The Opening Preview: Defense

Several members of the Scout 300, including numerous five-stars, will be featured on defense at The Opening presented by NIKE Football...

"The Opening" by NIKE Football
 
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  • Thanks to the incredible success of the Nike 7ON Championship the past few years, Nike has kicked it up a notch with the first-ever "The Opening presented by NIKE Football."

    Nearly 150 of the top prospects in the 2012 class will converge on the Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, for a five-day summer football event.

    Wednesday, all 150 invitees will participate in the SPARQ National Championships.  On Thursday, there will be a Nike Football Training Camp, much like the camps held around the country during the spring.  On Friday, the skill position players will participate in the 7ON Tournament, being selected on Thursday night, while the Linemen will have a competition of their own.  Pool play and preliminaries are on Friday.  Then on Saturday, the Nike 7ON Champions will be crowned and the Linemen Championships will take place.

    Scout.com will be in Beaverton all week to cover the SPARQ Championships, Nike Football Training Camp, Linemen Workout and Nike 7ON Tournament.

    Here is a look at the top defensive prospects expected in Beaverton.

    DEFENSIVE LINE


    Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft DE Adolphus Washington.
    Scout.com

    The headliners on the defensive line include three Scout Top 50 members, led by Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft defensive end Adolphus Washington.

    The five-star prospect is the lone five-star at defensive end, but there will be a pair of California defensive tackles who are five-stars inside.

    They are Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony's Aziz Shittu, who was the defensive line MVP at the Los Angeles NFTC and fellow Golden State native Ellis McCarthy from Monrovia (Calif.).

    Other Scout 300 members at defensive end include Mobile (Fla.) Faith Academy's Chris Casher, a Florida State commit, Canton (Ohio) McKinley's Se'Von Pittman, a Michigan State commit, Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison's Mario Ojemudia, a Michigan commit and Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou's Luke Kaumatule.

    Inside, joining Shittu and McCarthy out of the Scout 300 include Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central's Sheldon Day, Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville's Korren Kirven and Flint (Mich.) Powers Catholic's Danny O'Brien.

    LINEBACKERS

    The linebacker crop boasts the premier outside linebacker and middle linebacker in the country, Oxford (Ala.) Kwon Alexander, the #1-ranked outside backer in the country by Scout.com and Madison (Ala.) Bob Jones' Reggie Ragland, a verbal to Alabama.


    Oxford (Ala.) linebacker Kwon Alexander
    Scout.com

    Alexander is one of four top 10 outside backers expected, with Centerville (Ohio) Ifeadi Odenigbo, Dallas (Texas) Skyline's Peter Jinkens, a Texas commit and Downey (Calif.) Jabari Ruffin, a USC commit.

    Other Scout 300 members include Miami (Fla.) Norland's Keith Brown, a Miami commit, South Bend (Ind.) Washington's David Perkins, a commit to hometown Notre Dame, Brenham (Texas) Timothy Cole, a Texas commit, Charlotte (N.C.) Berry's Nick Dawson, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Markuss Eligwe, a Florida State pledge and Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson's Raphael Kirby, a Miami verbal.

    Three of the top four middle backers in the country will be on hand, joining Ragland.  The second-ranked middle backer, Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary Prep's James Ross, a Michigan commit, and the four-ranked Kaiwan Lewis from Hammonton (N.J.) St. Joseph's, will be in Oregon.

    Buford (Ga.) middle backer Dillon Lee, an Alabama commit, rounds out the Scout 300 members.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS

    The secondary will feature a Scout Top 50 prospect in cornerback Tee Shepard from Fresno (Calif.) Central, a Notre Dame commit.


    Dallas (Texas) A. Maceo Smith DB LaDarrell McNeil
    Scout.com

    Other Scout 300 cornerbacks invited include Desoto (Texas) Bryson Echols, a Texas commit, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside's Josh Holsey, an Auburn verbal, Miramar (Fla.) Tracy Howard, West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial's Armani Reeves, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech's Terry Richardson, a Michigan pledge, Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks' Marcus Rios, a Boise State commit, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez's Brandon Beaver and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes' Cedric Dozier.

    At safety, Dallas (Texas) A. Maceo Smith's LaDarrell McNeil headlines a stout group of Scout 300 safeties.

    He'll be joined by Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep's Nelson Agholor, Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian's Travis Blanks, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville's Devan Bogard, an Ohio State commit, Miami (Fla.) Christopher Columbus' Deon Bush, Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods' Alex Carter, a Stanford verbal, Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity's Marcus Maye and Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard's P.J. Williams, a commit to Florida State.

    Brandon is in his seventh year with Scout.com, currently as the National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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