Big corners hard to come by in 2011
While coveted height is hard to come by in this class -- only one ESPNU 150 corner checks in at six feet -- cover guys and nickel types are plentiful.
With more and more teams spreading the field, the need for sub packages with versatile, ballhawking corners is at an all-time high and this class, with nine ESPNU 150 members, is loaded with them.
Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp certainly has to be pleased with the Longhorns commitments in this corner class. Quandre Diggs (Angleton, Texas/Angleton), Sheroid Evans (Missouri City, Texas/Dulles) and Leroy Scott (Pasadena, Texas/South Houston) all rank in the top 10 and can cover the field, make plays and are flexible in skill set.
Top prospectsQuandre Diggs (Angleton, Texas/Angleton)
Ht.: 5-10 | Wt.: 190 pounds | Stars: 4 | CB rank: 1 | ESPNU 150 rank: 17
The younger brother of former Texas Longhorns and current San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer is an excellent athlete. Diggs lacks ideal size, but he's an explosive, physical defender in the mold of a nickel back with the ball skills of a cover corner. The Texas commit shows great range, burst to the football and overall savvy on the football field.
Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla./South Lake)
Ht.: 5-10 | Wt.: 168 pounds | Stars: 4 | CB rank: 2 | ESPNU 150 rank: 64
Waisome is arguably one of the better cover corners in this class and its fiercest competitor. The position comes naturally to him from an instinctive and fundamental standpoint. There may be bigger and faster corners in this class, but few with the excellent anticipation, recovery and breaking skills.
Doran Grant (Akron, Ohio/Saints Vincent and Mary)
Ht.: 5-11 | Wt.: 177 pounds | Stars: 4 | CB rank: 3 | ESPNU 150 rank: 67
Like Waisome, Grant is not your typical burner, but you would be hard pressed to find a more active defensive back around the ball in the 2011 class. Quickness may be his best attribute; Grant is hard to shake as he sticks tightly to receivers out of their breaks and recovers extremely well. Overall, he's a talented athlete with good ball and leaping skills (41-inch vertical) that have earned him close to 30 offers.
CBs to watch• Demetrious Nicholson (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) makes big plays and is comfortable around the football, especially when it's in the air. He's slight in stature and doesn't run in the 4.4-range, but he has great football speed and closes on the ball extremely fast. Nicholson has lockdown coverage ability at the next level with his smooth hips, transitions and footwork, but his ball skills may be his best attribute. • Brandon Phelps (Damascus, Md./Damascus) was originally listed as an athlete, but his great speed, transition skills and lengthy frame make us think he will be an ideal college corner. Aside from his fluid hips, which are needed to mirror tightly in man coverages, he has a physical side to his game that makes him even more dynamic. • Dallas Crawford (Fort Myers, Fla./South Fort Myers) may not have the same national hype as some of the other ESPNU 150 corners, but we feel this hybrid DB deserves his placement. His anticipation skills and reactive athleticism are excellent, and he simply flies to the football in run and pass support. Whether at corner or safety, he's always around the football.
NotesSheroid Evans (Missouri City, Texas/Dulles) may be the fastest corner in 2011, but we feel he's more of a track star playing football at this point. ... Josh Turner (Oklahoma City/Millwood) is in our athlete category but will play corner in the Under Armour All-America Game. With some technical polish, he could develop into one of the better college corners from this class. ... Look for the speedy Charles Jackson's (Klein, Texas/Klein Collins) recruiting stock to rise. ... Miami commit Albert Louis-Jean (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) is the highest-rated prospect to come out of Massachusetts since the inception of the ESPNU 150. ... Three-star prospect Josh Atkinson (Livermore, Calif./Granada) is the son of former Oakland Raiders defensive back George Atkinson. Josh's brother, George Atkinson Jr. (Livermore, Calif./Granada), is also a three-star prospect in this class as an athlete.
Billy Tucker is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has close to a decade of coaching experience at the college and high school levels.