South: Top Five Safeties

Antonio Conner is one of the top overall prospects in the country and he leads the way at safety when talking the best in the South. Here is a look at the best of the best at that position.

South: Top Five Safeties
Hometown: Batesville, Miss.
High School: South Panola
Size: 6-1/205
Recruiting: Many top prospects from South Panola go to Ole Miss. They are after him as Alabama, LSU, and Mississippi State among others.
Scouting Report: Conner has played both sides of the ball much of his career and although he could play offense on the next level, his home will be on defense at safety. He is a true safety that can tackle in the open field, pick passes off, and support the run. He is a physical player that will see the field early in college. He will need to work on his coverage awareness and understand that part of the game, but he has all the tools you look for.
Hometown: Rossville, Ga.
High School: Ridgeland
Size: 6-1/190
Recruiting: Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee have all received visits in 2012. He is from Tennessee, but now lives in Georgia. He is open.
Scouting Report: There is not much Bell does not do well in the secondary. He is still a little light for a safety that loves to deliver big hits, but he does most things very well. He makes plays, he has exceptional hands, he closes on the ball well, and he has shown great bursts out of his breaks. He could get a look at corner too because of his feet and quickness. He is an all around athlete with big-play ability.
Hometown: Seffner, Fla.
High School: Armwood
Size: 6-1/180
Recruiting: Stanford is the most recent school to offer McQuay and he has over 20 offers. Right now, he is open.
Scouting Report: Not many look better at safety than McQuay. He is a very long defensive back, he can easily carry another 20 pounds, and he is a very intelligent player. He plays for a top program and he knows the game. He has shown good instincts at safety and he has great range on the back end of the defense. He can work on his footwork, his explosiveness, and his overall coverage skills. He is best when free to roam the secondary.
Hometown: Newnan, Ga.
High School: Newnan
Size: 6-1/200
Recruiting: Committed to Georgia, but has mentioned the possibility of visiting Alabama.
Scouting Report: Matthews is a safety known for his ability to lay the wood. He is a very physical player who's a strong tackler. He closes on the ball well, especially when going north-south. He also has good ball skills. When in coverage, he lines up well off the ball, so he is often the deepest man in coverage. He can work on his flexibility, he has not been tested a lot one on one, but he is a strong safety, with hands, and speed.
Hometown: Monroe, La.
High School: Neville
Size: 6-0/205
Recruiting: Committed to LSU.
Scouting Report: Diarse is a talented and versatile athlete that has played quarterback as a sophomore and junior. He played receiver as a freshman, so he brings a lot to the table. He is a winner, he is a fierce competitor, and he has that football toughness. As a safety, he has ball skills and he is physical. He has the hands to play wideout and he could be effective on either side of the ball. He needs to improve his speed on either side.

The Next Five: Jamal Carter (Miami, Fla.), Marcel Harris (Orlando, Fla.), Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla. - Florida Commitment), Jeremy Cutrer (Kentwood, La. - LSU Commitment), and Keanu Neal (Bushnell, Fla. - Florida Commitment).

Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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