helps.

11. Arizona

CB Treydon Stukes, CB Ephesians Prysock, S Gunner Maldonado, S Martell Irby, S Isaiah Taylor

Like ASU, Arizona has experience here and transfers coming in. This group will just have to show they can do more in 2023 than they did in 2022.

12. Stanford

CB Zahran Manley, CB Omari Porter, CB Collin Wright, S Scotty Edwards, S Mitch Leigber

A complete rebuild here for the Cardinal. Not a lot of experience or jump-off-the-page talent.

—More from Jack Follman—