This is an average year for cornerbacks, one of the most difficult positions for college recruiters and NFL scouts to fill. They have to be the most athletic of all players, able to run backward as fast as wide receivers run forward and defend against them. In the end, they usually are found playing other positions.
1. Jabriel Washington of Jackson, Tenn., is a 5-11, 165-pounder with 4.5 speed who is rated as the No. 57 player in the nation. He is committed to Alabama, which has recruited a stable of gifted defensive backs in recent years. He is an outstanding quarterback on offense but is even more valuable on defense. Alabama jumped on him early.
2. Josh Turner of Oklahoma City, Okla., is a 6-1, 175-pounder with 4.5 speed who is the No. 73 player in the nation. He is the top-rated player in Oklahoma. He is committed to Texas. An outstanding athlete, he was recruited as a wide receiver and cornerback.
3. Albert Louis-Jean of Brockton, Mass., is a 6-1, 180-pounder with 4.47 speed who is the No. 75 player in the nation. An outstanding athlete, he is the top-rated prospect in Massachusetts. He is committed to Miami (Fla.) but since the firing of coach Randy Shannon he has opened up his recruiting.
4. Doran Grant of Akron, Ohio, is a 5-11, 190-pounder with 4.4 speed who is the No. 90 player in the nation. He is expected to chose Ohio State or Michigan State. His father played at Michigan State. He is a great all-around athlete. His reputation preceded him. Opponents opted to stay away from him. No one threw in his direction.
5. Nick Waisome of Groveland, Fla., is a 5-10, 170-pounder with 4.4 speed who is expected to commit to Florida or Florida State. A good cover corner, he can turn and run with the best of them.
6. Blake Countess of Olney, Md., is a 5-10, 173-pounder with 4.4 speed. I didn't rate him high early but I saw him play and I think he has as much potential as any cornerback in the nation. He always anticipates well and always is around the ball. He recently committed to Michigan.
7. Jermaine Whitehead of Greenwood, Miss., is a 6-0, 183-pounder with 4.5 speed who is one of the top three players in Mississippi. He isn't super fast. He has been timed in 11.1 seconds for 100 meters. But he can play the game, makes few missteps and has great timing and anticipation. He is committed to Mississippi State.
8. Marcus Roberson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a 6-1, 180-pounder with 4.5 speed who plays in the leading program in the nation, St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. He has come on strong and will play safety or cornerback in college. Uncommitted, he is considering Florida, Notre Dame, Miami, Illinois, Oklahoma, Purdue, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and Texas Tech.
9. Sheroid Evans of Sugar Land, Texas, is a 6-0, 182-pounder with 4.35 speed who is the fastest of all cornerbacks. He can make up for mistakes with a great burst of speed. He is committed to Texas.
10. Terrell Chestnut of Pottstown, Pa., is a 5-11, 176-pounder with 4.5 speed who is one of the most physical cornerbacks in the class. He will play cornerback or safety in college. He has excellent football speed, great 10-yard bursts. Uncommitted, he is considering Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia, Temple, Michigan, Michigan State, Duke, Boston College, Syracuse and Connecticut.