Iowa State Cyclones

Ranking the Top Five Big 12 Defensive Backs Heading into the 2022 Season

Kickoff is right around the corner as the season is set to start in September. Before the games arrive, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the best players in the Big 12 at each position.

Today, it’s time to rank the top defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference.


1. TCU CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson

You won’t find a better resume in any Big 12 secondary than Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson’s. He is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and will likely get a third nod by the end of this season. While he may lack the size that NFL scouts would like to see, it hasn’t really mattered because he has been a lockdown corner for the last few years. Over the past two seasons, Tre’Vius has allowed only 40 catches on 96 targets for 581 yards with two picks and 18 pass breakups. Without a doubt, he is the best secondary player in the Big 12.

2. Kansas S Kenny Logan Jr.

We have our first Kansas player making the list on the defensive side of the ball. You can make a compelling case that Kenny Logan Jr. is the best player Kansas has on their roster. He finished last season as the Big 12’s leading tackler, totaling 113 on the year and averaging 9.4 per game. Logan also recorded six pass breakups, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one interception. Of Logan’s 113 total tackles, 79 came unassisted, which was the most in the Big 12 Conference and third nationally among all players. He was the only player in the country to have at least 113 tackles, six pass breakups and multiple forced fumbles in the 2021 season.


3. Iowa State S Anthony Johnson Jr.

Making the switch from corner to safety will be interesting but there is plenty to like about this fifth-year senior. Anthony has played a crucial role in the Iowa State secondary over the years. Johnson Jr. was tied for first on the team last season with four passes defended. He also added two forced fumbles and was fourth on the team with 55 total tackles. Iowa State has some good young talent in the secondary and Anthony Johnson Jr. will be the man to lead that unit.

4. Kansas State CB Julius Brents

Before transferring to Kansas State in 2021, Julius was at Iowa for three years. The move seemed to pay off as he started all 12 games for Kansas State last season. He put up 49 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, and two passes defended in his first year in Manhattan. Brents earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in 2021 and was named to the 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 team and the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award watch list.


5. TCU CB Noah Daniels

I just couldn’t leave Noah off this list. The issue with Noah has never been his play on the field, it’s been to stay healthy. Daniels is going into his sixth season in Fort Worth, and he has just played in only a handful of games in his career due to all the injuries. He has played a total of 510 snaps for TCU, but he’s allowed only 18 catches on 38 targets for 293 yards with nine pass breakups in that span. Noah is excellent in pass coverage and Pro Football Focus has loved him over the years. If he can stay healthy then he will be a guy who makes his way on the All-Big 12 team at the end of the season.

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