On the heels of our Top 100, where we ranked the best high school football players in Southern California, we’re now bringing you position-by-position rankings. The rankings encompass the Southern Section, L.A. City Section and San Diego Section.
These are preseason rankings based on last year’s performance and spring and summer observations. We will update the rankings at midseason.
Here are the Top 10 defensive backs:
#10 – DJ Harvey – 2021 Sierra Canyon CB/WR
Harvey intercepted seven passes as a sophomore. He’s emerged as a national recruit and has received scholarship offers from LSU, Nebraska and Oregon. In Sierra Canyon’s 2019 opener, Harvey caught a touchdown pass in a 26-7 win over Westlake.
#9 – Elijah Jackson – 2020 Lawndale CB/WR
Jackson intercepted three passes last season. He is committed to Washington.
#8 – John Humphrey – 2020 Muir CB/WR
Humphrey exploded onto the national scene in the offseason. He started the spring without any scholarship offers, but performed so well at the Opening regional camp in Oakland that he earned an invitation to the Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas. He is committed to UCLA.
In Muir’s season opening win over Western, Humphrey intercepted a pass.
#7 – Brandon Jones – 2020 Narbonne CB
Jones intercepted two passes a year ago. He’s committed to Stanford.
#6 – Jonathan Vaughns – 2020 St. John Bosco S
Football might not even be Vaughn’s top sport. He also plays baseball for St. John Bosco and is a two-way MLB prospect at third-base and as a pitcher. He wants to play both sports in college. In football, he holds scholarship offers from LSU, Penn State and UCLA.
#5 – Makell Esteen – 2020 Lawndale CB/WR
Esteen has 19 career picks. His name will be in the Southern Section record book if he continues to intercept passes at such a high rate.
#4 – Jaylin Davies – 2021 Mater Dei CB
Davies looked great covering Gary Bryant in Mater Dei’s opening 42-12 win over Corona Centennial. He’s a national recruit.
#3 – Jared Greenfield – 2020 Narbonne S
Greenfield was instrumental in Crenshaw’s state championship run in 2017. He played at Bingham High in Utah as a junior. The Oregon commit is now at Narbonne and is a part of one of the top secondaries in the region.
#2 – Darion Green-Warren – 2020 Narbonne CB
Green-Warren was one-half of the best cornerback duo in the state in 2019. Alongside Elias Ricks, Green-Warren led a Mater Dei defense that won Southern Section and State open division titles. The cornerback finished the year with three interceptions and only 21 solo tackles. Quarterbacks didn’t throw his way too much. He’s now at Narbonne.
#1 – Clark Phillips – 2020 La Habra CB/WR
Phillips is an Ohio State commit. He began the 2019 season with a two interception performance in La Habra’s 21-14 win over Upland.