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2020 SI All-American Team: Defense

The 2020 SI All-American defensive team at the prep level is announced.

Following an unprecedented 2020 high school football season, in which 17 states have yet to kick off, prep stars shined from coast to coast despite condensed schedules, delays, and cancellations. 

A select few did enough this fall to be considered for the SI All-American team.

25 seniors, 13 on offense and 12 on defense, have best exemplified athletic excellence in high school and are equipped with the potential to perform similarly at the collegiate level. There is an added emphasis on senior season performance and progression compared to years past.

The SI All-American roster will be comprised of head-turning talents across every position on the field. The defensive selections are comprised of four defensive linemen, three linebackers, four defensive backs and an all-purpose player. 10 have already signed by Power 5 programs.

Defensive Line

Dallas Turner - Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas

There wasn't a game in 2020 in which the Alabama signee didn't flash dominance, registering 13 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles in just eight games. The edge talent wrapped up the run with a state championship over the weekend. 

Leonard Taylor - Miami (Fla.) Palmetto

The Miami signee has added good weight, somehow building on a banner 2019 campaign in which he lived in the offensive backfield. Taylor has some of the most sudden penetration traits in the class whether rushing from the interior or outside. 

Maason Smith - Houma (La.) Terrebonne

Noticeably trim from his time as a junior through 2020, Smith made the most of it as a ferocious pass rusher with the ability to anchor and collapse the offensive interior against the run. LSU signed the in-state star.

Keanu Koht - Vero Beach (Fla.)

Another big stride from 2019 to 2020 was with the Alabama signee Koht, who registered 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 10 games. He was a blur off the edge in forcing two fumbles as well.


Prince Kollie - Jonesborough (Tenn.) Crockett

The Notre Dame signee was one of the most impressive individual performers of 2020. Kollie notched 109 tackles, including 11 for loss, along with two sacks and an interception as a senior. 

Junior Colson - Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood

A Michigan signee from the Volunteer State, Colson made his presence felt against the run and as a pass rusher in 2020. He registered 101 tackles and seven sacks in just eight games. 

Branden Jennings - Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood

One of the most dramatic recruitments of the cycle was busy for a reason, as the physically-imposing Maryland signee finished 2020 with 127 tackles and 11.5 sacks to his name. 

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Tar'varish Dawson - Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh Senior

A two-way prospect still being recruited by plenty of programs, Dawson shined in the secondary in 2020 to the tune of seven interceptions over 10 games in 2020. He also notched 14 touchdowns on offense.

Steven Ortiz, Jr. - Goodyear (Ariz.) Desert Edge

One of the top nickel prospects in the country, the Minnesota signee did it again as a senior despite the condensed schedule. Ortiz broke up 12 passes, intercepted a pair and showed his ability in the box with four tackles for loss. 

Deuce Harmon - Denton (Texas) Guyer

The Texas A&M signee can play safety or cornerback at the next level, versatility that will play well in the SEC. As a senior, Harmon notched four interceptions against Lone Star State competition. 

Avante Dickerson - Omaha (Neb.) Westside

One of the top unsigned prospects in the country, Dickerson has nickel and cornerback traits that were on display this fall. He also pulled in four interceptions. 


Ga'Quincy McKinstry - Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley 

Another Alabama signee on the list, only few have had the senior campaign the two-sport star did. McKinstry was not only Pinson Valley's top wide receiver threat en route to a state championship, but his play in the secondary clinched some of the biggest victories in his career, including at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game. 

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