Utah kicked off the fall high school football season last Thursday and six more states will join the fray this week. To help set the stage for the 2020 campaign, we are breaking down the top players on both sides of the ball in each class.
This installment puts the spotlight on the top defensive players in the Class of 2022 that will take the field in the coming weeks, a group headlined by positions always in need – pass-rushing defensive ends and lockdown cornerbacks.
Texas leads the way with 11 players selected followed by Florida (10) and Georgia (9). In total, 15 different states are represented and eight had more than one player featured.
Currently, 35 states are set to play football in the fall. California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota,
Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington have announced they will not be playing football in the fall. The
District of Columbia also moved to 2021.
Top 50 Class of 2022 Defensive Players This Fall
CB | 6-1 | 170 | Uncommitted
Will be the leader on defense for one of the top programs in the Peach State.
LB | 6-4 | 210 | Uncommitted
Four-star linebacker was selected to the 5A all-state first team as a sophomore.
CB | 5-11 | 185 | Uncommitted
Jordan and 2021 Texas commit Billy Bowman
will give the Raiders one of the top secondaries in the country this fall.
S | 6-0 | 185 | Uncommitted
LB | 6-4 | 225 | Uncommitted
Checks in as the No. 6 weakside defensive end in the 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2022.
DE | 6-5 | 255 | Uncommitted
Can line up anywhere on the defensive line and is the sixth-rated player overall in Georgia.
DE | 6-5 | 250 | Uncommitted
No. 1 recruit in the state racked up 100 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks as a sophomore.
CB | 5-11 | 165 | Ohio State
Transferred from Warren Easton (New Orleans) in June and will be a huge addition for Tom Bolden's defense.
LB | 6-2 | 220 | Georgia
First of two Georgia commits featured is a playmaker on both sides of the ball.
DE | 6-3 | 205 | Uncommitted
Checks in as the No. 7 rated weakside defensive end in the Class of 2022.
S | 6-0 | 190 | Uncommitted
No. 4-rated safety among juniors and a Top 100 recruit overall.
CB | 6-1 | 180 | Uncommitted
First of three Tigers featured will help give Katy one of the top secondaries this fall.
S | 6-2 | 215 | Wisconsin
Recently committed to the Badgers, one of the most physical safeties in high school football.
S | 6-4 | 220 | Ohio State
Hard-hitting safety will most likely transition to linebacker at the next level because of his size and physicality.
CB | 5-11 | 175 | Uncommitted
Helped lead Parkview to the 7A state semifinals last season. Expect him to make a huge impact for his new school in 2020.
CB | 6-0 | 160 | LSU
Checks in as the top-rated player in Mississippi and is the first of three LSU commits selected.
DE | 6-3 | 280 | Uncommitted
DE | 6-4.5 | 215 | Uncommitted
Helped lead the Lions to their third consecutive 3A state title last season.
LB | 6-2 | 210 | Uncommitted
Was the leader on defense for Gary Joseph as a sophomore and helped lead Katy to a 12-1 record and spot at No. 15 in the final Top 25 national rankings.
LB | 6-1 | 210 | Alabama
Top-rated inside linebacker in the state committed to Alabama in June.
DE | 6-4 | 275 | Uncommitted
Bill Castle has had a lot of great players during his head coaching career at Lakeland and Brownlow-Dindy is next up.
DE | 6-4 | 235 | Uncommitted
The Warriors will have one of the best defenses in the state and Cooper IV will be a huge reason why.
DT | 6-2 | 280 | Uncommitted
Helped lead the Cougars to their fourth consecutive state title last season and will have them in contention for a five-peat.
CB | 6-0 | 165 | Uncommitted
Four-star defensive back had four interceptions as a sophomore and will help give Patrick Surtain's team one of the best secondaries in high school football.
LB | 6-1 | 195 | Uncommitted
Played a huge role on defense for the 6A state champs last season.
CB | 6-1 | 200 | Uncommitted
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is scheduled to make an announcement on Aug. 21 to decide if it will play in the fall. If it does, Nelson Jr. will be a can't-miss player to watch for the back-to-back 6A state champs.
DT | 6-2 | 250 | Uncommitted
Alabama is set to kickoff next weekend and the 4-star defensive lineman opens up against Auburn High on Aug. 21.
LB | 6-3 | 230 | Oklahoma
Future Sooner is the third-rated outside linebacker among juniors.
LB | 6-4 | 220 | Ohio State
Checks in as the top-rated player in Ohio and No. 1 outside linebacker in the Class of 2022.
DE | 6-4 | 240 | Uncommitted
Panthers are loaded with talent and will begin the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally. Abor is the top-rated strongside defensive end in the Class of 2022 and is also a standout basketball player.
CB | 6-1 | 175 | Uncommitted
No. 1 player in the state is one of the most physical cornerbacks in the country.
CB | 6-2 | 180 | Uncommitted
Helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 6A state title last season.
CB | 6-2 | 190 | Uncommitted
Missed sophomore season with an injury but expect him to bounce back in a big way in 2020.
S | 5-11 | 190 | LSU
Four-star safety is one of the best playmakers in Texas on both sides of the ball.
CB | 6-0 | 180 | Georgia
One of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the country.
S | 6-1 | 195 | Uncommitted
Recently transferred to IMG Academy and will line up everywhere on defense and make a huge impact.
S | 6-0 | 180 | LSU
Led the Bearcats in tackles (122) and interceptions (3) as a sophomore, helping Aledo win its ninth state title.
CB | 6-1 | 170 | Uncommitted
Checks in as the top-rated defensive back in Florida.
LB | 6-3 | 190 | Uncommitted
Played a major role on defense for the defending 7A state champs as a sophomore.
S | 6-5 | 220 | Ohio State
Has the potential to be the best player to ever come from Kansas. Lines up everywhere on defense.
CB | 6-0 | 170 | Uncommitted
Big-time playmaker on both sides of the ball and the top-rated player in Oklahoma.
S | 6-3 | 195 | Uncommitted
No. 1-rated athlete in the Class of 2022 is also the top player in New Jersey.
CB | 5-11 | 165 | Uncommitted
Helped lead the Bearcats to a 5A state title as a freshman and answered that with a strong sophomore campaign.
DE | 6-6 | 230 | Uncommitted
Joins teammates Kana and Taylor on the list, will have the Tigers in position to win their ninth state championship in school history and first since 2015.
DT | 6-4 | 300 | Uncommitted
Recently left IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and will play his junior season for former Tennessee Volunteer Marlon Walls. Nolen is the top-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2022.
DE | 6-5 | 225 | Uncommitted
Top player in Pennsylvania and No. 1-rated weakside defensive end.
CB | 6-1 | 170 | Florida State
Checks in at No. 1 on 247Sports composite rankings.
CB | 6-1 | 180 | Uncommitted
Top-rated defensive back in Texas helped lead the Mustangs to their second consecutive 6A Division 1 state title last season.
DE | 6-2 | 235 | Alabama
Racked up 119 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and nine sacks for the 7A state champs as a sophomore.
DE | 6-5 | 235 | Uncommitted
No. 1-rated defensive player in the Class of 2022 finished his sophomore season with 15 sacks.