All NWFL defensive players 2017
Opposing coaches will be glad to finally be rid of Adarius McWilliams. The senior defensive tackle, a four-year starter for West Florida Tech, makes our all-area team for a second straight year.
The man they call the fish fought off double teams to record 34 tackles, six sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Daishon Folsom provided similar dominance in the trenches for Escambia. The senior took up a lot of space and manpower, making 32 tackles, four for loss, and had two sacks.
At defensive end, we turn to Pensacola High's Davonchae Bryant. He used to be thought of as a basketball prospect, but not anymore. The senior, committed to UCF, made 70 tackles, 15 for loss, came up with seven sacks, and three forced fumbles.
Rounding out our 4 - 3 defense up front is a sophomore - Pine Forest defensive end Jaylen Clausell. He drew raves from opposing coaches and put up a big number, 10 and a half sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 62 overall tackles.
Last season, Tate's Jaderian Johnson was a backup wide receiver. This season, he's an all-area linebacker. The senior made the most of his position switch, bringing down 100 ball carriers, 19 and a half for loss, with eight sacks.
Navarre's Josh Carter makes our all-area teams for the second straight year, only this time it's as a linebacker, last season he was on the defensive line. Still just a junior, Carter turned in 97 tackles, five sacks, and one pick six.
Another sophomore makes the squad at linebacker. Escambia's Frank Pleasant playing beyond his years with 89 tackles, 10 for loss. He picked off two passes and scored two touchdowns.
Niceville's Juanyeh Thomas could have made all-area at a number of spots, but we'll take him as a defensive back. Not many dared throw his way, but did grab one interception, forced a fumble, and recovered one.
Of course, we should also mention his 20 yards a catch as a receiver and 37-yard punt return average with two touchdowns.
Several coaches called West Florida Tech's Keyon Helton the area's best defensive player. His own coach said the senior safety is his team's vocal leader and then there's the 83 tackles and two interceptions.
Gulf Breeze safety Walter Yates III is on our all-area team for the second time. He couldn't match last season's eight picks, but with fewer balls coming his way still grabbed three along with two forced fumbles and 84 tackles, 10 for loss.
Capping off the secondary is Pine Forest junior Martin Emerson. The cornerback excelled against the run and the pass. He had 58 tackles and drew lots of compliments for his all-around play.
Our punter is Niceville senior Connor Allen. He averaged over 35 yards a boot.
The team would be incomplete without two all-purpose players.
We really could have picked any of the three Voison brothers playing for Crestview, but we'll take the senior, Keon Voison. He turned in many big plays on both sides of the ball.
As a receiver, he caught 21 passes for 394 yards and four scores almost identical to his brothers, but he separated himself at defensive back with three interceptions and 21 tackles.
Finally, we give a deserving spot to Baker's Junior McLaughlin, a key guy in the Gator's undefeated regular season. Always a threat to go the distance, he ran for over 1,200 yards with a whopping 12 and a half per carry and 16 touchdowns - add in 627 receiving yards and six more scores.
The junior is also a standout linebacker with 48 tackles and two picks, plus, a dangerous return man with three punts coming all the way back.