It is a very good year for safeties. The top four in the nation are Florida products. It is a big and aggressive and exceptionally productive class, one of the most talented groups I have seen.
1. Karlos Williams of Davenport, Fla., is a 6-2, 210-pounder who is the No. 9 player in the nation. He is committed to Florida State. He had outstanding seasons as a junior and senior. He made 105 tackles this year. He is a threat to make a game-changing play with an interception or a hit. He benches 350 pounds.
2. Wayne Lyons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a 6-0, 185-pounder who is the No. 16 player in the nation. Unfortunately, he missed most of his senior season with a knee injury. When he is healthy, he is one of the premier playmakers in the country. He was the best defensive player at the San Antonio combine last January. Uncommitted, he is considering Stanford, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Florida.
3. Cortez Davis of Daytona Beach, Fla., is a 6-4, 190-pounder who is the No. 43 player in the nation. He is an outstanding basketball player and has as much potential as any safety in the class. He thinks of himself as a basketball player. If he concentrates on football, I believe he could be an All-American. In high school, he is a cornerback at 6-4. He will play safety in college. He is committed to Clemson.
4. Hasean Clinton-Dix of Orlando, Fla., is a 6-2, 200-pounder who is the No. 55 player in the nation. He is committed to Alabama. He had a very good senior year. He is big and aggressive and tough like Karlos Williams. He will be an impact player in college.
5. Ron Tanner of Columbus, Ohio, is a 6-1, 190-pounder who is rated as the No. 80 player in the nation. Of all the recruiting analysts, I'm the only one who has him rated among the top 100. Why? He is a great open field tackler and has good ball instincts. He is committed to Ohio State. He has all the tools, size and speed.
6. Erique Florence of Valley, Ala., is a 6-2, 200-pounder who is the No. 93 player in the nation. Uncommitted, he is considering Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
7. Ronny VanDyke of Lorton, Va., is a 6-3, 193-pounder who is the No. 98 player in the nation. He is committed to Virginia Tech. He missed his junior year because of injuries but came on strong this season. He has great athletic skills and is an outstanding tackler in the open field.
8. Dondi Kirby of Monroeville, Pa., is a 6-3, 200-pounder who was one of the best prospects in an otherwise weak year for talent in western Pennsylvania. He played cornerback and safety but will be a safety in college. He could grow into a linebacker. He is very physical and plays sideline to sideline. Uncommitted, he is considering Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Indiana, West Virginia, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Maryland and North Carolina.
9. Avery Walls of McDonough, Ga., is a 5-11, 185-pounder who was one of the best athletes in Georgia. He played cornerback, running back, wide receiver, safety and returned kicks. He provides good production wherever he plays. He likely will choose Oregon or Michigan or California.
10. James Sample of Sacramento, Calif., is a 6-3, 185-pounder who could be an impact player if he chooses to work at it. He has size and 4.5 speed and great potential. Uncommitted, he is considering Washington, USC, UCLA, California, Oregon, Arizona State, Washington State and Arizona.