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Best of the Best: Top defensive back classes in 2020 cycle

Elias Ricks
Elias Ricks (Rivals.com)

National Signing Day has come and gone. Recruiting classes are all but finished and the results are ready to be dissected. Today, Rivals position-by-position look at the 2020 cycles continues with the country’s top defensive back classes.


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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

1. LSU

The national champs land in the top spot here. Their class is headlined by No. 1 defensive back Elias Ricks. The longtime commit signed with the Tigers after flirting with a couple other programs, but he never seriously considered flipping his commitment. LSU is also bringing in Jordan Toles, the No. 3 safety in the class. Toles finished at No. 63 in the Rivals100. Cornerback Dwight McGlothern is helping Ricks reinforce the already talented cornerback position. McGlothern finished at No. 125 in the Rivals250. Of the four schools that signed three members of the Rivals250, the average ranking of LSU’s trio of Ricks, Toles and McGlothern was the best.

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2. TEXAS A&M

The Aggies made this a close race at the top but ultimately finished with the second-best defensive back class in the nation. Five-star Jaylon Jones has the versatility to play any position in the secondary and he will be a major playmaker for Texas A&M. He and No. 2 safety Antonio Johnson will be responsible for leading Texas A&M’s secondary in the very near future. Look for Rivals250 cornerback Josh Moten to complement this duo nicely with his athleticism and advanced cover skills.

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3. MIAMI

The Hurricanes get the nod over Alabama here because they signed three members of the Rivals250, a four-star outside the Rivals250 and two additional three-star defensive backs. Miami’s top signee was Avantae Williams, a former Oregon commit and the No. 1 safety in the class. The two other Rivals250 signees were cornerback Jalen Harrell and safety Keshawn Washington. All three of them are Florida natives. The Hurricanes reached up into Georgia to sign former Florida State commit Isaiah Dunson. Miami also signed in-state defensive backs Brian Balom and Marcus Clarke.

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4. ALABAMA

Alabama signed a great group of defensive backs this year and the Crimson Tide's three signees in the Rivals250 and JUCO four-star nearly made the third spot on this list. Brian Branch, a Rivals100 safety out of Georgia, was Alabama's top-ranked defensive back signee this year followed by Rivals250 cornerbacks Jahquez Robinson and Malachi Moore. The Crimson Tide are also bringing in four-star junior college cornerback Ronald Williams with this class.

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5. FLORIDA

The race for this last spot was very close but the Gators beat out Georgia, Michigan and a few others to make the top five. Florida signed seven defensive backs this year and five of them were rated at least four-stars. Leading the way for this class of defensive backs are Rivals250 prospects Rashad Torrence out of Georgia and Jahari Rogers out of Texas. Joining Rogers is fellow Texan Avery Helm, and Florida natives Ethan Pouncey and Fenley Graham. All three of them are also rated four-stars. The Gators are also bringing in a pair of three-stars in safety Mordecai McDaniel and cornerback Tre'Vez Johnson. This class actually has a chance to get even better when four-star defensive back Marc Britt (who is verbally committed to Florida) announces his signing later this month.

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