Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Dallas-area has it covered: Defensive backs make up more than a quarter of top 100 local recruits
Spread offenses have their work cut out this fall.
Defensive backs represent more than a quarter of SportsDay’s top 100 area recruits, including five in the top 10.
Among the colleges they have committed to are Stanford, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, LSU and Texas. Area recruits Jamal Adams and Nick Watkins are still deciding from a pool that includes Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame.
“If you’re recruiting DBs, you’re going to want to have this area,” Lancaster coach Chris Gilbert said.
Mansfield Timberview, Hebron, Skyline, DeSoto and Mesquite Poteet all have multiple defensive backs in the top 100.
Timberview’s Ed Paris tops the position as the No. 3 recruit in the area. The LSU pledge had seven interceptions last season, including two returned for touchdowns. He also had 37 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Teammate Brandon Simmons is the 10th-ranked defensive back recruit in the area. He’s already committed to Stanford.
Rounding out the top 10 are Hebron’s Adams at No. 4, West Mesquite’s Dylan Sumner-Gardner at No. 5 and Bishop Dunne’s Watkins at No. 6.
The surge in quality defensive backs may not be a random occurrence.
Mesquite Poteet coach Kody Groves said the growth of spread offenses and the rising popularity of 7-on-7 have put defensive backs in the spotlight.
“The more kids play 7-on-7, the more those positions get hyped up and get the exposure,” Groves said.
“You don’t see a lot of exposure on the line because even at college camps there’s not a whole lot they can do to showcase their skills. But you get those DBs out there, and they can go against each other and give you an idea of what they can do.”
Poteet has two players in the area top 100, and both are defensive backs. Verkedric Vaughns (No. 57) committed to Baylor last week and Nate Gaines (No. 69) is committed to SMU.
Poteet, like the other teams with multiple top players in the secondary, will have more options with the defensive front.
“The better the defensive backs you have, the more flexible you can be up front,” Groves said. “It allows you to change your defense more often and give offenses different looks.”
Skyline has two defensive backs inside the top 30: No. 11 Cedric Collins and No. 28 Derrick Dixon. Collins is committed to Texas A&M; Dixon pledged to Texas Tech.
Oklahoma received commitments from two more top-30 defensive backs: Lancaster’s Vontre McQuinnie and Cedar Hill’s Marcus Green.
Lancaster has graduated nine defensive backs to major college scholarships since 2009, and McQuinnie fits the mold, Gilbert said.
“He’s a big, athletic kid and a very instinctive player,” Gilbert said. “He can cover, and he can blitz. And when he comes, he comes in a hurry.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN
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