This is the 11th edition of our Five To Watch series. We thank The Mattioli Law Firm for returning as our title sponsor for Five To Watch. There are 33 teams in the WVC and LFC so it’s impossible to recognize every single player who might be deserving. The players we do list are some of the best at their position or have an interesting role coming up in 2022 for their team. Players will be recognized at only one position, even if they are capable two-way players. For players who don’t make the list, we hope you strive to make our lists at the end of the season because they are the ones that really count.

Here are the defensive backs:

Michael Blaine, Sr. – North Pocono
Height: 6-1 Weight 190
@MikeBlaine7
Blaine was instrumental in helping the Trojans win a division title with his play on both sides of the ball. He was a leader for the North Pocono secondary. Blaine has good speed and is a solid tackler and will be the quarterback of the defensive unit. On offense, he rushed for 990 yards and 8 touchdowns. Blaine was an LFC Division I Honorable Mention running back in 2o21.
Blaine Highlights


Matthew Cusatis, Sr. – Hazleton Area
Height: 5-11 Weight 165
@mattg1o
Cusatis has been one of the more exciting players in the WVC for the past three seasons. He is an outstanding athlete and excels in basketball and track as well. Cusatis is one of the best cover corners in the area and had four interceptions last year. He also contributed to the Cougars offense with 39 receptions for 564 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was a threat on kick returns, too. Cusatis was a WVC 6A/5A First Team defensive back and wide receiver in 2021.
Cusatis Highlights


Kevin Snyder, Sr. – Lakeland
Height: 5-8 Weight 155
@kevinsnyder05
The Chiefs secondary was one of the best last season and Snyder was a major part of it. The cornerback had 33 tackles, a sack and interception. He has great speed and coverage skills but also pays attention to details. He also excelled on offense with 35 receptions for 612 yards and 8 touchdowns. Snyder was an LFC Division III First Team defensive back and Honorable Mention wide receiver last season.
Snyder Highlights


Donato Stepney, Sr. – Scranton
Height: 5-10 Weight 170
@Donato_Stepney5
Stepney will be a key leader for the Knights on both sides of the football. He has already been a solid presence in the secondary since his freshman year. Stepney is considered a shutdown corner who has increased his speed and agility heading into his senior season. Scranton also expects him to be a contributor as a wide receiver on offense. He has gotten some Division 2 interest already and holds an offer to Seton Hill.  Stepney was an LFC Division I Honorable Mention defensive back in 2021.
Stepney Highlights


Drey Wilk, Jr. – Berwick
Height: 5-11 Weight 185
@DreytonWilk6
Wilk has all the measurables and showed them on the field in 2021. He ended the season with 98 tackles and 7 interceptions. Wilk has great speed and size and also great bloodlines as his older brother played for the Dawgs and now plays at East Carolina. The Bulldogs are hoping that he can also be a playmaker at wide receiver on the offensive side of the ball. Wilk was named a WVC 4A First Team defensive back last season and also earned All-State honors.
Wilk Highlights


SLEEPER

Ryder Machado, Jr. – Delaware Valley
Height: 5-11 Weight 155
The Machado brothers have made an impact on the Warriors program over the past several seasons and Ryder is already doing that entering his junior season. He will be an important member of DV’s secondary which will play some formidable passing teams in 2022.  
Machado Highlights


OTHERS TO WATCH

Rob Barbieri, Sr. – Pittston Area – Highlights | Twitter
Taheed Jewell, Sr. – Valley View –  Highlights | Twitter
John Jones
, Sr. – Holy CrossHighlights
Joe Peters, Sr. – Dallas –  Highlights 
Nico Ruggiero, Sr. – Dunmore –  Highlights | Twitter