30 March 2010
I am not going to say I saved the best for last but you have to like the look of the defensive backs available in the state this year. The staff seems to be going hard after defensive backs. There are a number of out of state offers, Jeremy Cash from Florida being the one fans are most familiar with, but there are several others. I think the number of offers out there gives us some idea that the staff could come back in on some of the top instate kids.
I have been hinting around that Doran Grant will not be my top defensive back in the state of Ohio. Some of you have guessed who my top defensive back is. The most impressive I have seen is Dayton Dunbar athlete Roger Williamson. He is bigger, 6-1 and about 190, and much more physical than Grant. I have seen a much more extensive film than fans have access to. He is a special player. Very athletic kid and very fast in a bigger package. If he is not a great corner it is because he is a great safety, or maybe a receiver. Mark Porter keeps bringing that up when we talk about Williamson. No word on his grades. I hope to see him getting out to combines and camps.
Number two on my list is Eilar Hardy but that could change when he runs this summer. He is a safety in high school. I think he is going to show he has the hips and the speed to play corner. If he does not show speed I am going to have to push him down my ratings. He is a physical kid and a good tackler.
Number three is Ronald Tanner. He is a very similar player to Hardy. I think he is an all-around great looking athlete. I see him having no problem lining up on slot receivers. Having a safety who can cover is something everybody is looking for. I think he could play corner if needed. Tanner is the most underrated of this defensive backs in this class.
My number four is a player most fans are not familiar with. Darius Hillary is a corner from Cincinnati Sycamore. He is also an outstanding kick returner. He has put together as impressive an offer list than Hardy or DerJuan Gambrell with offers from Boston College and Stanford, West Virginia and Illinois on the table.
DerJuan Gambrell is number five and I think the Buckeyes made a great offer. I think his upside is tremendous. Notice how much offense he is playing on his film. Not just playing offense but being a centerpiece of the offense. I think once he starts playing defense only he is going to blossom. I am still not convinced he can be a corner. He is awfully long and I think he fills out so much that he might be forced to safety.
I know what you are thinking. No Doran Grant? I know Duane is not as high on him as everyone else but I can't believe he is not on this list. I am going to tell you why that is. He has offers from everyone. I am a big believer in recruiting great athletes. He just proved what kind of athlete he is with one of the all-time great SPARQ numbers. Why don't I have a higher opinion of him? I watched every film clip I could find of him today. I see a spectacular player with the ball in his hands. He is a better kick returner than Shane Wynn. His speed and agility numbers cannot be questioned. I am just not impressed with him as a defensive player. There isn't even alot of film out there of Grant as a corner. He does not look natural and comfortable as a defender. He struggles with tackling. What I do see is the best receiver in the state of Ohio. He is better than Devin Smith. He has hands. I watch him adjust routes. I watch him show no fear in going over the middle. I will revise my rankings after the camp and combine circuit this July. At that point you will see Grant at the top of my receiver rankings.
You will not see Greg Brown on this list. It has nothing to do with him being a Michigan verbal, I assure you. There is so little film out there of him that I cannot evaluate him properly.