DB High

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Before Landon Collins was a Pro Bowl safety for the Giants, he was a Griffin. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

Over the years, there has been a hot debate in college football as to what school can accurately declare themselves “DBU” (Defensive Backs University).

According to the number of defensive backs playing in the NFL, LSU looks to currently have the title, but that hasn’t stopped Texas from also adopting the moniker.

While those two schools can bicker and debate, there’s not much argument when it comes to the high-school level.

Over the past decade, there is one Baton Rouge area school that can brag about being DBH (Defensive Backs High), and that honor goes to Dutchtown.

Dutchtown has been able to produce a wealth of talent over the years. Many of their former all-district and All-State players have gone on to play big-time college football and have also heard their names called during the NFL Draft.

We saw a former Griffin running back in Eddie Lacy go on to win two national titles at Alabama and then make a Pro Bowl as a rookie for the Packers.

However, Dutchtown’s biggest impact has always come from the secondary.

The first great defensive back they produced was Eric Reid.

After an accomplished high-school career, Reid went on to LSU, where his father excelled as a track star.

By the end of his freshman season, he had worked his way into the starting lineup. By the time he was a junior, he had earned All-American honors.

He skipped his senior season to enter the draft and was drafted 18th overall by the 49ers. Like Lacy, he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

Reid has started for San Francisco since his first game. Though, this season was cut short after he suffered a torn biceps.

The apple didn’t fall very far from the tree.

His little brother, Justin, graduated from Dutchtown in 2015.

Like Eric, he was heavily recruited and had an offer from LSU, but he chose to blaze his own path at Stanford.

He earned himself playing time as a true freshman, and this past season, Justin became a starting safety. At the end of the year, he was awarded honorable mention All-Pac 12 honors.

Another former Griffin safety that had a huge year was Landon Collins.

Collins created a stir in his senior year at Dutchtown when he chose Alabama over LSU on national TV to his mother’s chagrin.

Though that decision may have hurt the Tigers, it paid huge dividends for Collins.

He went on to start two seasons at Alabama—culminating in him being a first-team All-American his junior year and winning a national title.

Collins went on to be drafted 33rd overall by the Giants in the 2015 draft.

He had his coming out party in 2016.

In being named to the Pro Bowl and establishing himself as a serious Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Collins finished the regular season with 125 tackles, five interceptions, four sacks and one defensive touchdown.

That monster season by Collins has surely made the Dutchtown faithful proud, but another proud moment had to come during the college bowl season.

In the Holiday Bowl, former Griffin cornerback Coney Durr made his first ever start as a true freshman for Minnesota as they played heavily favored Washington State.

Despite it being his first start and playing a high-powered passing attack, Durr handled himself beautifully. He finished with four tackles, a pass breakup and he didn’t give up any big plays.

Unfortunately, Durr’s afternoon ended early when he sustained a leg injury during the second half of the game.

But as one Griffin left, another went in to take his place.

Redshirt freshman Alonzo Craighton stepped in and played cornerback for the Gophers. Craighton was a safety at Dutchtown and graduated in 2014.

And now, Adam Sparks is set to join that prestigious list of Dutchtown defensive backs that went on to play at the next level.

His older brother is currently a quarterback at Purdue, but he has made his greatest impact on the defensive side of the ball—earning all-district honors this past season.

Sparks originally committed to Vanderbilt, but on Christmas day, he decided that he would be taking his talents to Missouri, instead.

It will be fun to watch what Collins and Eric Reid can continue to do in the NFL and what Durr, Craighton, Sparks and Justin Reid can accomplish at the collegiate level in these next few years.

Who will be the next star to come out of DBH?