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Football breakdown: Pinellas defensive backs

Lakewood’s Xavius Boyd, here taking down Gibbs’ Marc Edwards last season, has moved from linebacker to safety. The switch is getting him noticed.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

Lakewood’s Xavius Boyd, here taking down Gibbs’ Marc Edwards last season, has moved from linebacker to safety. The switch is getting him noticed.

As the 2009 prep football season approaches, the Times will break down each position in the county. Today we take a look at defensive backs.

Top returning defensive backs

1. Dondre Davis, St. Petersburg: His seven interceptions last season were the most among returning defensive backs in the county. Davis also is a threat to score, returning two of those picks for touchdowns.

2. Xavius Boyd, Lakewood: After switching from linebacker to safety, Boyd turned heads in the spring and has offers from Colorado State, Iowa and Oregon State, among others.

3. Mac Brown, Gibbs: A two-way player, Brown is coveted by colleges for his speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at a combine in Orlando.

4. Jamarious Boatwright, Largo: The Packers' top returner in the secondary, Boatwright had 25 tackles and two interceptions last season.

5. Alex Dixon, Countryside: A first-time starter last season, Dixon had two interceptions. He got the attention of some college recruiters this spring.

6. Jason Wine, Largo: He was the most productive defensive back for the Packers last season with 34 tackles and three interceptions.

7. Darrien Wood, Tarpon Springs: At nearly 6 feet, Wood has the ideal height as a defensive back and will be patrolling the secondary for the Spongers.

8. Mitch Ronacher, Countryside: The Cougars safety led his team in interceptions with four last season.

9. Cameron Williams, Dixie Hollins: The tall, rangy defensive back already is getting looks from Division I schools.

10. Jovontae Johnson, Boca Ciega: He had three interceptions last season and is the top returner in a secondary that has four senior starters.

Keep an eye on

1. Josiah Fisk, Tarpon Springs: He should return to his form of two seasons ago when he led the county in interceptions.

2. Gary Gainer, Gibbs: Last season he was among the county's leading tacklers with 150. He is going from a linebacker to more of a safety position this year.

3. Jocquel Skinner, Boca Ciega: After sitting most of last season because of a leg injury, Skinner is ready to be an enforcer as a safety.

4. Jezreel Saunders, Dunedin: The Falcons lost every starter in the secondary and are counting on Saunders to provide tight coverage.

5. Antonio Aponte, Northeast: He came on late last season with a momentum-turning interception against Lakewood and another pick against Largo.

Football breakdown: Pinellas defensive backs 08/14/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 14, 2009 11:06pm]
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