As the 2010 prep football season approaches, the St. Petersburg Times breaks down each position on the North Suncoast. Today we wrap up the series with a look at defensive backs.
1. Jamie Byrd, Pasco: Leader of one of the area’s top secondary units, Byrd is known for hard hits, great skills and a good football lineage (his father played for the 1992 state title team). He led the North Suncoast with 129 tackles and was named North Suncoast defensive player of the year in 2009. Byrd has offers from Purdue and Florida Atlantic, among others. At 6 feet, 180 pounds, Byrd would be the pulse of most defenses, and that certainly applies to Pasco’s.
2. Brenton Nuby, Nature Coast: The Sharks’ third leading tackler in 2009 finished with 99. Most impressive were his four interceptions, including some key ones down the stretch. Things didn’t work out for Nuby at quarterback in the spring, but the result could be better defensive play with less to worry about on offense. He also had three pass deflections, a caused fumble and a fumble recovery in 2009.
3. Isaac Bailey, Nature Coast: Another solid player in the Sharks’ secondary. Bailey finished with 46 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a caused fumble. Coach Mark Nash describes him as a shut-down corner, great in man coverage with good route-reading ability and a constant eye on the quarterback.
4. Mike Clower, Pasco: One of the more punishing hitters around, Clower finished with 26 tackles, three interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries last season. He’s quick, big and hungry to make plays.
5. Derrick Wilson, Hernando: Finished last season with 41 tackles and three interceptions — all in late October victories. The 6-foot, 175-pound corner possesses many of necessary skills to blanket receivers, registering six pass deflections and a caused fumble. Look for Wilson to have an even better season as a senior.
Keep an eye on
Nico Watts, Land O’Lakes: Described by coach Matt Kitchie as a shutdown corner, Watts finished with 27 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
Trey Dudley-Giles, Pasco: Finished with 35 tackles, four pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a caused fumble.
Ty’Shon Peters, Gulf: The Buccaneers’ only returning starting defensive back from last season has solid cover skills and is a good hitter.
Ryan Patterson, Anclote: New player (6-1, 170) has shown he has good hands and hits hard at the safety spot.
Other stories in this series