Alonte Taylor isn’t the only four-star athlete who became a starting cornerback for Tennessee football as a freshman in 2018. Bryce Thompson emerged as another guy on the other side, and he became even more of a breakout star.
All the factors that put Taylor on the list also apply to Thompson. They’re the only two guys with proven experience at cornerback who aren’t competing for playing time at nickel or safety, they have proven production from last year and potential that’s through the roof as they enter their sophomore seasons.
Thompson, however, is the bigger star of the two. He broke out in 2018 with four tackles for a loss, a sack, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, and most notably, three interceptions. Just to add to his profile, he also had four kickoff returns for 100 total yards.
In the process, Thompson earned freshman All-American honors and generated a ton of hype for his future. That’s what this season is about. And it’s why we have him so high on the list. Despite the bodies, the lack of proven talent behind him and Taylor puts them at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. And they are ahead of Jarrett Guarantano because they had better production.