CSTV Recruiting with Tom Lemming|
Sept. 20, 2005
By Tom Lemming
Special to CSTV.com
1. Taylor Mays, O'Dea (
Taylor Mays, easily the best player in the northwest, heads the best class of safeties in a decade. The top spot had previously been occupied by Myron Rolle (No. 2), but Mays' fantastic start for O'Dea has vaulted him to No. 1. As far as size and speed, there's nobody that can compare to him nationally. He's reminiscent of former Seattle Seahawk Kenny Easley in speed, instincts and overall football ability. Mays, who recorded 89 tackles and five picks in 2004, is the state sprint champion (running the 100 meters in 10.5), and also the state's best punt and kickoff returner (having returned three punts for TDs last year). He's committed to USC.
2. Myron Rolle, The
Rolle is a very efficient and smart player who does everything well. He plays running back and defensive back but is best-suited to be either a free safety or strong safety in college. He's the most dominating defensive back in the country, showing exceptional lateral quickness, range and closing speed. On offense, he scampered for 1,501 yards and 16 scores on 142 carries in 2004, with 83 tackles, six sacks, 27 tackles for losses and 4 interceptions on the other side of the ball. It's worth noting that he has the size to possibly grow into a linebacker in a couple years. Rolle has committed to Florida State.
3. Jonas Mouton,
Mouton's a thumper; he hits like a linebacker but also has the cover skills of a cornerback. The
4. Riley Cooper, Central Catholic (
Cooper is another guy who's been impressive as an athlete. He's got perhaps the best range of all the safeties, instincts and he can catch on offense and defense. He's not a hitter -- not a real physical guy -- but as far as natural athleticism, he's one of the best around. Cooper is being hotly pursued by everybody because he's also one of the best baseball players in the state of
5. Sergio Brown, Proviso East (
Brown, who has received over 25 offers entering his senior year, is the fastest among the safeties. His 4.39 speed has college coaches very excited about his prospects. As far as safeties go, he's probably the most productive of the whole bunch: he had six interceptions last year and returned five for touchdowns (including a 99-yarder). He's from the same high school that produced Ed O'Bradovich and Ray Nitschke (for football), and Jim Brewer and
6. Antwine Perez, Wilson (N.J.), 6-1, 200 lbs., 4.5
7. Justin Woodall, Lafayette (
Woodall is the most productive guy on the list. His 16 interceptions as a junior in 2004 established a new
8. Steve Brown, Columbus East (
Brown can fly, can hit and can run. A versatile athlete with five-star skills at wide receiver, tailback and defensive back, he plays some corner but will wind up playing free safety in college. His range is incredible and his speed for the ball is second to none, too. Brown carried 75 times for 700 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 400 yards and four scores. On defense, he notched 34 tackles, picked off three passes and batted down five others. He's committed to
9. Lance Kendricks, King (
Kendricks is a track athlete that's making the conversion to football and doing it well. His hands might be questionable as an offensive player, but not on defense. This guy can run, and can come up and stop the run. Kendricks is very good in pass coverage, picking off six passes in 2004 and returning half of them for touchdowns -- including a 99-yarder you have to see to believe. As far as athletic ability, he might be the best of all of them; this guy is one of the top hurdlers in the country.
10. Daniel Johnson, Spring Woods (
This is another guy with great range and hitting ability. He plays in an extremely tough