SPORTS

Breaking Down The Top Dbs In The 2026 Class


The 2026 class is just getting started with the recruiting process but there are already many storylines at every position. We continue a weeklong series breaking down the top players at each spot, now moving to defensive backs.

At the USA Flag 7-on-7 tournament last weekend, Hicks was wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt and didn’t hide the fact that the Buckeyes are definitely a top team in his recruitment. Ohio State could be too tough to overcome for the Carrollton, Ga., standout who is at least considering a reclass to the 2025 class but he’s at Clemson this weekend, Georgia is definitely pushing hard and others are involved as well.

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The Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola four-star cornerback made an early commitment to USC in the middle of his sophomore season and Lockhart looks locked in. The Trojans lost position coach Donte Williams to Georgia and the Bulldogs, Oregon and others are in the mix but Lockhart is sticking with USC at this point.

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Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State, Oregon and many others are involved with the Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic standout but there is a strong feeling that LSU stands out most and it’s going to be tough to pull him away from home. It’s no surprise that top Louisiana kids stay home plus the Tigers are making him a big priority so it would be a surprise if Bradford left.

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A lot of programs remain involved with the elite cornerback from Cornelius (N.C.) Hough but the feeling at this point is that Matthews won’t get too far away from home. North Carolina and South Carolina could be battling it out right now with NC State, Tennessee, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Florida State all involved.

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Florida could have the early edge for the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout who’s originally from California mainly because of his fast connection with new secondary coach Will Harris, who’s also from out West as well. The Gators have made great in-roads with Fort but Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan and Oregon among others are definitely involved.

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It’s still early in the recruiting process for Fitzpatrick, who’s making a name for himself but is also the younger brother of Minkah Fitzpatrick, a former five-star who has thrived in the NFL. That could mean Alabama gets involved at some point and Miami is definitely trying hard to keep the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas standout home. Georgia has been the other program that has been reaching out regularly.

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When position coach Jahmile Addae left Miami for a job in the NFL, Jiles backed off his pledge to the Hurricanes and is looking nationally again. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout who’s originally from California is looking more closely at Florida, USC, Washington, Oklahoma and many others as more big offers keep coming in.

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Many more offers could be on the way for the Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian standout since Benjamin is so talented but USC and Oregon have definitely jumped out early in his recruitment. It will be interesting to see if anything changes now with position coach Donte Williams gone from USC to Georgia but the Ducks and the Trojans have the edge right now.

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It’s still early for the Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances hard-hitting safety so his recruitment remains pretty fluid but Alabama and Maryland are expected to be involved until the end. Georgia and Tennessee are two others to watch for Edwards but many others could get involved as things move forward.

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Florida State, Georgia and Texas are some other favorites but LSU is definitely the front-runner in Hall’s recruitment – and it’s really no surprise. The hard-hitting four-star cornerback plays at New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr, he’s followed the Tigers closely and LSU almost always keeps the local talent home.



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