HERE IS MY LIST of the state’s top 10 defensive backs. I count six safeties and four cornerbacks.
Denzel Johnson (6-foot-2, 185 pounds), A.C. Flora: A two-way player who is being recruited on both sides of the football, but I feel his future is in the secondary. He’s got a good eye for the field, reads the offense well, and is a big-time hitter. Look for much FBS activity to take place in his recruiting.
Freddie Phillips (6-2, 175), Pelion: Will be recruited on both sides of the football. Has good instincts in the secondary, excellent break on the ball and is strong in run support. He will be an FBS-level player.
Rion Davis (6-0, 185), A.C. Flora: Yes, it is unusual to have two players from the same position and team among the state’s top five, but Davis has been on our radar since his freshman year. Could end up playing outside linebacker or strong safety at the next level. Very physical player, excellent instincts and good ball skills.
Lane Ecton (5-10, 175), Dutch Fork: May be the best athlete of this top five. He turned in big-time performances at recent combine events. A physical player and is aggressive and strong against the run.
Jordan Carr (6-0, 175), Lexington: Is aggressive against the run. I like his athleticism enough to list him among the best defensive backs; he could play outside linebacker as well.
Tyler Frazier (6-2, 180), Spring Valley: Has a great skill set for a safety, is physical in run support and reads the offense well. Can play linebacker. Straight line speed may be an issue.
Dominique Lemon (5-10, 165), Blythewood: One of the top coverage guys in the state. Has great hips, excellent transition speed and good instincts. He’s physical and plays good run support.
Lyrics Klugh (5-10, 175), Byrnes: Another strong coverage corner, Klugh has great football instincts and plays the receiver well. He’s got good tackling skills and supports well in the run defense.
Dorien Dickey (5-8, 155), Christ Church: Probably the fastest player in this group. Has excellent hips and transition speed. He’s very sticky with receivers and has great instincts. His size will be a hurdle in recruiting.
Kaleb Chalmers (5-11, 180), Greenwood: Chalmers is a solid athlete with good fundamental skills. He has good hips and can turn and run with the best of the receivers. Physical player, and could play safety.