2022 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the safeties


Tuesday, August 23, 2022 | 11:35 PM

Safety is often the last line of defense, but having a good one can be a weapon for any team.

Look at the WPIAL teams that won last year.

State champions Aliquippa, Central Valley, Mt. Lebanon and Penn-Trafford all had at least one difference-maker at safety. Some of those standouts have since graduated, but there’s still depth at the position.

TribLive HSSN will break down the top players at one position per day until Week Zero. Here’s a look at the top safeties for the 2022 season.

1. Jayvin Thompson

Central Valley

Senior, 6-2, 190

Thompson was overshadowed somewhat by teammates a year ago, but the safety played a big role in the Warriors winning WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A titles. The first-team all-conference defensive back made 69 tackles and 11 interceptions in 15 games. He had four INTs in the WPIAL finals alone. Offensively, Thompson added 28 catches for 750 yards and 11 total TDs. He has D1 offers from Army, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Fordham and Sacred Heart.

Watch Jayvin Thompson highlights

2. Dre Miller-Ross


Senior, 6-0, 185

Miller-Ross is a ball-hawking safety who also shows a physical side to his game. He made 65 tackles, two interceptions and forced four fumbles last season. He scored two defensive TDs. On offense, he caught 23 passes for 518 yards and scored 12 total touchdowns. The first-team all-conference defensive back has college offers from Akron, Central Michigan, Fordham, Howard, Miami (Ohio), North Carolina A&T and Stony Brook.

Watch Dre Miller-Ross highlights

3. Cruce Brookins

Steel Valley

Senior, 6-1, 170

The Kent State recruit rushed for more than 1,000 yards and scored 15 touchdowns, but his work on defense can’t be overlooked. He earned first-team all-conference honors at quarterback and defensive back. As a safety, he had five interceptions, made 49 tackles and forced two fumbles. He also listed offers from West Virginia, Akron, Fordham and North Carolina A&T.

Watch Cruce Brookins highlights

4. Donovan Walker


Senior, 6-0, 180

Walker was a stopper on the backend of Aliquippa’s state championship defense. The all-conference safety accounted for seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns last season as the Quips won WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A titles. He also made 47 tackles. Offensively, he added 15 catches for 203 yards and three TDs. Walker has BCS offers from Air Force, Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Navy and Ohio.

Watch Donovan Walker highlights

5. Jahmil Perryman


Senior, 5-9, 170

Perryman’s highlight video starts with him lowering his shoulder and separating a wide receiver from the ball. The next clip show him returning an interception 82 yards. The first-team all-conference pick has a knack for big plays. He also had a 62-yard punt return and a 57-yard run among his TDs. He and teammate Bobbie Boyd form a dangerous combination. Perryman has D1 offers from Air Force, Army, Austin Peay, Navy and Sacred Heart.

Watch Jahmil Perryman highlights

One to watch

Brock Cornell

West Allegheny

Sophomore, 5-11, 160

Cornell led the Indians in tackles as a freshman with 96, including 50 solo stops, and earned second-team all-conference honors in Class 5A. He also forced four fumbles, made one interception and added two rushing TDs. Cornell is the son of longtime West A baseball coach Bryan Cornell.

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Position breakdowns

QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | CB | S | K

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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