While some states have elected to move high school football back to the
spring, several are forging ahead with plans for a 2020 fall season. We
are spotlighting the Top 50 defensive players to watch from the Class of
2021 from states playing in the fall.
Florida leads the way with 13 players selected. Texas and Georgia are up next with eight and five, respectively.
In total, 16 different states are represented. Palmetto (Miami) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) had the most players selected with three each while De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis), IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Northwestern (Miami) and Ryan (Denton, Texas) all had two.
This list excludes states that have officially announced they will be playing in the spring.
Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland,
Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia and Washington have all
stated they will not be playing football in the fall.
Top 50 defensive high school football players from Class of 2021 playing in the fall
S | 5-10 | 170 | Kansas
Led a very talented secondary with nine interceptions last season.
DE | 6-3 | 225 | uncommitted
The first of four players featured from Alabama checks in as the No. 6 weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2021.
LB | 6-2 | 240 | Georgia
The recent Georgia commit had 25.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in 2019.
DT | 6-0 | 280 | Missouri
Had a monster junior campaign for the Class 6 state champs finishing the year with 97 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 15 sacks.
CB | 6-0 | 175 | Texas A&M
Checks in as the top-rated player in Arkansas and is also a big-time playmaker on offense.
DT | 6-4 | 360 | Clemson
The 4-star Clemson commit is a Top 100 player overall and is the No. 4 rated defensive tackle on 247Sports composite rankings.
LB | 6-3 | 225 | Florida State
Flies around on defense and is one of the hardest hitting linebackers in the country.
CB | 5-11 | 180 | Florida State
The Tigers will be ranked in the Top 10 when we release our updated rankings and Washington will be a key player for Gary Joseph in 2020.
LB | 6-1 | 215 | Michigan
Racked up over 100 tackles during his junior season at Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and will make a huge impact for the defending 7A state champs this year.
S | 6-2 | 170 | uncommitted
The first of three players from Palmetto to make the list is announcing his college choice Aug. 10 live on CBS HQ
. His final three includes Florida, LSU and Miami.
DT | 6-5 | 290 | Auburn
Checks in as the No. 6 defensive tackle in the country and third-rated player in Alabama.
DT | 6-3 | 290 | Ohio State
The first of six Buckeye commits featured is the fifth-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2021.
DE | 6-3 | 235 | uncommitted
CB | 5-11 | 165 | Minnesota
Checks in as the top player in Nebraska and No. 8 cornerback in the country.
DE | 6-3 | 280 | uncommitted
Claude Mathis has one of the most talented teams in the Lone Star State and it all starts with Turner.
S | 6-2 | 180 | Ohio State
DE | 6-4 | 240 | Oklahoma
Big-time playmaker on both sides of the ball.
DE | 6-4 | 240 | Oklahoma
Joins Downs as the lone Oklahoma commits selected.
32. David Daniel, Woodstock (Ga.)
S | 6-1 | 180 | Georgia
Checks in as the No. 4 athlete in the country.
LB | 6-1 | 220 | Clemson
One of the best players from Georgia checks in as the No. 4 outside linebacker in the Class of 2021.
DE | 6-6 | 240 | LSU
Helped lead the Hawks to their second 4A Division 2 state title in three years last season racking up over 100 tackles and 16 sacks.
DT | 6-2 | 250 | Pittsburgh
The nephew of the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald is one of the best defensive lineman in high school football.
CB | 6-2 | 185 | uncommitted
The seventh-rated cornerback in the country is one of the best all-around players in high school football.
S | 5-11 | 190 | uncommitted
The 4-star safety gets it done at a high level on both sides of the ball.
DE | 6-5 | 250 | Tennessee
Checks in as the top-rated weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2021 and No. 2 player overall in Alabama.
DE | 6-1 | 230 | Michigan
The recent Michigan commit racked up 75 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and nine sacks for the Open Division runner-up.
LB | 6-3 | 225 | Ohio State
The second-rated inside linebacker in the Class of 2021 also makes an impact on offense. He rushed for over 1,500 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.
S | 6-0 | 180 | uncommitted
Has one of the most entertaining highlight tapes in the country.
CB | 6-2 | 180 | uncommitted
Checks in as the No. 2 cornerback on 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2021.
LB | 6-3 | 220 | uncommitted
The 5-star playmaker checks in as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country and is also a big-time playmaker at running back.
S | 5-11 | 200 | Miami
Finished his junior season with 74 tackles and a team-high nine interceptions for the three-time defending state champs.
19. Tyreak Sapp, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
DE | 6-2 | 255 | Florida
Was a key player for the 7A state champs as a junior and expect a huge senior season if there is football in the Sunshine State this fall.
DE | 6-1 | 235 | Oregon
Helped lead the Wolves to their fourth consecutive state title and finished his junior season with 24 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.
LB | 6-3 | 215 | uncommitted
Transferred to IMG Academy earlier this summer and is one of the most versatile players in high school football.
S | 6-1 | 195 | uncommitted
Checks in as the No. 2 safety in the Class of 2021.
DT | 6-3 | 300 | uncommitted
Checks in as the top recruit in the state and the 4-star defensive tackle is also a standout baseball player.
14. Ja’Tavion Sanders, Ryan (Denton, Texas)
DE | 6-3.5 | 220 | Texas
The 5-star defensive end is a matchup nightmare on both sides of the ball.
DT | 6-3 | 295 | Alabama
Racked up double-digit sacks and did not allow a sack during his junior season playing on both sides of the line.
LB | 6-1 | 205 | North Carolina
Helped the Cougars to their first state title in school history last season. Named the MVP of the championship game and finished his junior year with 156 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.
LB | 6-2 | 245 | Alabama
Missed his junior season with a torn ACL but expect him to bounce back in a huge way for one of the top programs in the country.
DT | 6-4 | 255 | Miami
Committed to the University of Miami earlier this week and checks in as the No. 3 defensive tackle on 247Sports composite rankings.
DE | 6-4 | 235 | Alabama
Finished his junior season with 15 sacks at American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) and will make a huge impact for St. Thomas Aquinas in 2020.
CB | 6-1 | 175 | Ohio State
Picked off seven passes as a junior and will be the leader on a team ranked in the Top 25 to begin the 2020 season.
CB | 5-11.5 | 175 | uncommitted
The top-rated cornerback in the country is also a big-time playmaker at wide receiver.
DT | 6-5 | 315 | uncommitted
CB | 5-10 | 175 | Texas
Joins his teammate Sanders on the list and expect them to be ranked in the Top 25 when we release our updated rankings later this month.
LB | 6-0 | 210 | Clemson
The top-rated inside linebacker in the country will be the leader on defense for one of the best teams in high school football.
LB | 6-1 | 200 | Tennessee
Checks in as the No. 1 outside linebacker in the Class of 2021 and racked up over 100 tackles for the 5A state champs last season.
DE | 6-5 | 250 | Ohio State
Racked up 16.5 sacks and accounted for 15 touchdowns as a quarterback in 2019.
S | 6-5 | 220 | Miami
The top-rated player in the Sunshine State had 62 tackles and six interceptions during his junior season at Western (Davie, Fla.).