For the past week, The Observer has ranked the top five prospects in the Carolinas by position as we track their recruiting. Today we present the best defensive backs in the area. The first four of these players are members of their state’s Observer Top 25 prospects list.
If you missed any of the rankings, check our College Recruiting blog. And if you have a question or can think of a player we’ve missed, email me at email@example.com
1/KEENAN ALLEN, Northern Guilford: A remarkable athlete, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound Allen could play WR at a high level. But he has most schools thinking of him as a safety, and last year he had 48 tackles and nine interceptions at the position. He also caught 42 passes for 709 yards and rushed for 554, scoring a total of 19 times. He recently said his top five schools are Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, California and North Carolina, although he has offers from many more.
2/VICTOR HAMPTON, Independence: Start with ten interceptions and 50 tackles as a junior, a proclamation from coach Tom Knotts that Hampton is a “Sunday afternoon” player, and an early offer from and commitment to Florida. Hampton (5-9, 168 pounds) has good aggressiveness and closing speed, and he’s been clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His long arms make him play more like he’s 5-11.
3/DEANDRE HOPKINS, Central (S.C.) Daniel: While Hopkins would prefer to play wide receiver, he is one of the best shutdown corners in the country with his quickness and 6-2, 175-pound frame. Hopkins has 23 interceptions over the past two seasons, including 14 as a sophomore when he set a state record. Last season while playing both offense and defense, he led Daniel to its second straight Western 3A title. He’s already committed to Clemson.
4/JOHN FULTON, Manning (S.C.): Some had early doubts about Fulton’s ability to play cornerback, but no longer. Not after he dominated opponents in recent combine one-on-one drills. He has 4.39 speed, good change of direction and the confidence needed to play CB. He also has a pile of offers, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland.
5/DAVID AMERSON, Greensboro Dudley: Amerson dramatically boosted his stock at several area combines. His 6-1, 177-pound frame projects him as a college safety, but he has been impressive in man coverage. He runs a 4.48 40-yard dash, has a 36-inch vertical leap and had nine interceptions a year ago. N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Wake Forest are his early favorites.
Independence's Victor Hampton had 10 interceptions and 50 tackles as a junior, and he has committed to Florida. YALONDA M. JAMES – firstname.lastname@example.org