Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Good Night, Sleep Tight Super 11 Features 7 Who Cover like Blankets

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Good Night, Sleep Tight Super 11 Features 7 Who Cover like Blankets

Article excerpt

For protection against auto accidents, fires and illness, college football coaches pay for insurance like anyone else. But their need for coverage doesn't end there. They need it in their defensive backfields, too.

And this year, they'll be shopping for it on the First Coast.

The 1999 Times-Union Super 11 team, made up of the top 11 college football prospects in a coverage area that spans around 40 high schools, includes seven players who could end up playing defensive back at the college level.

"There are some guys who are already highly thought of and some more who aren't yet but will be," said one Southeastern Conference assistant coach, who required anonymity because the NCAA prohibits coaches from commenting on recruits.

Need a man-to-man specialist to play cornerback? Raines' Bobby Britton can insure against the deep pass just fine.

Clay's Mandrell Vaughn could fit the same order.

Matt Jackson, however, is already taken. Jackson, a cornerback prospect at Live Oak Suwannee, already has become the first commitment for the Florida Gators.

How about a big, tough strong safety? Jackson's Carl Walker and Columbia's Tre Orr will be among the most recruited players in the state at any position.

Of course, every secondary needs a speedy, instinctive free safety. Look no further than Bolles' Mark Dorsey, a 180pounder who blistered sub-4.5 40-yard dashes this summer at Notre Dame's football camp and Ohio State's as well.

Finally, Sandalwood's Ronnie Powell is a promising prospect at several positions, including cornerback and free safety.

"There's a complete secondary there [in Northeast Florida] and then some," said the same coach. "There's a lot of speed, a lot of talent at that position. There's not much in the way of linemen, maybe two or three, but yeah, there are some nice DBs there."

Rounding out the Super 11 are a pair from Ed White, end Marcus Johnson and guard Earnest Smith, Bolles tight end Johnathan Jackson and Ribault wide receiver Silas Daniels. Johnathan Jackson has already committed to Georgia Tech.

But make no mistake: If ever a year in Jacksonville has belonged to a specific position, 1999 is the year of the defensive back. Daniels, the next in a long line of college-bound wide receivers from Ribault, will battle many of these defensive backs this season.

"I try to do what it takes from week to week," Daniels said. "Sometimes that means running by the man, sometimes it means outsmarting the man, or getting physical with him. I look for the weakness."

This fall, he'll have to look hard.

The best of the secondary bunch may well be Walker, a pure safety who has a reputation as a vicious hitter.

"If we only get one guy in Jacksonville, Walker would probably be the choice," another college coach said. …

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