West's Best

Scout.com breaks down the top talent on the West squad at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl's first practice session. Who were the best defenders on day two? Pound it here for all of the coverage of the action.

Overall MVP

Colt Lyerla, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound outside linebacker from Hillsboro High in Oregon may look like a defensive end, but he moves like a defensive back. He has long arms and is able to track down the swiftest runners in the open field. He is a guy who could probably spin down to the defensive end spot in college and for getting some of the first reps of his career at the linebacker spot he sure was impressive. He made two of the best defensive plays in the one-on-one portion of the action in coverage, by hauling in two interceptions. The smaller, swifter and faster running backs were just not able to shake him.

The Best of the Rest

1. Despite being held out of most of the team action (The West is short on Des and Rasco had a slightly tweaked ankle) Jermauria Rasco, a 6-foot-2, 225-pounder from Evangel Christian Academy in La., was an unblockable force. He is super fast off the edge in the one-on-ones. On the first play he blew past Greg Robinson, a fellow Louisianan, with a nice physical pass rush that was just not about speed. He used his hands well and got good leverage to cause Robinson to become a little off balance and it was over from there. On the very next rep he bowled right over the day's most impressive offensive lineman, Matt Hegarty.

2. DeAnthony Thomas, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound corner from Crenshaw High School in Ca., got beat a couple of times, but even when he did get beat he was right in the receiver's hip pocket. He can flip his hips and run down the field without losing any speed and that allows him to be able to come up and be physical in his man coverage despite the fact that he is always the smallest guy in the match-up. To a man all of the West receivers say that he is the most talented defensive back on the squad.

3. Jason Gibson, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound defensive end from Serra High in Ca., continued his good run that he started on day one. If an offensive lineman is able to get locked on to him he has trouble, but the thing is he is so fast it is almost impossible for the tackles to get their hands on him before he blows past them.

"If you are talking about the best defensive guys I think that you have to include Gibson on that list, at least from what I saw today," said Scout.com West Recruiting manager Brandon Huffman.

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