2023 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the cornerbacks

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 | 3:00 AM

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 2023 season.

1. Kyshawn Robinson


Sophomore, 5-10, 165

As a freshman, Robinson was somewhat overshadowed when Westinghouse reached the state finals with a senior-heavy roster, but he won’t be anymore. The hard-hitting cornerback earned second-team all-City League honors as a ninth grader, and has since added college offers from schools in the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Big 12, among others. His scholarship list includes Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Akron, Florida, Nebraska, South Carolina, Syracuse, Texas A&M and UNLV. His freshman highlights include a couple of gutsy goal-line tackles in the state finals. He helped the Bulldogs hold 11 of 15 opponents to a touchdown or less.

Watch Kyshawn Robinson highlights

2. Brandon Banks


Senior, 6-0, 170

Banks had four interceptions as a sophomore and four more last season as the Quips repeated as WPIAL Class 4A champions. He earned first-team all-conference honors in 2021 and second-team honors last year. More than two dozen colleges were recruiting him, and Banks committed to Yale over offers from Coastal Carolina, Liberty and Ohio. He also plays wide receiver and had 24 catches for 398 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Watch Brandon Banks highlights

3. Xxavier Thomas

Central Catholic

Junior, 5-10, 160

Thomas had a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 75-yard punt return touchdown in the same game last season, showing what can happen when opponents put the ball in his hands. His longest TD was an 88-yard kickoff return. He earned first-team all-conference honors in Class 6A. His first college offers came from Akron and Yale, which is the Ivy League alma mater of his brother, Rodney, now a safety for the Indianapolis Colts.

Watch Xxavier Thomas highlights

4. Antwan Black

Laurel Highlands

Junior, 6-1, 170

Rodney Gallagher is now playing for West Virginia, but there’s still a future Division I athlete in the Mustangs’ secondary. Black’s sophomore highlight was an interception in the end zone that he returned 104 yards for a touchdown. Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Toledo have offered him scholarships. Offensively, he contributed 24 receptions and five touchdowns.

Watch Antwan Black highlights

5. Da’Ron Barksdale

Steel Valley

Sophomore, 5-10, 175

Barksdale made 63 tackles last season and led the team with 11 pass defenses as the Ironmen won the WPIAL Class 2A title. His first varsity touchdown was a 47-yard fumble return in the season opener. He has college offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Akron, Syracuse, Temple and UNLV. His workload is increasing as the team’s starting quarterback.

Watch Da’Ron Barksdale highlights

One to watch

Mikey Crawford

Western Beaver

Senior, 6-3, 185

Crawford didn’t play football as a freshman or sophomore. He attends Lincoln Park and plays basketball there, but joined the Western Beaver football team through a co-op. He had 28 tackles and two interceptions in eight games last fall, and now lists offers from Michigan State, Boston College, Akron, UConn and Toledo. He also had 14 catches and three touchdowns as a wide receiver.

Watch Mikey Crawford highlights

• • • • •

Position breakdowns

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

Top five coaching changes for 2023

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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