San Angelo area defensive backs to watch

San Angelo area defensive backs to watch

San Angelo area defensive backs to watch


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Texas high school football is just weeks away from fall practices, and excitement is building as fans, players and coaches with high aspirations anticipate the return of Friday night lights in West Texas.

Despite the turnover of departing senior classes, many of the nearly 40 teams in the Standard time The coverage area retained a lot of young talent, while also bringing in some new faces, looking to make their mark in the 2024 season.

Before the season starts, the Standard time It will highlight the best local players in seven position groups: quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, offensive linemen, defensive backs, defensive linemen and linebackers.

Today, we highlight the top returning defensive backs to watch in West Texas.

Hagyn Barbee, Sr., Wall

For the past two seasons, Wall set the tone for his program on defense. Last season, Barbee was a huge factor in the secondary, generating four interceptions, 48 ​​tackles, two tackles for loss and three passes defensed during the Hawks’ trip to the Region I final. At the end of the season, he was named to the District 2-3A Division II All-Defensive First Team.

Ethan Busch, Sr., Christoval

Busch played a crucial role for the Cougars as a utility player on both sides. However, his time in the defensive secondary was where he shined the most, with 49 tackles, three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, eight passes defensed and five interceptions. He was awarded a spot on the all-district first team and the West Texas all-defense first team.

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Cooper Ellison, Sr., Miles

Ellison was a force for the Bulldogs on offense and defense last season, helping them win their first playoff game in years against Sterling City. Defensively, he racked up 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. In coverage, he was a blocking defender with five passes defensed and four interceptions. He finished the season as a first-team all-district and second-team all-West Texas defensive selection.

Dylan Ford, Sr., Sonora

Ford was a ball-rushing defensive back for the 2023 Broncos on their way to the third round of the playoffs. He had 37 tackles, five interceptions and four forced fumbles during his junior year, and was named to the All-District and All-West Texas Defensive First Team. Ford was also named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Class 2A Preseason All-State Team.

Briggs Jones, Sr., Wall

Jones was paired with Barbee in a stifling defensive backfield for the Hawks that gave up nine points per game in 2023. He finished the season with 24 tackles, one tackle for loss, six passes defensed and three interceptions, earning a spot on the first-team all-district defense and second-team all-West Texas defense.

Andre Rushin, Jr., Coahoma

As a sophomore, Rushin was a standout player in the Bulldogs’ defensive backfield and is one of five returning starters in 2024. Last year, he finished the season with 26 tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions, and he figures to be a focal point this year.

Luke Sanderson, Sr., Goldthwaite

Sanderson was selected to the District 5-2A Division I and All-West Texas first-team defense in 2023. He accumulated 97 tackles, six forced fumbles, five passes defensed, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, two defensive touchdowns and one sack.

Brenner Sherwood, Jr., Robert Lee

Sherwood was an impact player on both sides of the ball for the Steers in 2023. However, his defensive prowess earned him a spot on the six-man All-District and All-West Texas team after recording 75 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble. Sherwood was also named the District 13-A Division I Rookie of the Year.

Mason Vansickle, Jr., Center

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Despite playing outside linebacker for most of last season, Vansickle projects to be a defensive back in 2024. He racked up 101 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions last season, earning a spot on the All-District and All-West Texas second teams.

Michael Daniels, Sr., Ozone

Daniels was a rising star all season for the Lions. As a defensive back, he finished the season with 85 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and one fumble recovery, earning him a spot on the All-West Texas second team.

Honorable Mention

Tevin Meade, Sr., Miles; Brylan White, Jr., Lake View.

Paul Witwer covers high school and Angelo State University sports for The San Angelo Standard-Times. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, @Paul_Witwer