#TribHS CB: Double trouble on defense


One of the most difficult things in football — whether you’re playing, coaching or recruiting — is to take the ball out of a playmaker’s hands.

But there’s as much of a premium on preventing touchdowns as there is on scoring them, and some players realize that their future is better served on playing the position where they have the most potential.

That topic was the cover story for the Trib’s 2013 GamePlan football preview section, which Chris Harlan wrote about in Secondary Options: WPIAL standouts choosing a future in defensive backfield.

Call it the Darrelle Revis Effect.

The former Aliquippa star, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2003 player of the year, was talented enough to play quarterback, running back and wide receiver for the Quips but focused on defense in college and developed into an NFL first-round pick who is one of the league’s top cornerbacks.

Others who were offensive stars in high schools, such as Upper St. Clair’s Sean Lee, Gateway’s Justin King and Aliquippa’s Dravon Henry, realized their future was on the other side of the ball. It’s a trend that has continued with the Class of 2015, where Central Valley’s Jordan Whitehead and Quaker Valley’s Dane Jackson are two of the most dynamic offensive weapons but will play cornerback in college.

For as much as Quaker Valley values its great Dane, Jackson picked playing corner at Pitt when he made his college choice.

The ability to play both ways, as I write in my Wednesday column, is helping redefine the term “dual threat.”

Perhaps it will have the same effect on “playmaker.”


TribHS -- CBs


The eighth part in the #TribHS countdown to kickoff series focuses on cornerbacks, where Central Valley’s Whitehead ranks among the nation’s best, by Chris Harlan.

A key injury to a pivotal player forces Serra Catholic football to regroup, by Dave Mackall.

Freeport’s Hochbein twins bring experience on both sides of the ball, by Bill West.

Connellsville volleyball looks to build on strong season, by Jason Black.

Another reminder that the Trib’s 2014 GamePlan football preview section will be published Friday.