NFTC Miami: Top Defense

The Nike Football Training Camp Miami camp was held Sunday at Barry University and over 150 top prospects competed in drills and 1on1's. Here is a look at some of the defensive prospects who shined.


Defensive Line

Norland's Paul James is getting better every day on his road back from a knee injury. James has the potential to be an explosive pass rusher off the edge. James walked away with the DL MVP award after a great showing in 1on1's. Despite missing time as a junior, he holds multiple BCS offers and one has to think he is primed for a big Spring at his new stomping grounds. Has played tight end in the past.

Moten will be highly coveted a year from today
Geoff Vogt,

Gulliver's Stacy Thomas has elite athleticism and is a play-maker on both sides of the ball. While he worked out with the defensive linemen, it is likely that linebacker will be his home in the future. At 6'0.5, 227 he clearly can play in space with his athletic tools.

Florida State commit Maquedius Bain was up and down on Sunday. Nursing a grown injury he was not quite as explosive as expected. Bain is still new to football and has gotten by with his plus athleticism. He learned a lot on Sunday in terms of technique and it is hard to find 6'4 DTs that move as gracefully as Bain. Adding upper body strength should be the priority for Bain.

Alvonte Bell displayed the explosive first step and athleticism that has made him a major target at the DE position. Bell does a great job of going around offensive tackles, but needs to work on his ability to engage and go through linemen. Still on the lanky side, Bell needs to get stronger. At close to 6'5 he possesses an ideal frame to work with.

James Looney was a player that really helped his stock on Sunday. He is a big bodied linemen that is more athletic than expected. It is clear that he is a hard working young man and that bodes well for his future. Looney could play DE, DT, or perhaps OG at the next level. His brother, Joe, plays at Wake Forest.

St Thomas's Anthony Moten is just a sophomore, but he held is own in the 1on1's. He looks to be the Raiders next big-time defensive linemen.


Matthew Thomas was the top prospect on the field from all the positions. At just under 6'4, the outside linebacker can run like the wind, change directions, and is not afraid to mix it up physically. Outside of needing to add strength to his great frame, he is ready for prime time and might make an early impact at the next level. As good as he was in camp, he is better in pads. Plays the game with a great motor.

Michael Deeb checked in 6'2, 237 which is ideal size for a middle linebacker. Ultra competitive, Deeb is a tackling machine on the field. He had to spend a lot of time in space during 1on1's and Deeb held his own. While he is not a guy you want covering down the field, he does have plus instincts and that was on display in the 7on7 portion. Great anticipation. When he gets his hands on you it is over.

Walker has plus athleticism at 210 pounds
Geoff Vogt,

Anthony Walker has tested as well as any athlete in the state. At around 6'1, 210 he worked with the linebackers and showed that he can cover. Dade County is known it's swift linebackers and Walker appears to fit the description to a 'T'. Might be best suited on the weak side.

Defensive Back

Sojourn Shelton walked away with the Defensive MVP. Shelton has had a big off-season where he has been rock solid in every setting. One thing he has proven is that he is a competitor. Elite feet, loose hips, and natural cover ability make up for less than ideal height and speed.

If Rashard Robinson backs up his outstanding camp play in the Spring in pads, he will collect most of the offers from the country. 6'2, 4.3-4.4 types that can change direction, are competitive, and that long are very coveted. Dare we say 'prototypes'. Robinson is those things. At 165 pounds he needs to fill out physically, but he has the upper body to add weight.

Michael Johnson was the top producer in Dade County last year at the Safety position. Outstanding ball skills and he clearly has a knack for making plays. Size wise he is more of a corner and that is where he worked out Sunday. Safeties are asked to be able to cover more and that is where Johnson could excel at the next level.

Dade is loaded at the safety position. Both Simeon Thomas and Ahmad Thomas (not related) are BCS football players. Simeon is long and very lean, but he can move and that length gives him potentially great range. Ahmad is built just about perfect and has all the tools to be a difference making type player. He just needs to be more consistent.

William Likely was the Gatorade Player of the Year for his play on both sides of the ball. He took reps at corner and stood out. It is tough to beat Likely one on one and he impresses with his toughness against size. He is so good with the ball in his hands that running back or wide receiver are also options for him.

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