DR7 New Orleans: Pool Play Defensive Back Standouts

    By Platform Scout: Marc Henry @marchen44


    The DR7 Road To The Crown National Tour made it’s way to New Orleans with 90 teams from 10U-18U from the state of Louisiana, as well as Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. Despite the challenging  weather conditions, several defensive standouts emerged, demonstrating their ability to make impactful plays and set the tone during pool play on Saturday. The mission and goal of The Platform is to #ExposeTheUnexposed and provide adequate coverage of athletes around the country giving them exposure. In particular, we will spotlight several lockdown defenders who excelled in maintaining defensive pressure and limiting their opponents’ scoring opportunities. These players demonstrated resilience and determination, proving themselves as valuable assets to their teams despite the adverse weather conditions.



    Cameron Nelson | Class of 2025 | Defensive Back | 7v7: Team Mamba | Clear Lake High School | Twitter: @CameronNelson_1

    Cameron Nelson of Team Mamba showcased his defensive prowess early on Saturday, utilizing his stout frame, broad shoulders, and extended arm length to his advantage. With excellent eye discipline, Nelson displayed sharp instincts and clean footwork, allowing him to make decisive plays and disrupt opponents’ passing lanes. His ability to play fast and react quickly resulted in several impressive pass breakups, highlighting his strong ball skills and overall defensive capability. Nelson has offers from Texas State, Yale and Tulsa heading into his senior season.



    Amari Taylor | Class of 2025 | Athlete | 7v7: Team Mamba | Pasadena Dobie High School | Twitter: @D1AmariTaylor

    Amari Taylor possesses a versatile skill set that allows him to excel on both sides of the ball, but during Saturday’s game, he showcased his talents primarily as a cornerback. With his long, rangy athletic frame, Taylor proved to be a formidable defender, displaying a knack for tight coverage and effectively shutting down opposing receivers. Despite his impressive performance, it’s evident that Taylor is only beginning to tap into his potential, indicating a significant upside for his future development. His combination of size, athleticism, and defensive prowess make him as an intriguing prospect to watch.



    KarMoniy Gibbs | Class of 2027 | Defensive Back | 7v7: GCA | Saraland High School (AL) | Twitter: @KarMoniyGibbs

    KarMoniy Gibbs possesses a long and lean frame that makes him a difficult defender to shake off. His extended arm length, combined with smooth and clean footwork, allows him to maintain tight coverage and effectively disrupt passing plays. Gibbs demonstrates excellent leverage in his play, enabling him to outmaneuver opponents and anticipate their moves effectively. His keen field vision translates well into several pass breakups, showcasing his ability to read the game and react accordingly. Despite primarily playing as a defender, Gibbs also saw some time on offense as a wide receiver, where he displayed good ball skills, strong hands, and a quick burst after the catch, adding versatility to his skill set.



    Jaylin Robinson | Class of 2027 | Athlete | 7v7: GCA | Oxford High School | Twitter: @jayrobinson2027

    Jaylin Robinson’s sharp instincts are evident in his ability to consistently make impactful plays on the defensive side of the ball. With clean footwork and excellent ball skills, he’s adept at breaking up passes and disrupting opposing offenses. Robinson’s quick feet and agility allow him to move fluidly in space, making him a versatile defender capable of covering a variety of positions. In addition to his defensive prowess, Robinson also showcased his skills on offense by taking snaps at wide receiver for GCA on Saturday. With strong hands and a smooth route-running ability, he adds another dimension to his game, further solidifying his status as a well-rounded and valuable player on both sides of the ball.



    Daylan Dorsey | Class of 2027 | Defensive Back | 7v7: Go Pack | Liberty Magnet High School (LA) | Twitter: @1kdaylan

    Daylan Dorsey brings a physical presence to the field, particularly at the point of attack, where he effectively disrupts receivers by getting hands on them early, throwing them off their axis. His long, lean frame and extended arm length give him an advantage in coverage, allowing him to reach and deflect passes with precision. Dorsey’s clean footwork and smooth transition into his backpedal enable him to maintain proper positioning and stay in step with his assignment. When the ball is in the air, he demonstrates excellent closing speed, swiftly converging on the target to make crucial plays, resulting in several pass breakups. Overall, Dorsey’s combination of physicality, technique, and athleticism makes him a formidable presence in the defensive backfield.



    Ja’Marcus Neyland | Class of 2027 | Defensive Back | 7v7: Go Pack | Denham Springs High School (LA) | Twitter: @ytn_ape

    Ja’Marcus Neyland establishes his presence on the field with his physicality, particularly at the point of attack. He demonstrates excellent leverage in his play, allowing him to gain an advantage over opposing receivers. Neyland effectively utilizes his length to disrupt passing routes, using his hands to stun receivers early in their routes, throwing them off balance. This sticky defense, combined with his strong ball skills, makes him a formidable opponent for any receiver. Overall, Neyland’s ability to combine physicality with technical skill makes him a standout defender in coverage.



    Maurice Williams | Class of 2026 | Defensive Back | 7v7: NOLA Hotboys | Edna Karr High School (LA)  | Twitter: @MoeWill0

    Maurice Williams plays with a ballhawk mentality at the cornerback position, consistently making plays on the football. He plays with great speed, he maintains control, allowing him to react quickly and decisively to plays as they develop. Williams has an aggressive style of play, demonstrated by his violent hands and strength at the point of attack, making him difficult for receivers to shake off. His instincts are top-notch, enabling him to anticipate routes and make plays on the ball with superb ball skills. As a sticky defender with great eye discipline, Williams disrupts passing lanes effectively, resulting in multiple pass breakups. His impressive performance has garnered attention from college programs, with offers from Central Florida and Florida A&M, highlighting his potential at the next level.




    Jhase Thomas | Class of 2025 | Athlete | 7v7: NOLA Hotboys | Destrehan High School (LA) | Twitter: @jhasethomas

    Jhase Thomas was a dynamic playmaker in the NOLA Hotboys secondary on Saturday, he has next level speed and plays with controlled aggression. A true ballhawk, he covers ground quickly with impressive speed and range, making him a formidable presence in pass coverage. Thomas possesses disciplined eyes, allowing him to track the ball effectively and make plays on it when it’s in the air. With a stout and lean frame, coupled with extended reach, he excels at planting, cutting, and breaking on the football, resulting in numerous pass breakups during pool play. Thomas’s performance has caught the attention of college recruiters, with nine offers already on the table. Ole Miss is heavily pursuing him, recognizing him as one of the top defensive backs in Louisiana. With his combination of skills and upside, Thomas showed during pool play on Saturday the skill set that has made him a highly sought after prospect.



    Braedon Shelby | Class of 2025 | Defensive Back | 7v7: True Buzz | Red Oak High School (TX) | Twitter: @BJShelby2025

    Braeden Shelby certainly stands out with his impressive physical attributes, measuring at 6’3 and 180 pounds. He utilizes his stout frame effectively to play a physical style of defense, particularly excelling in press coverage where he employs sticky defensive tactics. Shelby’s physicality is evident at the point of attack, where he disrupts receivers and maintains control over them. His extended arm length gives him an added advantage in getting receivers off their axis and disrupting their routes. As a key contributor to a formidable True Buzz defense on Saturday, Shelby showed the qualities of a lockdown defender, showcasing his potential to shut down opposing passing attacks. With his skill set and size, as he gets more eyes on him, look for him to get more attention from recruiters to amplify his recruiting buzz.










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