Position Breakdown: Defensive Back Part I

Texas Bound Nolan Brewster

This upcoming prep football season in Colorado sees an abundance of players who have the diverse skill set to not only play safety in high school but at the next level.

The safety position has taken on greater significance in the game of football over the past few years.  In college and the professional ranks, the Tampa Two and flexible multi-front defenses have placed a premium on safeties who can get over the top in deep zones, man up in coverage, blitz or play in the box like a backer.  This evolution of the safety position is evidenced in the NFL draft, where in the last two years, seven safeties were taken in the first round.  This upcoming prep football season in Colorado sees an abundance of players who have the diverse skill set to not only play safety in high school but at the next level.

 

The discussion of defensive backs in Colorado begins with Nolan Brewster of Mullen High School in Denver, Colorado.  Brewster is the epitome of the hybrid safety that has become a staple of successful defenses from high school to the NFL.  At 6-2 and weighing 200 pounds, the Texas bound Brewster is equally comfortable in the box or in coverage.  Although Brewster has the needed toughness and athletic skill to play at a high level, his greatest attribute may be his smarts on the field, which allowed him to be a part of 132 total tackles during his senior campaign.  Imagine Brewster, three years down the road 6-2 220, 4.5 forty, son of a coach, working the fields of the Big 12, scary.

 

Although not as high profile on the national recruiting scene, Patrick Mahnke of Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, has many of the same skills as Nolan Brewster.  When looking at Mahnke's game, the first thing that pops out at you is his ability to make a variety of plays.  Last season, the 6-1 196 pounder, registered ninety-two tackles, two sacks and three interceptions.  Mahnke's ability to make plays also caught the eye of the coaching staffs at Colorado State, Wyoming and Colorado.  Recently, Mahnke committed to play for the Buffs.

 

Currently, the top corner in Colorado is Tyler Jackson of Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado.  Jackson has an intriguing skill set that has brought offers from Washington State, Colorado State, Air Force, Wyoming and Kansas.  At 6-1 180 pounds, Jackson has very good size for a corner. Add in weight room numbers that include a 575-pound squat and you can see he has the ability to rough up a wideout.  To go with his size and 4.5 speed, Jackson has a tremendous amount of experience.  This upcoming year will be Jackson's third as a starter on a Douglas County squad that won a state championship in 2005 and made it to the semi-finals last season.  Jackson's strength, size and comfort in coverage may lead to a change to safety in college.

 

Brewster, Mahnke and Jackson are great players, but they are not the only great DBs patrolling the fields in Colorado prep football.  In part two we will continue our look at the best DBs in the state of Colorado.

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