2021 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the cornerbacks

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 | 7:28 PM

TribLive HSSN will break down the top players at one position per day until Week Zero. Here’s a look at the top cornerbacks for the 2021 season.

1. Rodney Gallagher

Laurel Highlands

Junior, 6-0, 170

Football or basketball? The two-sport athlete will have to make that decision sometime in the future, but for now he’s a high school star in both. On the turf, Gallagher is a big-play offensive threat at quarterback and as a part-time wide receiver, but that overshadows the two-way starter’s strong work at cornerback. He had 34 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery last fall. He holds Division I offers in both football and basketball. Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia have offered him a scholarship in each. Among his other options are Notre Dame, Michigan and Ole Miss football and Florida basketball. He’s a Rivals four-star recruit.

Watch Rodney Gallagher highlights

2. Lamont Payne

Chartiers Valley

Junior, 6-1, 175

As a sophomore starter with excellent coverage skills, Payne played a role in Chartiers Valley’s resurgence last fall, as the Colts improve from 2-8 in 2019 to 6-2 in 2020. He was rewarded with a string of Division I offers including Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Kent State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Rivals ranks him as a three-star recruit.

Watch Lamont Payne highlights

3. Pharoh Fisher

Serra Catholic

Senior, 6-2, 200

The Navy commit is a physical defender on the perimeter and a four-year starter at wide receiver. He committed to the Midshipmen over offers from Army, Air Force, Bowling Green and Columbia. He earned all-conference honors at defensive back.

Watch Pharoh Fisher highlights

4. Rashan Murray

University Prep

Senior, 6-1, 180

Murray earned all-City League honors at wide receiver last season but his college future will be on defense. The Rivals two-star recruit committed to Akron when he received his first Division I offer this summer.

Watch Rashan Murray highlights

5. Jaden Dugger

Penn Hills

Senior, 6-4, 200

Dugger’s size and speed combination makes him a rarity at cornerback. He’s also seems poised for a breakout year at wide receiver, where he’ll be catching passes from his brother, sophomore QB Julian Dugger.

Watch Jaden Dugger highlights


Brandon Banks


Sophomore, 5-11, 160

When it comes to WPIAL cornerbacks, no school compares to Aliquippa. Darrelle Revis and Ty Law top a list of star defensive backs who’ve worn the red and black. Banks, who became a starter as a freshman, could become another standout cornerback for the Quips.

Watch Brandon Banks highlights

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

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Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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