2009: Top Palmetto State CB Prospects

There's plenty of talent at cornerback in the 2009 class. Inside we take a look at the very best in the state after the evaluation period. Some prospects made major moves and there are a few surprises on the list. Come inside and see if Dorman's Taylor Sowell (pictured in blue) is the #1 guy for 2009 at this point at cornerback.

PHOTO RANK WHY?
S Gilmore

#1

Stephon Gilmore

South Pointe HS

6'2 181 pounds

We like him on the offensive side of the ball but many college coaches and analysts envision him as a dynamite cover corner on the next level. Gilmore is arguably the state's top athlete which allows him to be used all over the field effectively. While he may not play significant minutes at corner for the Stallions he worked out at the UA/Scout combine in Charlotte and did well with the rest of the top cornerbacks in the southeast region.
T Sowell

#2

Taylor Sowell

Dorman HS

6'0 175 pounds

Another tough call but Sowell gets the #2 spot by default at this point. Gilmore projects as a defensive back on the next level so he gets to jump over Sowell. Taylor may not be the best in terms of one on one ability but his size and upside are too good to overlook. He is also one of the fiercest corners you'll find. If you haven't seen him play he hits with "Ronnie Lott" ferociousness. The helmets will fly off and guys will think twice about trying to make another catch against him if he gets a shot at them. North Carolina secured a good one in Sowell.
J Williams

#3

Jerrodd Williams

Daniel HS

6'0 185 pounds

Here's another guy who just sizzled since the end of the season on the recruiting radar. Williams has tremendous size and is one of the fastest players in the state regardless of position reporting a 4.35 second 40. His numbers were solid last season and he has already given a verbal to Virginia Tech. The speed factor makes him one of the most dangerous punt/kickoff returners in the southeast as he averaged 44 yards per kickoff return last year.
L Butler

#4 (tie)

Lex Butler

Westside HS

5'11 170 pounds

Here's another speed merchant working at corner. Lex Butler like his older brother Lee will play on both sides of the ball due to tremendous speed and talent. Butler has added some nice muscle since last season and hasn't lost any of his speed. Already holding a couple of offers we're willing to bet that once the season gets under way those schools who are taking a close look will pull the trigger with offers.
R Richardson

#4 (tie)

Riyahd Richardson

Byrnes HS

5'9 170 pounds

Richardson is still fighting hard to earn the respect he deserves. With so many high major programs watching him closely he deserves to be here if not higher. In terms of a pure coverage corner he's our pick for best in the state. His size has hurt him throughout the process but here's the good news, he has grown. We pulled out the tape measure this past week and he indeed has jumped another inch and added some more muscle to his frame. Pound for pound one of the best at his position overall. Another big season and continued growth will move him up the list and bring in more offers.
W Canty

#5

Walt Canty

Dorman HS

6'1 190 pounds

Okay here's the deal. We don't want to put Canty here at cornerback but when he has been out on the camp circuit that's where he has worked out at. He's an athlete playing corner. While he's one of the best in the state at the position we think he and Stephon Gilmore are the best athletes in the state in the 2009 class. The young man didn't get to the Under Armour/Scout.com Charlotte or Atlanta combines and we think if he did and had a good showing he'd probably be tapping his teammate on the shoulder for the #1 spot. Regardless he's a jack of all trades who gets it done no matter where he lines up. Look for him to move up quickly here in the state and nationally before he's done.
B Best

#6

Byron Best

Greenwood HS

5'9 180 pounds

Best is on the verge of landing some more offers here soon if he gets the necessary scores on his SATs. We're hoping he does make the grade because he's one of the best prospects in the southeast. As a cover corner he's near the top and he passes the look test with flying colors. He wowed the scouts in attendance at the Charlotte combine and ran the fastest time of the event at 4.37 seconds on a slow surface. His Greenwood defense is so strong his numbers aren't as gaudy as others but don't get it twisted, he's a monster on the field. On a lesser team he's probably got numbers to put him in the top 3. Expect him to jump a few spots if he gets the good news about his test scores soon.
S Batts

#7

Steffon Batts

Ridge View HS

5'11 170 pounds

Batts has come on strong and has an offer and plenty of strong interest. Has the size and tools to turn that interest into more offers. Batts had 6 picks last year and 10 deflections. Reports a 4.4 second 40 which should be enticing for all parties interested and draw plenty of new attention for the Blazer. Batts also shines in the classroom with a 3.6 core GPA.
Q McClinton

#8

Quentin McClinton

J.L. Mann HS

5'7 165 pounds

Like Richardson people tend to shy away from McClinton because of his size. McClinton has D1 interest from a number of schools and he showed why at the Charlotte combine. What he lacks in size he makes up with speed and athleticism (4.56 second 40). With J.T. Floyd gone now he will be counted upon heavily to make plays in the defensive backfield. If he comes up with a strong start to his senior year expect him to start picking up some offers. We think right now schools are playing the waiting game to see how he performs.
N Carson

#9

Nick Carson

Hanahan HS

6'1 175 pounds

Here's another prospect who didn't get out much on the camp/combine circuit this offseason. We still like him to move up a few spots if he continues on his current trend of improvement. Great size and athleticism for a corner. In terms of potential he's got just about as much upside as anyone else on this list. Working against WR Brandon Ford everyday for the past few years obviously helped him and he's looking to turn it up a few notches this coming season. If he does, top 5 status is easily within reach we feel.

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