Projected top players by position: Year of the cornerback in Georgia
It could be called the year of the cornerback in Georgia. Six senior cornerbacks are rated among the top 30 players in Georgia. Five are in the top 20. They are No. 3 DeAngelo Gibbs, No. 6 Jamyest Williams, No. 7 A.J. Terrell, No. 14 William Poole III, No. 20 LeAnthony Williams and No. 30 Tre Shaw.
All but one made our list of the top high school defensive backs for the 2016 season. Williams, also a 1,000-yard rusher, is slated to show up Thursday in a list of all-purpose/athletes.
*Tae Daley, Northside-Warner Robins (5-11, 175): Daley has been a first-team all-region player the past two seasons and was second-team all-state as a sophomore, when Northside won a state title. Daley is rated the No. 81 prospect in Georgia. He is committed to Vanderbilt.
*DeAngelo Gibbs, Grayson (6-2, 205): ESPN rates Gibbs as the state’s best senior prospect at any position. Gibbs, a transfer from Peachtree Ridge, had 32 tackles and broke up five passes last season, when he wasn’t always healthy. He had 24 catches for 475 yards on offense. Georgia and Tennessee and his reported leaders.
*Carlito Gonzalez, Stephenson (6-0, 190): Gonzalez is rated the No. 38 prospect in Georgia and the No. 27 safety nationally. He had 65 tackles and a couple of interceptions last season and made first-team all-region. Gonzalez is committed to Auburn. Another Stephenson safety that could’ve made our list, West Virginia commit Eugene Brown, has transferred to Tucker.
*Stuart Head, Etowah (6-4, 190): A safety, Head got all-state recognition in AAAAAA last season, when he had 87 tackles and two interceptions. “Great speed, long, smart” was Etowah coach Dave Svehla’s description. Head is committed to Stanford.
*Xavier McKinney, Roswell (6-1, 190): McKinney, who is committed to Alabama,had nine interceptions, 87 tackles, two forced fumbles and a kick-return touchdown last season for the Class AAAAAA runner-up. “He is just as dominating a defensive presence at free safety as Tre’ Lamar was at LB,” Roswell coach John Ford said. Lamar, now at Clemson, was the AAAAAA defensive player of the year last season.
*William Poole III, Hapeville Charter: Poole, a cornerback, was thrown at only seven times last season. Hapeville used press man-to-man coverage all season. He had two interceptions. Poole is committed to Georgia.
*Tre Shaw, Cedar Grove (6-0, 180): Shaw is one of three defensive starters back for Class AAA semifinalist Cedar Grove. He had 67 tackles as a cornerback last season.Shaw is committed to North Carolina.
*A.J. Terrell, Westlake (6-2, 180): Rivals.com considers Terrell to be the No. 1 senior recruit in Georgia at any position. In 2016, playing cornerback for AAAAAA quarterfinalist Westlake, Terrell had55 total tackles (47 solo, eight assists). He returned two turnovers for touchdowns. Terrell reportedly favors Clemson.
*Christian Tutt, Thomson (5-11, 170): A three-year starter, Tutt had 83 tackles and an interception in 2015. He has more than 70 scholarship offers. His leaders reportedly are Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State. Tutt is rated by 247Sports as the No. 4 cornerback prospect nationally among juniors.
*LeAnthony Williams, Roswell (6-0, 170): Williams, who is committed to Clemson, was rarely thrown at last season on Roswell’s 14-1 team. He was targeted only 23 times. He had two interceptions.
Coming Thursday: All-purpose/athletes
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