Mississippi Gridiron identifies the top ten high school defensive backs as we enter the 2011 season. This ranking is based on several factors and conversations with high school coaches and recruiting professionals, with consideration to a player’s potential but an emphasis on on-the-field production in high school. The list of great players in this state is a long one and some may be left off, but this will get the conversation started as we identify the best players in Mississippi.
1. Tony Conner (6’2, 205, JR) South Panola
2010 Stats: 89 tackles and four interceptions, rushed for 410 yards and six touchdowns on 34 carries
Conner will be Mississippi’s most sought after recruit next season, and is arguably the top football in the Magnolia state this season. He could be on top of several position lists, but is tops among defensive backs based on what he did last season.
2. Adarrius Perkins (6’2, 215, SR) Forrest County AHS
2010 Stats: 70 tackles and five interceptions, caught 20 passes
Perkins is the 79th ranked safety prospect in the country according to Scout.com. He has scholarship offers from all of the in-state schools, as well as Memphis and Arkansas State. Perkins was a second team All-State selection last year by Mississippi coaches.
3. Cedric Jiles (5’10, 175, SR) Clinton
2010 Stats: 30 tackles, one interception
Jiles is arguably the top cornerback prospect in Mississippi according to most recruiting sites. He is the 91stranked cornerback in the nation according to Scout.com. Jiles is a Mississippi State commitment.
4. Leonard Pegues (5’11, 200, SR) Olive Branch
2010 Stats: 67 tackles
Pegues is versatile defender for Olive Branch, and could play either linebacker or safety in college. Pegues already has received scholarship offers from Memphis, UAB and Tennessee State.
5. Cordaryl Weathersby (5’9, 160, SR) Pascagoula
2010 Stats: 73 tackles and two interceptions
Weathersby was a First Team All-6A selection last season by the Mississippi coaches. Weathersby is undersized, but his coverage skills receive high praise from area coaches.
6. Travonte Fenton (6’1, 185, SR) Oak Grove
Fenton has already attracted scholarship offers from Southern Miss and Arkansas State. He was a Second Team All-6A selection last season by Mississippi coaches.
7. Nigel Green (6’0, 165, SR) Northwest Rankin
2010 Stats: 89 tackles, 12 passes broken up, three interceptions
Green put up great numbers for Northwest Rankin last season. Green has received heavy interest from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and is receiving interest from the in-state schools. Green is one of the faster defensive backs in the state, clocking 40-yard times of 4.4 in summer camps.
8. Austin Shumpert (6’0, 175, SR) Itawamba AHS
Shumper was a First Team All-4A selection last season by Mississippi coaches.
9. Jabril Cox (5’9, 175, SR) Meridian
2010 Stats: 21 tackles and two interceptions
Cox is one of the state’s better cover cornerbacks, and also one of the most versatile. He also is expected to line up under center for Meridian this season.
10. Greg Sims (5’10, 180, SR) Brookhaven
Sims was a First Team All-5A selection last season by Mississippi coaches.
Best of the Rest
Chris Conard (5’11, 190, SR) Water Valley, Jamie Edwards (5’8, 155, SR) Gulfport, Cade Eiland (5’10, 185, SR) Simpson, David Hogsett (5’11, 185, SR) Durant, Montrel Jordan (5’11, 185, JR) Philadelphia,Kevonce McDonald (5’10, 160, SR) Gautier, Ryan McGregor (6’2, 170, SR) River Oaks, Irving Spikes Jr(6’2, 215, SR) Resurrection, Ricky Tappan (5’10, 180, SR) Desoto Central, Travez Taylor (5’10, 175, SR) North Pike, Christian Twillie (6’0, 170, SR) Long Beach.