Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.


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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.