Rick O'Brien: Covering the area's best cornerbacks

O'Hara's Damiere Shaw (left) plays a number of positions, but he is slated for the defensive secondary at Temple.
O'Hara's Damiere Shaw (left) plays a number of positions, but he is slated for the defensive secondary at Temple. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 08, 2011

We continue with our position-by-position rankings, this week grading the area's top cornerbacks.

In compiling this subjective top-10 list, we took into consideration coverage ability, open-field tackling, skill at supporting against the run, and potential to succeed at the next level.

1. Damiere Shaw, Cardinal O'Hara, senior, 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. A multipurpose standout for the Lions, Shaw is expected to play in the defensive secondary at Temple.

2. Will Parks, Germantown, senior, 6-1, 180. Like Shaw, Parks, who also contributed as a receiver and running back, was a two-way catalyst. He is bound for Pittsburgh.

3. Brandon Shippen, Norristown, senior, 5-10, 175. The quick-footed Shippen will join Shaw on North Broad Street. As a running back, he carried 134 times for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns.

4. Fred Thorpe, Upper Darby, senior, 6-1, 175. For giving receivers little breathing room, Thorpe again earned first-team all-Central League honors.

5. Dan Gevirtz, North Penn, senior, 5-10, 170. Gevirtz, who also plays safety, has been a big part of the Knights' drive to the PIAA Class AAAA state semifinals.

6. Richard Sampson, Unionville, senior, 6-2, 195. Sampson showed his talents while closely covering the Ches-Mont League's best pass-catchers, including Coatesville wideout and Michigan State recruit Kyle Kerrick.

7. Blake Gunther, Malvern Prep, senior, 5-10, 175. The Friars had to play without Gunther (shoulder injury) for the last 21/2 games.

8. Josh Lee, Abington, senior, 5-9, 150. Lee, also a wideout and kick returner, was a consistent playmaker for the Ghosts.

9. Darryl Mintz, Roman Catholic, senior, 5-10, 180. With Mintz as a lockdown defender, the Cahillites returned to the Catholic League championship game.

10. Morgan Jackson, Plymouth Whitemarsh, senior, 6-1, 180. Jackson's play made him a first-team all-Suburban One League American Conference pick.

Fifteen others to watch, listed alphabetically: Marquis Costello, Downingtown West, sr.; Joe DeMaio, Cardinal O'Hara, jr.; Seth Ehlo, Central Bucks West, sr.; Xavier Ellington, Plymouth Whitemarsh, sr.; Daquan Hill, Ridley, sr.; Taron Howie, Strath Haven, sr.; Ulis Jordan, Archbishop Wood, sr.; D.J. Ludy, Pottsgrove, sr.; Bobby Marterella, Neshaminy, sr.; Mike Palmer, Archbishop Ryan, sr.; Dad Poquie, La Salle, jr.; Tim Quigg, Springfield (Montco), sr.; John Reid, St. Joseph's Prep, fr.; Matt Smalley, Father Judge, sr.; Joe Taulane, Garnet Valley, sr.

Scanlan to Northwestern. Andrew Scanlan, a speedy senior wideout from Spring-Ford, has made an oral commitment to play at Northwestern.

In 12 games this season, the 6-2, 195-pound Scanlan, who doubled as a defensive back, caught 52 passes for 836 yards and 10 touchdowns.

TV alert. Friday's Class AAA state semifinal rematch between Allentown Central Catholic and Archbishop Wood, set for 7 p.m. Friday at Northeast, will be televised live on the Comcast Network.


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com,

or @ozoneinq on Twitter.

Read his blog, "The O'Zone,"

at www.philly.com/ozone.

 

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