USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Los Angeles football nominees — defense

Photo: Rob Ruben/Crossview Studios

USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Los Angeles football nominees — defense

Football

USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Los Angeles football nominees — defense

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The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards are coming to Los Angeles.

On May 19, 2020, the top athletes from around the Los Angeles area will be honored at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus.

Here are the 12 nominees for Los Angeles Football Defensive Player of the Year.

Jaylin Davies, Mater Dei (Photo: Russ Ronchi)

Jaylin Davies

School: Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
Position: Cornerback
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Davies came up big often for Mater Dei, especially in the regular-season game against St. John Bosco when he made two crucial plays to help secure the victory.

Raesjon Davis, Mater Dei (Photo: David Chisholm/1550 Sports)

Raesjon Davis

School: Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Davis can counter opposing wideouts with the best of them. He also gets into receivers’ routes with uncommon aggressiveness when he goes hip to hip.

Jonathan Flowe, Upland (Photo: David Chisholm/1550 Sports)

Jonathan Flowe

School: Upland (Calif.)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Following his brother’s footsteps into opposing backfields, Jonathan had 14 tackles for loss and nine sacks to go with 54 tackles as a junior.

Justin Flowe, Upland (Photo: David Chisholm/1550 Sports)

Justin Flowe

School: Upland (Calif.)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2020
College: Oregon
Noteworthy: Flowe, the most coveted linebacker in the nation, had 123 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles. His coach, Darryl Thomas, sums him up succinctly: “He is fast, strong, smart and violent.”

Korey Foreman (90), Centennial (Photo: Tre Anthony)

Korey Foreman

School: Centennial (Corona)
Position: Defensive end
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: At 17, Foreman, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs more than 260 pounds, is manhandling mismatches. He blows by and powers through opposing offensive linemen with ease.

Ray Leutele, Mater Dei (Photo: Russ Ronchi/Mater Dei Football)

Ray Leutele

School: Mater Dei
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2020
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Leutele led Mater Dei in tackles (72), tackles for loss (18.5) and interceptions (three) while also posting six sacks and defending eight passes.

Kobe Pepe, St. John Bosco (Photo: EC Sabin/St. John Bosco Football)

Kobe Pepe

School: St. John Bosco (Bellflower)
Position: Defensive line
Class: 2020
College: USC
Noteworthy: Pepe led St. John Bosco with 74 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks and also had a forced fumble and deflected five passes.

Clark Phillips, La Habra (Photo: Paul Luna)

Clark Phillips III

School: La Habra
Position: Cornerback
Class: 2020
College: Utah
Noteworthy: Phillips did it all at La Habra, contributing on offense and special teams, but it’s the aggressiveness against the pass and run that made him a Buckeye. He had four interceptions and seven passes defended.

Robert Regan, Orange Lutheran (Photo: Alexandar Kitano)

Robert Regan

School: Lutheran (Orange)
Class: 2021
Position: Cornerback
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Regan displayed discipline with his hands and the ability to go hip to hip with opposing wideouts of all speeds this season for Lutheran. Recruiters have noted the desired arm length as he collected 43 tackles, three interceptions and defended 20 passes.

Jay Toia, Grace Brethren (Photo: Rob Ruben/Crossview Studios)

Jay Toia

School: Grace Brethren (Simi Valley)
Class: 2021
Position: Defensive tackle
College: USC
Noteworthy: Toia grew up playing rugby, but he has fully transitioned to football as a 300-pounder who relishes leveling opposing linemen. He had 43 tackles, eight tackles for loss and six sacks.

Victory Vaka, Westlake (Photo: Angel Ziess)

Victory Vaka

School: Westlake (Westlake Village)
Class: 2021
Position: Defensive tackle
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Vaka tips the scales at over 300 pounds but is nimble enough to negotiate his way through defensive lines into quarterback’s faces for sacks and run stuffs.

Kourt Williams II, St. John Bosco (Photo: David Chisholm/1550 Sports)

Kourt Williams

School: St. John Bosco (Bellflower)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2020
College: Ohio State
Noteworthy: Williams wrought havoc in the Trinity League as a hard-hitting hybrid — strong safety and outside linebacker — with speed. His style will dovetail with Ohio State’s defensive approach.

For more information on the USA TODAY High School Sports Awards event in Los Angeles, visit sportsawardsla.com. Answers to frequently asked questions about the event can be found here.

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