|Photo by Chris Martinez of DB Nation|
For teams looking to stock up on shutdown cornerbacks or playmakers, there's eight prospects that could become a potential prized gift in the secondary.
Here's a look at some underrated 2013 defensive backs that have the potential to make someone happy in the secondary this holiday season and when the fall comes around:
C.J. BROUSSARD, CLOVIS
It's perplexing to me how Broussard (photo) only sits on one offer from Azusa Pacific. He has begun to generate more interest from the likes of Oregon State and Eastern Washington, but all this guy has done is become one of the main cornerstones of a Clovis High defense that's been the best in the Central Section for two straight years.
The 6-foot-tall, 180-pound cornerback was the Cougars' top shutdown man. His long arms and instincts earned him the swat down artist title. He's also unafraid of exploding into a wide receiver in a jump ball sequence.
His hands, instincts and long arms make him a valuable lock down guy. He still needs to refine his press coverage since he played mainly in a zone scheme, but he's got a lot of attributes that should generate more interest from a number of schools.
MORE ON BROUSSARD: http://caligoldmine.blogspot.com/2012/08/broussard-closes-in.html
KALAN MONTGOMERY, DOMINGUEZ-COMPTON
Montgomery is a tall corner at roughly 6-foot-2. Size like that has become popular among teams seeking a cornerback, since they have enough size to match up with a tall, possession-type wide receiver.
Montgomery's hands are wide receiver soft and mainly excels in a zone coverage. He does show good closing instincts on angle pursuits and tackles. However, he hasn't shown a lot in press coverage and his tackling ability isn't the strongest, since he tends to come up too high or resort to try and arm tackle a guy.
His size, arms and hands, however, has earned him four offers from San Diego State, Hawaii, Colorado State and Arizona. He can be effective for a team that prefers a zone scheme over man-to-man, like a 4-2-5 look or 3-3-5.
MORE ON MONTGOMERY: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1041318/kalan-montgomery
CHIDOBE AWUZIE, OAK GROVE-SAN JOSE
Awuzie is currently sitting on five offers, but after watching his athleticism and versatility, he clearly should have more.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Silicon Valley star is a do-everything type for Oak Grove. He'll line up at wide receiver, take hand-offs, grab returns, block punts/field goals and finally, bring his versatility to the defensive side of the football, which earned him the title of top defensive player at Passing Down's 2012 Best-Of-The-West State Finals.
Awuzie is athletic enough to line up either at safety or cornerback. His 4.3 40-yard dash speed is what makes him a dangerous chess piece for the Oak Grove defense. They've moved him around to disrupt screens and outside runs, plus his blazing speed and jumping ability will make him very effective against the deep ball.
He'll likely need some bulk, plus decide where to play. In the end, his physical skills has made him one of the more underrated defensive backs in the 2013 California class. He'll also be on display at Saturday's Cal State Game at Visalia's Mineral King Bowl.
MORE ON AWUZIE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfH65X-a6KU
ELIJAH MITCHELL, ELEANOR ROOSEVELT-CORONA
Like Awuzie, Mitchell is another cover man armed with five offers and a 4.3 40-yard dash.
And, like Awuzie, he could use more love on the recruiting trail.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Mitchell is a physical player who can deliver some viscous pops especially versus the bubble screen pass. He doesn't rely on a wrap-and-roll tackling technique, his film shows a player who prefers running through a ball carrier and making the big hit.
He has the speed to blanket a receiver in man-to-man coverage. He's still not a complete cornerback because of his size, bulk, and some flaws in his angle pursuits. However, Mitchell is an aggressive player who can probably build off of his Boise State, Army, Wyoming, Colorado State and New Mexico State offers.
MORE ON MITCHELL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2vKiKgoUYg
ARMOND HAWKINS, RANCHO CUCAMONGA
Hawkins brings plenty of speed and instincts and holds three offers (Idaho, Eastern Michigan and North Dakota). Like most of the guys on this list, he too is an aggressive player who goes for the big hit over the wrap-and-roll tackle.
His size at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds is a drawback. Same with his bulk. He does, however, have excellent instincts for the football and can step up in run support. He'll also need to refine his press ability, but he's also going to be on display at the Cal State game and potentially grab more looks.
MORE ON HAWKINS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u_d9MvUQ-E
RAFEAL ARELLANO, LOMPOC
For all the talk at Lompoc about running back Lavon Coleman (Washington commit) and 2014 defensive line/tight end prospect Ainuu Taua (PAC-12, Mountain West and Southeastern Conference offers), it was Arellano who sneaked away with the Los Padres League Most Valuable Player honor for the Braves.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Arellano was another do-everything type on the football field. His head coach Andrew Jones has described Arellano as one of his favorite players because of his willingness to play multiple positions. Arellano scored six touchdowns rushing, five receiving and added one touchdown pass on offense too. His defensive play, however, is what could lead to his permanent home at the next level.
Arellano Grabbed 44 total tackles from his cornerback spot. He was also an active blitzer with three sacks from the secondary. He snatched up six interceptions for a fast and physical Braves defense, with two of those picks against Serra-Gardena.
It will be interesting to see where Arellano lines up at in the college ranks. His versatility makes him a hidden gem in the 805.
DANIEL GONZALEZ, REDLANDS EAST VALLEY
Though he may be considered small at 5-foot-10, 177-pounds, Gonzalez's speed and jumping ability make him worth a look.
Gonzalez, who also doubled at wide receiver for Redlands East Valley, has soft hands and once he sees daylight with the football in his hands, forget it. His 4.41 40-yard-dash time makes few people catch up to him when he's returning the ball for a touchdown. He uses that same speed to close in quick on passes, even the ones away from him. His nose for the football is another strength. What turned my head, though, was his jumping ability for a guy his height. His best vertical jump is 37".
Right now, Gonzalez has Air Force and Navy on the table. Maybe he can grab a few more late offers. His next defense can potentially get a fast and athletic cover man.
MORE ON GONZALEZ: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/78194/daniel-gonzales
LORENZO TERRY, WEST VALLEY-HEMET
Just know this, when Terry touches the football, regardless if its on offense or defense, he'll either take it inside his opponents' red zone or score.
The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Terry was one of the more dynamic players down in the Inland Empire and a threat to take it in for six each time he touched the football. The WR/DB was one of the faster players for West Valley and got an invite to the Oregon camp this past summer.
Terry's bulk and size is likely one reason why the interest hasn't been there on the scholarship front. Make no mistake, though, his hustle, speed and explosive playmaking ability can make him a steal for someone.
MORE ON TERRY: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1726390/lorenzo-terry