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Vote: Who was the top defensive back in Texas high school football in 2023?

From Ohio State commit Devin Sanchez to Sinton ballhawk Rob Thomas, which corners and safeties had best season?

With the 2023 Texas high school football season in the rear view, we're taking a look at the most impactful players across the Lone Star State last fall.

After unveiling our All-East Texas, All-West Texas, All-South Texas, All-North Texas, All-Southeast Texas and All-Central Texas teams and awards, we released our All-Texas high school football team, honoring the best of the best.

Now, we're taking a look at who rose above the rest at each position. After examining some of the best individual seasons at the quarterback and running back positions, we're moving to defense, starting with defensive backs. 

Who was the top DB in Texas this fall?

We want to hear from you.

Scroll down and read up on 23 names to consider and cast your vote in the poll below. The poll is closes on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 11:59 p.m. central time.


Quarterbacks were wise to throw opposite North Shore's Devin Sanchez (6), the nation's top rated DB in 2025.

Quarterbacks were wise to throw opposite North Shore's Devin Sanchez (6), the nation's top rated DB in 2025.

Xavier Filsaime, McKinney, sr.

The No. 2-ranked safety in the country, he was a late flip to Texas. He had 64 tackles, 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. 

Eli Bowen, Denton Guyer, sr.

The three-star recruit is headed to Oklahoma to play with his brother Peyton, a four-star recruit who was a freshman this year in Norman. A three-year starter at safety, he had six pass breakups and three interceptions this fall.

Jaden Allen, Aledo, sr.

The four-year starter for the Bearcats, he won three state titles in high school. The Arkansas signee had two interceptions, two pass breakups and blocked a punt for the Class 5A Division I champs.

Corian Gipson, Lancaster, sr.

The four-star prospect had 40 offers before signing with Clemson. He had two interceptions and 16 pass breakups as a senior for the Tigers.

Chauncey Hogg, Malakoff, sr.

Always one of the most gifted athletes on the field, Hogg came up huge on both sides of the ball for the state champion Tigers. In addition to his offensive prowess, which includes scoring both touchdowns in the title game, he had nine interceptions on defense to go along with 11 tackles. Hogg is uncommitted.

 Jayden Doss, Mount Vernon, jr.

Doss consistently made big plays in the secondary for the Tigers, who finished 8-4. The junior standout had eight interceptions to go along with 26 tackles (20 solo, 6 assists). He also caused and recovered a fumble. Having Doss back next season will be huge for Mount Vernon.

Antonio Yarbrough, Garrison, soph.

Yarbrough and the Bulldogs had a stellar season that probably fell a bit under the radar. Garrison went 12-2 with their only two losses coming at the hands of undefeated Class 2A Division I state champion Timpson. Yarbrough had six interceptions and was second on the team in tackles with 84 (56 solo, 28 assists).

Gerry Diaz, Fort Stockton, soph.

This super sophomore was a disruptive force in the secondary for opposing offenses. In 11 games, Diaz picked off seven passes for the 9-2 Panthers, who earned a playoffs berth. He also had 33 tackles (7 solo, 26 assists). Diaz is the Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year for District 1-4A Division II.

Tre Sharp, Abilene, sr. 

Sharp was a ballhawk for the Eagles as they won 11 games. He had seven interceptions to go along with 59 tackles (35 solo, 24 assists) while manning the Abilene secondary. Sharp has an offer from Division III McMurry in his hometown.

Athen Dominguez, Midland, sr. 

Dominguez capped his high school career by making 161 tackles (76 solo, 85 assists) and five interceptions in 12 games for the Bulldogs. The safety earned District 2-6A Defensive Most Valuable Player honors. He has offers from Division II CSU-Pueblo and UT Permian Basin.

David Alvarado, Canutillo, jr.

A solid play-maker for the Eagles, Alvarado tied for second on his team with 78 tackles (46 solo, 32 assists) with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Canutillo finished 9-3 with a playoff win over Amarillo Palo Duro. Alvarado is the District 1-5A Division II Defensive MVP.

Rob Thomas, Sinton, sr.

Ball hawk is the easiest way to describe Sinton senior Rob Thomas. Night after night the 6-foot-1 cornerback left his stamp on the contest with game-changing plays. Thomas finished the season with 58 total tackles and 7 interceptions, also adding a fumble recovery en route to the District 15-4A DI Defensive MVP award.

Leroy Palacios, PSJA North, sr.

PSJA North senior Leroy Palacios missed three games this season. Still, he was among the best defensive backs in South Texas when healthy, tallying 52 total tackles and 5 interceptions in limited action. Palacios also made an impact on offense and special teams, reeling in six catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown, while also serving as the teams punter at times. The four-year letter winner ended the year as District 15-5A DI’s Utility Player of the Year.

Nicholas Gonzalez, Edinburg High, sr.

Edinburg High’s season was filled with ups and downs, starting the year 0-5 before closing it out with wins in four of their last five games to earn a playoff berth. One constant on the team, however, was senior DB Nicholas Gonzalez. The 5-foot-8 corner was as close to a sure tackle on the outside, finishing the year with 79 total stops in 11 games played. Gonzalez also had a nose for the big play, snatching six interceptions, along with 3 blocked field goals and 1 forced fumble.

Daniel Mendietta, Santa Gertrudis Academy, sr.

The Lions missed out on a playoff berth this season after losing four of their last five contests. That’s not to take away from a stellar season by senior corner Daniel Mendietta. The two-way athlete picked off opposing quarterbacks in five of 10 games played this year, including a pair of two-interception performances. Mendietta finished the year with 29 total tackles and 7 interceptions, along with 1 blocked punt and one pick-six.

Jarvis Solomon, Alvin Iowa Colony, jr.

The 5-foot-8 defensive back helped the Pioneers to a 12-1 record by recording 10 interceptions, while also breaking up nine passes.

Rakwan Reed, Houston Westbury, sr.

The uncommitted recruit had 21 tackles, 9 interceptions, broke up 7 passes and forced a fumble this fall for the Huskies.

Devin Sanchez, North Shore, jr.

The 6-foot-2 Ohio State-committed cornerback has offers from more than 30 schools. He is the No. 1 cornerback in the country among 2025 recruits, and a first team all-District 21-6A pick.

Braylon Conley, Humble Atascocita, sr.

A four-star recruit, he started three years for the Eagles at safety. He was ranked as the No. 53 recruit in the state by Rivals. He signed to play at USC.

Cole Redding, New Braunfels, sr.

The junior asserted himself as a top cornerback in the area with three interceptions, nine pass deflections and 42 tackles.

Dontae Carter, Cibolo-Steele, sr.

The Vanderbilt commit and four-star safety broke the school record for career interceptions, picking off seven passes to go with his 77 tackles. Carter is listed as the No. 2 safety in the country.

McCoy Bruce, Boerne, sr.

The senior two-way standout made his bread on the defensive end. He intercepted five passes, had nine pass breakups, 30 tackles and a forced fumble on the season.

Cai “Peyton" Morgan, Pflugerville-Weiss, sr.

The Texas Tech commit and four-star cornerback came up with 77 tackles and seven interceptions, helping lead Weiss to a 10-2 record.

-- SBLive Texas staff.

Editor’s Note: Our reader poll features are intended to be fun and generate productive discussion. We do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. However, we do not allow votes that are generated by script, macro or other automated means. Athletes that receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified.