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Top 15 Defensive Backs in MLFB: Major League Football Rosters and Analysis

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For the inaugural season of Major League Football ($MLFB) we are breaking down the best players by position. Today I break down the top 15 defensive backs (corners and safeties) on the MLFB rosters. In the modern pass-happy era of football, defensive backs are a critical component on every team. Major League Football has made sure to go out and get a balance of veterans and talented youngsters in the defensive secondary. MLFB has packed its rosters with talent from top to bottom.

MLFB is a new publicly traded professional football league. With teams in Little Rock, Virginia Beach, Mobile, and Canton, the league is betting big on bringing football to football-starved markets. With coaches like Jerry Glanville and Derrius Bell who excel at coaching defensive backs there should be several players who leverage their MLFB shot into something more.

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Top 15 Defensive Backs in MLFB: Major League Football Rosters and Analysis

Reginald Cole

Current Team: Arkansas Attack
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 24 years old, 6-2, 185 pounds

College: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Pro Experience: XFL, The Spring League, CFL
Recent Stats: 35 total tackles, 6.0 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 INT

Cole is a former Division III AP All-American from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He is a rangy defensive back with outstanding versatility who played some linebacker in college. Cole is also a dynamic playmaker having returned multiple turnovers for scores. He briefly played in the XFL and was a member of the champion team in The Spring League.  Most recently, Cole had signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

Due to his collegiate versatility, Cole will not shy away from contact.  He can match up against bigger receivers while still being able to run with them downfield.  Additionally, his willingness to play the run will be a big plus for the Attack defense.

Alvin Davis Jr.

Current Team: Arkansas Attack
Position: Safety
Measurables: 5-9, 175 pounds

College: University of Akron
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 79 total tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2 PBU

Hailing from high school football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas (FL), Alvin Davis Jr. was a three-time All-MAC selection. He’s an undersized but smart player you want lining up your secondary. Davis Jr. finished his collegiate career with five interceptions, two of which he returned for scores.

He has good range and despite being small in stature does an outstanding job in run support.  He is a sure tackler and once recorded 17 tackles in a game against Troy.  Davis Jr. is a versatile safety who can play the centerfield position or walk down toward the line of scrimmage in obvious run situations.  He is also a team player as evidenced by his buying into changing roles within the Akron defense in his senior year.

Antwuan Davis

Current Team: Arkansas Attack
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 25 years old, 6-1, 200 pounds

College: University of Texas
Pro Experience: NFL (Lions and Raiders)
Recent Stats: 32 total tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, 2 FR, 2 INT

The former University of Texas product has spent time in recent years on the NFL rosters of the Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders. Antwuan Davis was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school as he was ranked as the #9 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com. Similar to Cole, he has ideal size and a knack for playmaking as you can see from the highlights.

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Despite taking a few years to get onto the field, he was still able to put up a gaudy stat line as a senior. His potential was tantalizing enough for the Lions to sign him as an undrafted free agent and the Raiders scooped him up after he was released.  He and Cole should form a formidable duo for the Attack as potential lockdown corners.

Shawn Turber-Ortiz

Current Team: Arkansas Attack
Position: Safety
Measurables: 23 years old, 5-10, 190 pounds

College: Kutztown University
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 55 total tackles, 2.0 TFL, 2 INT, 3 PBU

A ball-hawking small school safety, Turner-Ortiz should pair nicely with Davis Jr. for the Attack. At Kutztown University (PA), he was a two-time first-team All-PSAC player and racked up an astonishing 13 interceptions in his career. Despite his size, Turber-Ortiz is outstanding in run support. He is an instinctive player who times his run support.  It is not uncommon to see him 15 or more yards from the line of scrimmage prior to the snap and then sprinting down to stuff the run.  He has sideline-to-sideline range and can shed blocks effectively.  The former Biochemistry major is also durable having only missed three games in his four-year collegiate career.

Jhavonte Dean

Current Team: Ohio Force
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 26 years old, 6-1, 185 pounds

College: University of Miami
Pro Experience: NFL (Steelers and Browns) and CFL
Recent Stats: 17 total tackles, 0.5 TFL, 3 INT, 1 PBU

Jhavonte Dean has big-time school experience and a dazzling combination of size and athleticism. He attended Blinn College (TX) after high school and became the nation’s #1 Junior College cornerback. Dean transferred to the University of Miami where he played in 23 games in his final two years. He led the Hurricanes in interceptions as a senior before briefly spending time with the NFL with the Steelers and Browns.  Dean also played for a stint in the Canadian Football League.  Dean excels in man-to-man coverage and has the speed to run with receivers deep.  The Force will hope that Dean can be a lockdown corner.

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Heath Harding

Current Team: Ohio Force
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 26 years old, 5-10, 190 pounds

College: Miami University (OH)
Pro Experience: NFL (Falcons) and CFL
Recent Stats: 59 total tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 FR, 1 INT, 7 PBU

From one Miami to the other, Heath Harding was a two-time All-MAC selection for Miami University (OH). He had an incredibly productive collegiate career having played in 50 games for the Redhawks.  What Harding has in abundance is the ability to find the football as evidenced by his combined 20 pass breakups in his final two years in college in addition to his seven career interceptions. Harding spent some time with the Atlanta Falcons and Calgary Stampeders but was nagged by injuries.  Now fully healthy, he can provide a versatile piece to the Force secondary.  Despite his size, Harding should hold up well on the outside as he’s a physical corner who jams receivers at the line of scrimmage.

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Max Redfield

Current Team: Ohio Force
Position: Safety
Measurables: 26 years old, 6-1, 205 pounds

College: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Pro Experience: AAF and Italy Division I
Recent Stats: 25 total tackles, 1 FR, 1 INT

Redfield lands on this list mostly due to his potential.  It will be exciting to see if he can put it all together in MLFB. Max Redfield was a five-star recruit coming out of high school at perennial powerhouse Mission Viejo (CA).  He chose to attend Notre Dame but had a tough time in South Bend.  Coaching changes, injuries, suspensions, and finally legal troubles led him to transfer to Indiana University Pennsylvania.

At IUP, he displayed his natural talent and led IUP’s defense in tackles (78), interceptions (4), and pass breakups (9), which led to multiple NFL workouts. He played well in the Alliance of American Football for the Birmingham Iron before going overseas to continue playing. Redfield is as physically gifted as any player in MLFB and should cement himself as the premiere safety in the league.

David Simmons Jr.

Current Team: Ohio Force
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 24 years old, 6-2, 185 pounds

College: North Park College
Pro Experience: NFL (Saints)
Recent Stats: 62 total tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 8 PBU

The name of the game for Simmons Jr. is his speed. Clocked at a 4.3 40-yard dash during his North Park College Pro Day, Simmons Jr. signed with the New Orleans Saints. Simmons Jr. figures to contribute both on defense and special teams for the Force.  In college, Simmons Jr. blocked six kicks his senior season including three in one game. As a corner, Simmons Jr., like his fellow backfield compatriot Harding, is always around the ball.  Simmons has the speed to stick with any receiver in the league and will give coaches the ability to shade their safeties toward other targets.  While he did not make the final roster for the Saints, his NFL experience will serve him well in MLFB.

M.J. Hampton

Current Team: Virginia Armada
Position: Safety
Measurables: 23 years old, 6-0, 200 pounds

College: James Madison University
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 37 total tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1 INT, 4 PBU

Hampton will feel at home in the Armada secondary as his defensive coordinator at James Madison, Robert Trott, is his new secondary coach. While at the FCS powerhouse, Hampton established himself as a playmaker who transcended positions.  He lined up all over in the secondary and would occasionally play a hybrid linebacker as well. The former first-team All-CAA player had his best season as a rover where he was able to freelance between breaking up passes and rushing the passer. He’s a versatile defensive back who can be unleashed on an offense just as his new positional coach in MLFB did in college.

Alex Thomas

Current Team: Virginia Armada
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 24 years old, 6-1, 185 pounds

College: Ferris State University
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 19 total tackles, 1 FR, 3 INT, 9 PBU

Thomas was a productive college player despite some disruptions to his playing career. He started at the University of Cincinnati where he quickly got onto the field.  Thomas recorded four interceptions in his sophomore year. However, serious legal issues nearly landed him in jail.  He ultimately transferred to Ferris State University. Thomas immediately stepped in and asserted himself as a dominant defender and playmaker in the back seven.

Thomas opted out during the 2020-21 season due to COVID but came back last year as good as ever.  The reason Thomas’s statistics are not more eye-popping is because teams simply avoided throwing to his half of the field.  He finished his collegiate career with 12 interceptions and 25 pass breakups.  His frame and ball-hawking tendencies should be perfectly suited for the Armada secondary. As a small-school defensive back, Thomas could turn his MLFB opportunity into something bigger.

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Jaylen Thomas

Current Team: Virginia Armada
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 23 years old, 5-10, 170 pounds

College: Sam Houston State
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 37 total tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1 FF, 3 INT, 6 PBU

Jaylen Thomas comes to the Armada from Sam Houston State where he dominated the competition. He was a two-time All-Southland selection and recorded 10 career interceptions and an eye-popped 39 pass breakups. While he is small in stature, he more than makes up for it in physicality.  Throughout his career at Sam Houston State, Thomas racked up 14.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. While he played outside in college, for the Armada he seems to be ideally suited to play the slot.  When you watch his highlights, he’s draped all over defenders and gives them little room to operate.  He also can provide run support off the edge when playing in the slot.  Thomas will also contribute immediately on special teams. That versatility is key for success for any defensive back in MLFB.

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Josh Butler

Current Team: Alabama Airborne
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 25 years old, 6-0, 182 pounds

College: Michigan State University
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 25 total tackles, 1.5 TFL, 5 PBU

Josh Butler may not be the most talented defensive back in MLFB, but he will be one you find yourself rooting for the most. A four-year letterman at Michigan State, Butler had a solid collegiate career in the Big Ten. He started 14 games for the Spartans over his final three seasons.  Butler was always productive when in the starting lineup with 11 career pass breakups.  He is a smart player who keeps defenders in front of him and prevents big plays.  However, what makes Butler stand out is his character and perseverance. Sadly, both of his parents passed away during his college career.

On Senior Day, Butler was accompanied by his two dogs in a clip that went viral. He also contributed to humanitarian efforts led by Michigan State.  A productive, high-character player is always welcomed in the locker room.  The Airborne and MLFB have found a good defensive back in Butler.

Prince Iworah

Current Team: Alabama Airborne
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 29 years old, 5-11, 193 pounds

College: Western Kentucky
Pro Experience: NFL (49ers, Chiefs, Commanders, and Falcons), CFL, USFL, The Spring League
Recent Stats: 42 total tackles, 1.0 TFL, 4 INT, 11 PBU

The former seventh-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, Iworah brings the most NFL experience of defensive backs to MLFB. Prince Iworah came to the NFL from Western Kentucky where he was a two-year starter.  In his senior year, he recorded five interceptions and had 11 pass breakups. In the NFL, he was on the 49ers’ practice squad for the 2017 season and appeared in one game.

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After the 2017 season, he bounced around the league with the Chiefs, Redskins, and Falcons before signing with the Canadian Alouettes.  Recently he played in The Spring League and in the USFL for the Pittsburgh Maulers. As you can see from his clips in The Spring League, he’s a physical corner.  However, he can get caught grabbing on double moves.  Nevertheless, Iworah will bring a high level of professionalism to the Airborne secondary.

Kemah Siverand

Current Team: Alabama Airborne
Position: Cornerback
Measurables: 25 years old, 6-1, 200 pounds

College: Oklahoma State University
Pro Experience: NFL (Seahawks and Raiders)
Recent Stats: 1 total tackle

Kemah Siverand was a consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school who had his choice of SEC school.  He initially enrolled at Texas A&M but he received little playing time.  He ended up transferring to Oklahoma State but remained largely a special teams contributor.  Siverand never found a permanent home on either side of the ball, which likely stunted his development. However, his athleticism got him noticed by the NFL where the Seattle Seahawks signed him.

Siverand’s stint with the Seahawks was short-lived when he was cut during the preseason due to breaching COVID protocols. He was picked up by the Las Vegas Raiders but cut a few months later after legal troubles. Siverand has loads of natural talent but needs reps and the opportunity.  He will look to put his best foot forward for The Airborne. Siverand could turn this MLFB opportunity into another shot at being an NFL defensive back.

Cameron Solomon

Current Team: Alabama Airborne
Position: Safety
Measurables: 23 years old, 5-11, 193 pounds

College: University Louisiana-Lafayette
Pro Experience: Rookie
Recent Stats: 38 total tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 FF, 2 PBU

Cameron Solomon is a physical safety who played for a strong defense at the University of Louisiana. In 2021, he was named preseason All-Sun Belt second-team in addition to being named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Unlike a few other safeties on the list, Solomon is not a ballhawk and only recorded one interception in college. However, what he does well is stop the run and play disciplined. Expect him to play near the line of scrimmage and provide run support for the Airborne defense. He is particularly adept at diagnosing play calls and tracking runs down from the backside. He may not make the splashiest plays, but he is disciplined and knows how to play within a scheme. Solomon is a defensive back who could turn an MLFB shot into something bigger.

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