West: Preseason Top Ten Cornerbacks

Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza's Priest Willis leads the preseason cornerback rankings out West...

West: Preseason Top Ten Cornerbacks
Location: Tempe, Ariz.
High School: Marcos De Niz
Size: 6-2/190
Recruiting: LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State
Scouting Report: Willis plays corner at the H.S. level and has the ability to stay at that position in college. He has solid cover skills and the top end speed to turn and run with some of the fastest receivers as well. He has a safety frame and will continue to get bigger. There's a good chance Willis will end up around 6-3, 225 pounds in a few years so safety will likely be his natural position, but corner is where schools like him. He's a physical player and will come up and hit you. He has long arms and is strong in press cover and having a safety that can cover a third receiver is a huge advantage for a defense.
 
Location: Fresno, Calif.
High School: Central
Size: 5-9, 180
Recruiting: UCLA, Stanford, California, Notre Dame, Washington
Scouting Report: Johnson is a true lock-down corner, with tremendous strength packed into a shorter, but more filled out frame.  Johnson is good in press coverage and is real physical with opposing receivers.  He takes a lot of risks but they usually pay off.  Like most guys from Central California, he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder, with a lot of swagger and emotion, but has a short memory.  His DBs coach Tony Perry, who's coached over 40 D-I defensive backs, compares him often to former NFL corner Ricky Manning, in their hitting and coverage ability despite lacking ideal height.  Johnson was shaking off a shoulder injury most of the summer, but still did well at the Oakland NFTC.
 
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
High School: Rancho Cucamonga
Size: 5-11/165
Recruiting: Committed to USC
Scouting Report: Part of a stellar secondary, Hawkins helped lead a stellar Rancho Cucamonga defense, that made it to the CIF-SS semifinals.  He does a great job anticipating the pass and jumping routes and is quick and fluid coming out of his backpedal.  Hawkins shows great burst and closing speed and he's difficult to gain separation from. Hawkins has very good ball skills and is also talented returner.  He and safety Tahaan Goodman are as good a corner/safety combo as you'll find out West.  He's also an excellent student, with a 3.8 GPA.  Probably no cornerback did better and was more consistent out West this spring and summer than Hawkins.
 
Location: Chandler, Ariz.
High School: Hamilton
Size: 6-0/165
Recruiting: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, USC
Scouting Report: The top pure corner in the state of Arizona, Luke is a tremendous defensive back who constantly makes plays.  He has good anticipation and instincts and very good awareness. Does a great job opening his hips and good recovery ability. Is a tough corner with good closing speed and won't hesitate to pop the receiver. A good athlete who just needs to add some more bulk to a frame suited for more weight.
Location: Fresno, Calif.
High School: Central
Size: 6-1/175
Recruiting: Notre Dame, California, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington
Scouting Report: Moore will team with Johnson to form the best corner tandem in the West, if not the country.  Moore may have the best ball skills of any corner in the West, with great anticipation and instincts. Has the best size of any of the top corners in the region, and could even add weight and become a safety. He will knock a receivers head off, and wont hesitate to go for the big hit.  Moore is also a talented basketball player and high jumper. 
 

The Next Five:
6. Jermaine Kelly, (Los Angeles, Calif.)- Committed to UCLA
7. Derek Babiash, (Poway, Calif.)- Committed to Arizona
8. Tyree Robinson, (San Diego, Calif.)
9. Dashon Hunt (Westlake, Calif.)
10. Devin Holiday (San Marcos, Calif.)- Committed to Arizona

 


National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins), National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman), Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell (@jason247scout) and Northwest Recruiting Analyst Jake Worthen (@JakeWorthen) contributed to these rankings.
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