The class of 2023 is under the microscope this week with the first, full rankings for the class being released. Today we look at the defensive position rankings, including a defensive back group highlighted by deep talent pools at both cornerback and safety.
TEAMS WITH TOP COMMITS: Georgia, Indiana
Just two four-star defensive back prospects in the 2023 class have made commitments thus far. Marcus Washington committed to his home-state Georgia Bulldogs back in May, shortly after landing an offer from coach Kirby Smart’s staff. The son of a former Bulldog, Washington is a speedster who went 10.72 in the 100 meters as a sophomore.
Indiana landed its first 2023 commitment back in April when cornerback Daeh McCullough pledged to the Hoosiers. That came not long after his father, Deland McCullough, returned to the university as running backs coach and associate head coach. The younger McCullough debuted at No. 204 in the Rivals250.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Antonio Cotman Jr.
One prospect who generated a lot of debate during rankings meetings for the 2023 class was Virginia’s Antonio Cotman Jr. It seemed everywhere Cotman went this off-season he generated buzz with his play, but his offer list consists of just four programs – Boston College, Liberty, Maryland and Virginia Tech – with two of those coming just in the last few weeks.
The biggest question we had about Cotman may be what is holding up colleges from offering, and that is to what position does he best project at the next level? For now we have decided to list him as a four-star cornerback, but safety is also an option. What we know is Cotman has that playmaking ability, but will he settle into a position that will allow him to showcase that in college?
STOCK ON THE RISE: Justyn Rhett
Las Vegas cornerback Justyn Rhett was not included in the first Rivals100 we released for the 2023 class back in March, but he got his four stars and a 5.8 Rivals Rating in early May. Rhett then went out and dominated the Los Angeles Rivals Camp and took home position MVP honors.
He validated that performance by going out to the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Atlanta the following month and winning MVP honors again. Rhett’s Rivals Rating jumped to 5.9 in this update of the 2023 class, and he ranks as the No. 7 cornerback prospect in the class and debuts at No. 47 in the Rivals250.