The Best Corner in College Football is a True Freshman

The Best Corner in College Football is a True Freshman

2022

The Best Corner in College Football is a True Freshman

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Via USA TODAY SPORTS

Benjamin Morrison is taking college football by storm, especially in the last three weeks. He’s quickly put together one of the best seasons ever by a freshman corner in college football history. Morrison, a former four star recruit from Phoenix, Arizona committed to Notre Dame only in July of 2021. 247 Composite ranks as the 311th player nationally and 35th ranked corner, marks that he’s outplaying at an insane rate. He held over 27 offers out of high school including Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, Arizona State, Washington, Michigan, Oklahoma, and USC. Currently, he’s playing as the best corner in college football and it really isn’t a close battle either. 

On the season, Morrison has put up 31 tackles, two tackles for loss, five interceptions, five pass breakups, and a touchdown off a 97 yard pick six vs Clemson. He ranks tied for second in FBS with five interceptions but that’s not the most impressive stat from his limited playtime. Notre Dame DB coach Mike Mickens, who coached Ahmad Garnder and Coby Bryant at Cincinnati has compared Morrison to the likes of Gardner and thinks he can be even better, an amazing compliment for a 19 year old starting corner. Notre Dame didn’t fully involve Morrison until week seven vs Stanford when he was made their starting corner. He’s put up 494 total snaps this season with 297 of those coming in coverage. 

He’s allowed an FBS low 29.3 opposing QBR, the second closest is Marshall’s Steven Gilmore with a 37.0 QBR allowed. For reference, a QB would gain a 39.6 QBR if every passing attempt was spiking the ball. In 2021 Gardner posted a 22.6 QBR. In his elite 2019 freshman season, Derek Stingley posted a 51.4 QBR so Morrison is in some elite competition. Morrison has been targeted 49 times this season, allowing only 19 receptions for 277 yards. He ranks 18th among eligible corners in yards allowed and sixth in completion percentage allowed as well. 

Morrison’s interceptions are far more than luck or having the ball thrown to him; he’s demonstrated elite level ball skills and instincts. He’s showing the ability to read a quarterback’s eyes, read the route perfectly and make a play on the ball and receiver at the same time. Run defense is even more of a strong suit for him: he constantly is blowing up blocks and driving into the backfield for a stop, or making a perimeter tackle on a receiver post catch. Morrison isn’t playing like a true freshman and he’s going to only get better. He has another huge test this weekend vs a high powered USC offense led by Caleb Williams, Mario Williams and Jordan Addison.

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