Hot Button: Who Is The Best 2014 DB?

The Pony Stampede staff debates which 2014 commit is the best defensive back in the class

Omar argues for J.R. Reed: J.R. Reed won't play on the Hilltop until next spring because he is greyshirting, but I think he will eventually have the biggest impact of all the defensive backs in this class. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds and rated as a three-star prospect. Reed tore his ACL at the end of last season, so his decision to sit out should allow him extra time to rehab. He has shown great versatility in his game by playing wide receiver, cornerback, and safety for Prestonwood Christian this season. Reed finished with 43 tackles and five interceptions while also helping out in the return game.

Reed has nice size and is a versatile athlete. He made a lot of big plays on offense in high school, but it was his ability to lock down opposing wide receivers that earned him college recognition. His father, Jake Reed, was a former NFL receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. Reed fits the mold for the type of athlete SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason likes having in his secondary. He is a big, physical defensive back and does a great of staying with receivers in the open field. Once he gets healthy, I think Reed could be a big time playmaker on the defensive side of the ball for the Mustangs.



Adam argues for Shaun Kagawa: Originally I was supposed to argue for Nate Gaines but his late decommitment changed all that. While not as skilled as Gaines, Shaun Kagawa has the potential to be a solid safety for the Mustangs in the years to come. Coming to SMU with his Army Prep teammates Anthony Wilkinson and Elijah Anglin will only make the transition to college ball easier for the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Kagawa. Kagawa is a strong athlete with experience at cornerback, receiver and running back and even as a shooting guard in high school basketball. This versatility makes him even more valuable to a coach like June Jones.

At safety, Kagawa has enough speed (4.46) to be a threat in pass rush, something the Mustangs have not had at the safety position in a long time. Kagawa's smarts and natural athletic ability will serve him well in pass defense. He can play a zone but his experience at corner will allow him to man up in certain circumstances. While not as complete a prospect as Gaines, Kagawa will still be an important member of SMU's secondary in the near future.

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