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Ranking the 10 biggest DB transfers of the offseason

© Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The spring transfer portal window is closed and a lot of movement has come to an end as rosters are being finalized for the fall. Here is a look at the 10 biggest defensive backs to hit the transfer portal this offseason.

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THIS SERIES: Ranking the 10 biggest QB transfers of the offseason | RB transfers | WR transfers | TE transfers | OL transfers | DL transfers | LB transfers

SPRING TRANSFER REPORT CARDS: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | ACC

MORE TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter

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1. CALEB DOWNS, Ohio State

A five-star prospect in the 2023 class, Downs spent one season at Alabama where he led the team in tackles with 107 (40 more than anyone else on the field including many future NFL players). After coach Nick Saban’s retirement, Downs jetted off to Ohio State. He is arguably the top overall prospect in the portal and should be an immediate contributor for the Buckeyes.

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2. JABBAR MUHAMMAD, Oregon

Muhammad started his career at Oklahoma State and then transferred to Washington. After coach Kalen DeBoer left for Alabama, the star cornerback had a top three of Oregon, Alabama and Texas before picking the Ducks.

He has one year of eligibility left and should be an immediate starter after posting 20 pass breakups and three interceptions in the Huskies’ run to the national championship game this past season.

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3. JACOBY MATHEWS, TBD

A former five-star prospect, Mathews played a ton during his two seasons at Texas A&M and finished with 42 tackles, four pass breakups and an interception this past season. He decided to enter the transfer portal in April with the coaching change from Jimbo Fisher to Mike Elko.

Florida State and Oregon had been the two favorites to land his recruitment and it looked like a decision was near but Mathews has still not picked a new program.

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4. DESMOND RICKS, Texas A&M

A fringe five-star prospect in the 2023 class, Ricks was used in the secondary for depth and really didn’t make a huge impact for Alabama before his departure. Ricks has the size and skill to make an early impression in Texas A&M’s defense.

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5. DOMANI JACKSON, Alabama

The former five-star from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei started 11 games this past season and finished with 34 tackles and two pass deflections but one could argue he still hasn’t lived up to his billing coming out of high school.

There was a shot Jackson would be the No. 1 corner in the 2022 class (that went to Michigan’s Will Johnson) but a new start in the SEC could be what Jackson needs to get into that first-round discussion.

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6. KEON SABB, Alabama

A top-100 player in the 2022 class, Sabb was a special teams player his first season at Michigan and then became a lot more important this past season as the Wolverines ran to the national title.

Sabb totaled 28 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups, including a big game to beat Washington in the final.

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7. PEYTON WOODYARD, Oregon

In one of the bigger surprises this portal season, Woodyard committed to Alabama during the Saban era, then went through spring practice and decided to leave Tuscaloosa for Oregon before he ever played a game for the Crimson Tide.

Although untested at the college level, Woodyard is still a huge get for the Ducks since he’s so versatile and smart in the secondary.

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8. AJ HARRIS, Penn State

During his one season at Georgia, Harris was showing positive signs early on but then didn’t play in November, leading him to look for a new program. Penn State was involved from the recruiting days and the high four-star, who was under some five-star consideration, ended up quietly picking the Nittany Lions.

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9. TERRANCE BROOKS, Illinois

An Ohio State commit who ended up signing with Texas, Brooks played two seasons for the Longhorns but he and his father, Chet, who played at Texas A&M and then in the NFL, felt Brooks’ abilities were not being used the best in Texas’ zone defenses.

Illinois was not really on the radar at first but after a visit to Champaign, the former high four-star picked the Illini in a huge win for coach Bret Bielema and his staff.

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10. KAMARI WILSON, Arizona State

There is no question that Wilson has a lot of talent as a high four-star prospect who was briefly in the five-star discussion. After a very productive freshman season at Florida, he basically fell off the map in 2023 and looked for a new home.

A fresh start elsewhere was what Wilson needed and he found it with the Sun Devils.

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