As the 2021 football season draws near, SI All-American continues to evaluate the nation's top prospects at every position for the college football recruiting class of 2022. The first wave of the evaluations are the 'Watch List' selections, also known as SI All-American candidates, to be released throughout the month of July.
It precedes the SI99 rankings, our preseason mark of America's top college football prospects regardless of position, to be released the first week of August.
Naturally, the quarterback watch list was up first, rolled out in several releases last week. Today we begin the shift to defense and start in the secondary, as 25 SI All-American candidates at cornerback will be broken down over the next two days.
11. Gentry Williams
Vitals: 6'0", 180 pounds
School: Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington
Recruiting: Considering Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Arkansas, others.
If there is any indication to how deep the cornerback talent is in the class of 2022 it's this -- Williams outside of the top 10. While we wouldn't count on it when all the dust settles, the uncommitted athlete checks about as many boxes as one could ask for from an athletic profile standpoint. He is a great prep quarterback, yes you read that correctly, with serious long speed and natural football instincts. The fluid athlete has flashed as much throughout the offense and in the secondary and he sees more defensive back reps as time rolls on. As that comfort continues to build, particularly with technique and efficiency, it will match the athleticism and make for an impact corner in college.
12. Antonio Kite
Vitals: 6'1", 180 pounds
School: Anniston (Ala.) High School
Recruiting: Committed to Alabama
The upside pick on this list is no doubt Kite, the longtime basketball player (and a very good one) broke out in a big way in 2020 as a football prospect for both the Anniston secondary and wide receiver room. SIAA sources have been told, on at least two occasions this spring, that Kite has been testing in the 4.4-second range when it comes to the 40-yard dash and it shows up on tape. The Crimson Tide commitment isn't a finesse football player, either, as he converts that explosiveness into pop on contact while working from his safety spot. With his length and overall athleticism, not to mention Nick Saban personally courting him for the last six months, the move to corner looks imminent.
13. Deyon Bouie
Vitals: 5'11", 185 pounds
School: Bainbridge (Ga.) High School
Recruiting: Considering Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida State, others.
A dynamic Peach Stater with considerable experience on both sides of the football, Bouie just makes plays on the football field. The frame is there, along with explosiveness, ball skills and football savvy to boot. In what is going to be considered a great cornerback class, for him to be on the verge of crashing the top 10 despite lack of positional focus -- not to mention coming off of a major injury -- says all you need to know about the athlete nicknamed "Smoke." Once he hits the next level and settles on a spot, and with his top-end speed we'll take our chances projecting cornerback, Bouie won't sit long.
14. Jaylon Guilbeau
Vitals: 6', 175 pounds
School: Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial
Recruiting: Committed to Texas
Not as flashy as others on the list, there is something to be said for consistency and production. From his stance, to remaining in phase and certainly shifting his weight and breaking on the football, Guilbeau profiles as a high-floor cover man for the Texas Longhorns. He has good size, can run, plays the football better than most and finds the football. Few corners we have evaluated in the class show up as comfortable as Guilbeau does in man coverage, especially while pressed up at the line of scrimmage.
15. Julian Humphrey
Vitals: 6'1", 185 pounds
School: Houston (Texas) Clear Lake
Recruiting: Committed to Florida
Yes, Humphrey is one of the fastest players on this list, with verified 100-meter dash times in the 10.5-second range. Yes, it helps widen the margin for error while in coverage on Friday nights. But no, this isn't another track star being molded into a football prospect, Humphrey is a football prospect who also runs track. He is comfortable in his transitions, tracks the football well and flashes big-time bait instincts while in coverage. Throw in an ideal frame and another year of prep experience and it amounts to a talent we may still have pegged too low in the top 15.
16. Bobby Taylor II
Vitals: 6'1", 180 pounds
School: Katy (Texas) High School
Recruiting: Committed to Texas A&M
A lengthy defender with that combination of confidence and production to his name, along with NFL legacy status, and Taylor is a shoo-in on this list. He attacks the football with the best of them in the class and during the offseason, has shown up and battled some of the best wide receivers with success. At The Opening earlier this month, he was the only consistent performer against the towering and fast-rising Jayden Gibson, meeting him at the apex on several occasions. Taylor represents the versatile cornerback, comfortable in zone and daring while in man coverage, many programs want to bring in to combat modern offenses.
17. Jyaire Brown
Vitals: 6', 180 pounds
School: West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West
Recruiting: Committed to Ohio State
The Louisiana native has long been a known name in the recruiting game and he seems to hold his own in coverage well more times than not. With a slim, yet long frame, Brown has many strong physical traits and applies them well with the football in flight. Confidence shows up in person and on tape, along with timely play-making and a mature patience and understanding of when to up the aggression. On top of all that, there is a strong motor and high football IQ on display with his 2020 tape that makes one think he has what it takes to be the captain of the secondary one day in Columbus.
18. Austin Ausberry
Vitals: 6'1", 185 pounds
School: Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab
Recruiting: Considering LSU, Alabama, others
Another versatile prospect on the list, there is a lot to like from the Baton Rouge native. He moonlights as a play-maker on offense, brings physicality to the secondary and finds a way to affect the football. Ausberry works comfortable in off-man coverage, with leverage discipline and transition skill to his name. He flips his hips with fluidity and is absolutely unafraid to run the alley and play the run with some pop. Looking for the modern cover-2, underneath cornerback? This is your guy.
19. Jaquise Alexander
Vitals: 5'10", 170 pounds
School: Tampa (Fla.) Catholic
Recruiting: Considering Florida, Miami, West Virginia, UCF
The shortest corner on this list, Alexander may be one of the fastest. He's also become one of the most proven in the last 12 to 18 months, not only against national competition in the 7-on-7 circuit, but excelling on Friday nights as well as in the spring as a true cover corner talent. Once a full-time receiver moonlighting on defense as Tampa Catholic needed, the production on defense will have the uncommitted Floridian all over the field this fall. The technique is there and the instincts have long been there, so when he fills out a more-lengthy-than-you'd-think frame -- watch out.
20. Benjamin Morrison
Vitals: 6', 175 pounds
School: Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy College Prep
Recruiting: Considering Notre Dame, Washington, others.
Also under strong nickel consideration (check back later this week), Morrison is a complete secondary prospect. His frame and athleticism can handle work on the outside, he has some ball skills and is also plenty willing to play physical as needed. The build combines with the fluidity to show off the potential of him to line up in more places throughout a college secondary than perhaps any other on this list. It doesn't take much imagination to see Morrison over the slot, in the boundary or as a field corner working against the opponent's top threat.
More Cornerbacks to Track in 2021
* Laterrance Welch is a springy athlete who can attack the football, also fitting the bill with a great frame. The LSU commitment has a college football body as a rising high school senior.
* Ryan Turner, committed to Ohio State, is one of the better off-man cover corners we’ve evaluated to date in the 2022 cycle. He was also under nickel consideration for our staff with his quickness and strength combatting a two-way go.
* Keenan Nelson is another bigger prospect with two-way experience, one of the preludes to ball production in college. The uncommitted Philadelphia native flashes physicality at the line of scrimmage, too.
* Tayon Hallaway is a long and lean play-maker who flashes ball skills on both sides of the football. Committed to North Carolina, the athletic foundation to develop into a top-tier cover man is there.
* Fabian Ross is a physical, downhill defensive back with hybrid traits between cornerback and nickel projections, where the USC commitment was also considered among the nation’s best.