Yesterday, I published the All-Brooklyn Offensive First and Second Teams and today it’s time to reveal the All-Brooklyn Defensive First and Second Teams.
Go easy with me on the criticism because, again, it’s very hard to compare some of these players. While there are a lot of obvious choices it can be very tough to compare players and easily differentiate between who belongs on the First Team and who is a Second Team guy or who gets left off entirely. With that said, I was in attendance for over 20 games this season, watched over 100 Hudl highlight tapes, conferred with coaches and other reporters and I think it’s a pretty solid list.
Here we go:
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jay Hayes, Poly Prep, defensive lineman, senior
Hayes is huge at 6-foot-5 and 270-pounds, but is also supremely talented and works hard at his craft. There is no mistaking why Notre Dame wanted him and there is no point in even listing his stats because it is everything opposing teams can do to avoid him.
Thomas Holley, Lincoln High School, defensive lineman, senior, highlights
He used to be a basketball player that never once stepped onto a football field until last year, but his size and strength are so impressive that he quickly became one of the top recruited players in the country. He’s going to Penn State, but not before he led Lincoln to a city title behind 67 tackles and seven sacks.
Denzel Munroe, Poly Prep, defensive lineman, senior
Munroe is in a similar spot as Oregon, as he’s often overshadowed by Hayes, but even Hayes touts him as the third best defensive lineman in the city. He’s a big, quick guy with a polished technique.
Jose Duncan, Erasmus Hall, defensive lineman, senior, highlights
I initially had him listed on the Second Team, but just couldn’t leave him there. He’s just too big, too fast, and really controls the game on the defensive side. He finished the year with 12 sacks and 48 tackles.
Khendell “Larry” Puryear, Lincoln, defensive back, senior, highlights
Puryear is another kid whose numbers don’t do him justice because opponents do whatever they can to avoid him. He still finished with two picks, 41 tackles and a touchdown. If he were bigger, he’d have a ticket printed to the NFL.
Darin Peart, Erasmus Hall, defensive back, senior, highlights
It’s fun to debate who the better corner back is — Puryear or Peart — because they are both so good. Peart certainly matches up well though with five interceptions and 32 tackles on the season. He even pitched in with 191 yards receiving on just seven receptions making everyone wonder why he wasn’t used more on offense.
Michael Brooks, Fort Hamilton, defensive back, junior, highlights
When I first covered Fort Hamilton this season, Brooks’ mother told me to be sure to take plenty of pictures of her son. She was wasting her time because it is obvious that Brooks is not only the most talented player on Fort Hamilton, but one of the best in the city too. He finished the year with 568 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns — one rushing, one receiving, three kick returning, and two on defense.
Stephan Garrick, Sheepshead Bay, defensive back/running back, senior, highlights
Sheepshead Bay struggled this year, but they had a few talented players and among them was Garrick, whom did a little bit of everything for them. He had 522 yards rushing, 217 yards on kick returns, 159 yards receiving, threw for 40 yards, had 26 tackles, recovered a fumble and had 11 touchdowns overall.
Leroy Hancle, Lincoln, linebacker/running back, senior, highlights
Hancle would probably have had 1,000 yards rushing if he were on any team other than Lincoln because he’d get more chances, but even as it is he still finished with 540 yards and 11 touchdowns after he emerged late in the season. He’s on this list as a linebacker though because of his 61 tackles, three sacks, interception and fumble recovery.
Glenville Bell, Canarsie, linebacker, senior, highlights
Glenville Bell was one of the best defensive players in the entire city as he had a crazy 14 sacks, 46 tackles, four fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.
Michael Velasquez, New Utrecht, defensive back/wide receiver, senior, highlights
Velasquez is dangerous on defense, but he is another player that does a little bit of everything. Velasquez had 804 total yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Alejandro Oregon, Lincoln, defensive lineman, junior, highlights
With Holley getting so much attention it might be easy to overlook Oregon, but he has everyone’s attention after he posted 69 tackles and 10 sacks this season.
Ray Marten, Poly Prep, defensive lineman, sophomore
Marten is a big guy at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds that played on both sides of the ball for Poly including some full back, tight end and defensive line.
Kadeen Dryden, New Utrecht, defensive lineman, junior, highlights
Dryden is big and fast and finished the season with 56 tackles and eight sacks. He will likely be on the short list of the best defensive linemen in Brooklyn next year along with Oregon and Marten.
Aking Gaston, Sheepshead Bay, defensive lineman, senior, highlights
Gaston is a strong athlete that played on both sides of the ball for Sheepshead. He had 52 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and a safety for good measure. He nabbed the last spot for the lineman position that could have gone to many other talented players.
Jahsi Meade, Lincoln, corner back, senior, highlights
One of the more vocal leaders on Lincoln’s team, Meade had 46 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Imani Vincent, Sheepshead Bay, defensive back/quarterback, senior, highlights
Vincent is another guy who did a little bit of everything for Sheepshead Bay. He threw for 121 yards, ran for 186, caught 30, and returned another 53. He also had two interceptions, recovered a fumble, had 31 tackles and had five touchdowns.
Isaiah Washington, defensive back/running back, senior, highlights
I was a big Isaiah Washington fan this season as he did a little bit of everything for Fort Hamilton. He finished with 443 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense and was strong in the backfield as well with 44 tackles, a sack and an interception.
Nicholas Smith, Boys and Girls, defensive back, junior, highlights
Smith had six interceptions, two sacks and 30 tackles for Boys High. He’s a dynamic player and I expect him to be taking on a much bigger role at Boys High next season.
Dupreme Robinson, South Shore, linebacker/running back, senior
South Shore head coach Matt Ciquera said that Robinson is perhaps the biggest reason for their program’s revival. he had 814 yards rushing, 91 tackles, three recovered fumbles, two sacks and six touchdowns as he led the Vikings to a Bowl Championship.
Ramshar Clarke, Canarsie, linebacker, senior, highlights
Clarke had 543 yards rushing, 85 tackles, two sacks, three fumble recoveries and eight touchdowns.
Brandon Harding, Boys High, linebacker/running back, senior, highlights
Harding had 571 yards rushing and another 102 yards receiving for four touchdowns and had 50 tackles and a fumble recovery.