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July 2, 2011

FV's ranks the top defensive backs in Florida

Good hips, great closing speed, terrific instincts, and natural ability. Without these attributes, it would be tough to be a top-tier defensive back. This year's FlaVarsity Top 160 has 28 outstanding defensive backs that will all play division 1 football at some point in their careers. Everyone knows how much talent there is in the state of Florida, but people don't realize how many high level prospects there really are.

Tracy Howard, the 6-foot, 170 pound cornerback from Miramar is, quite possibly, the best cover corner in the country. Travis Blanks, the 6-foot-1, 195 pound cornerback from North Florida Christian high school and Deon Bush, the 6-foot-1, 177 pound cornerback from Columbus high school, may be the best dual-threat corner/safety prospects in the country. Marcus Maye, the 6-foot-1, 195 pound safety from Holy Trinity high school is one of the top athletes in the state. He is talented enough to play safety, cornerback, running back, and is even a standout on the Basketball court.

There are also a few players from this list that are underrated and under-recruited, which should change with strong senior seasons. Chris Bivins, the 5-foot-11, 166 pound cornerback may be committed to South Florida, but he lacks offers from some of the top schools in the country, including the big three in Florida (University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami). Ty'Shon Peters, the 5-foot-11, 185 pound cornerback from Gulf high school, is really off the radar. He has all the tools to be special, but due to a lack of junior film, he hasn't received much interest. That will all change this season.

This class of defensive backs is truly special. They are a great group, both on and off the field. They are a confident bunch, but do all the things to back it up. Here are the defensive backs that made this year's FlaVarsity Top 160.

Tracy Howard
6-foot-0 | 170 | Miramar
Buzz: Howard is the closest thing to a lock down corner that you will find. He can stay with WR's step for step and really breaks on the ball better than anyone.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Miami
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Travis Blanks
6-foot-1 | 195 | North Florida Christian
Buzz: Blanks may have the size of a safety, but he wants to play corner, and to be honest, he's very good at it. He is terrific in coverage and has excellent ball skills. He really attacks the ball at its highest point.

Deon Bush
6-foot-1 | 177 | Columbus
Buzz: Bush blew up on the camp scene this year and his athleticism and strength in 1-on-1 drills shined through. His instincts are also second to none.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Purdue, and Southern Cal
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Marcus Maye
6-foot-1 | 195 | Holy Trinity
Buzz: Maye has the athleticism to play RB or Safety at the next level and it speaks to his athleticism. His future is the brightest as a rangy, hard-hitting safety.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Florida, Florida State
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

P.J. Williams
6-foot-1 | 175 | Vanguard
Buzz: Williams has the intangibles to be an elite safety. He has very good range, is smart, and he is very athletic. He attacks the ball well with good leaping ability.

Amos "A.J." Leggett
6-foot-0 | 175 | Gulliver Prep
Buzz: Leggett has very good hips and can turn and run with any receiver. His physical nature clearly stands out on film. He is the type to bring some swagger back to Miami.

Brian Poole
5-foot-11 | 187 | Southeast
Buzz: Poole is one of the most electric athletes in the state. He is explosive on offense and he is a lock down corner. He may not be big, but he can hit and hit hard.

Jordan Diggs
6-foot-0 | 191 | Island Coast
Buzz: Diggs future is at safety due to his terrific instincts and ability to wrap up in space. He's also a very smart player that is rarely out of position.
Schools in the mix: Florida State, Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, USF
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Donaldven Manning
5-foot-9 | 160 | Miami Central
Buzz: Manning is not going to impress you physically, but he impresses by how he can stay on a receiver's hip. He sticks to them like glue and can run with anyone.

Lucas Thompson
6-foot-1 | 185 | West Orange
Buzz: Thompson has very fluid hips and is smooth when turning and running. He plays the ball well and will probably make a terrific safety at some point.
Schools in the mix: Cincinnati, FIU, Florida State, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Purdue, Temple
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Chris Bivins
5-foot-11 | 166 | Gainesville
Buzz: Bivins has skyrocketed up recruiting lists lately. He has shown a physical nature and great ball skills. He seems to always find the ball in the air with ease. His smooth playing style also stands out.

T.J. Davis
6-foot-0 | 175 | Godby
Buzz: Davis' strongest attribute is his physicality. He is impressive at the line of scrimmage when working in bump and run coverage. He may end up playing safety with added weight and strength.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Daniel Gray
6-foot-0 | 165 | Boyd Anderson
Buzz: Gray is a "4.5" guy that is very athletic. He has terrific instincts and breaks very quickly on the ball. Look for him to rise on this list during his senior year.

Vernon Davis
5-foot-10 | 175 | Coral Reef
Buzz: Davis isn't the most technically sound corner in the state, but he more than gets the job done. He gets to the ball at its highest point and he has very quick feet.

Larry Hope
5-foot-11 | 170 | American
Buzz: Hope is fast, long, and is a big hitter at cornerback. He has the attributes to very impressive at the next level. Once he gains more weight, he will be special.

Tyreece Jiles
6-foot-0 | 175 | Cape Coral
Buzz: Jiles really burst onto the radar in the camp scene this year. His ability to plug a hole or turn and run is effortless. Plain and simple, he is a smooth ballplayer.
Schools in the mix: Duke, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa State, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Wake Forest
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Ty'Shon Peters
5-foot-11 | 185 | Gulf
Buzz: Peters is a hard-hitting corner that has plenty of speed. He is extremely physical at the line of scrimmage and throws his weight around.
Schools in the mix: Florida State, Oregon, USF, Virginia, Virginia Tech
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Shaq Beverly
5-foot-10 | 190 | First Coast
Buzz: Beverly is a very strong, technical tackler. He rarely thud tackles and wraps up extremely well. He is also smart and stays in good position to make the play.
College Decision: UNIVERSITY OF TROY

Ty Law
5-foot-10 | 170 | Lake Highland
Buzz: Law is a very smart and physical corner. He is very similar to Greg Reid, who is currently at Florida State. He throws his weight around and has great instincts.
Schools in the mix: Ball State, Elon, FAU, Memphis, Tennessee State, Washington State, West Virginia
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Willie Bailey
6-foot-1 | 165 | Hallandale
Buzz: Bailey is impressive because he is so versatile. He has very good hips and can play in the box or turn and run with receivers. He is smooth and a good tackler.

Clinton Heaven
6-foot-1 | 190 | Manatee
Buzz: Heaven is a terrific tackler and uses very good form. He is solid when coming up to defend the run and has the range to be a good safety. He is more quick than fast
Schools in the mix: Bowling Green, Clemson, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina, Rutgers, South Carolina
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Brandon Butler
6-foot-2 | 190 | Boyd Anderson
Buzz: Butler is one of the most aggressive safeties. He comes up in run support and really hits hard. His athleticism allows him to cover a lot of space.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, FAU, Florida, FIU, Florida State, Kent State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Oregon, Texas Tech
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Karl Joseph
5-foot-11 | 190 | Edgewater
Buzz: For a guy that lacks ideal size, Joseph really packs a punch. He finds the holes easily and shows good instincts. He will be transitioning from linebacker to safety this season.
Schools in the mix: Eastern Michigan, Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, UCF, Virginia
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Dinero Moss
5-foot-11 | 183 | Piper
Buzz: Moss is one of the most physical corners around. He really gets in the face of the receivers. He's also very good at turning and finding the ball after it's thrown.

Jarvis McCall
6-foot-2 | 190 | Armwood
Buzz: McCall is another stellar player in the Armwood secondary. He gets in and out of his breaks very well and has good hips to turn with receivers.
Schools in the mix: FIU, Grambling State, Indiana, Missouri, South Florida, UCF
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Tajarvis Fuller
6-foot-1 | 185 | Dunbar
Buzz: Fuller is a terrific hitter. When he lines up a receiver, he can really lay the wood. He has good range and can cover a lot of ground. His physicality is impressive.

Ladarion Young
6-foot-0 | 171 | Catholic
Buzz: Young is a solid running back and receiver prospect, but he has the most potential as a cornerback. He has very good speed and has good hips to move well with receivers.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Florida A&M, Florida State, Kentucky, Marshall, North Carolina, North Carolina State, USF
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

Dion Witty
5-foot-11 | 180 | Coral Springs
Buzz: Witty is a hard hitting, smart, and rangy safety. He is also an asset on special teams at punt block and kick return. He has very good ball skills and finds the ball easily.
Schools in the mix: Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, UCF, Wisconsin
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED

If you have any questions or comments, Tom Loy, FlaVarsity.com Recruiting Analyst, can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter - @tomloy2002.

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