NFTC Columbus: Defensive Recap

Notes on the defensive players from Saturday's NIKE Football Training Camp.

NOTE: This is the first run though of our notes, but after we watch the footage from the event over again, we will post additional thoughts.

Defensive Linemen
The MVP of this group was Ohio State commit Billy Price of Austintown Fitch, who was tough and played through bloody lips, torn shirts and more. He gets off the ball well, goes 100% all the time and simply is a battler who will have a good college career because of his motor and determination.

On the edge, Michigan commit Taco Charlton showed his athleticism in a big frame, getting around several offensive linemen and then beating a couple of them inside. Warren Central's Anthony Winbush is a tweener right now but is a good athlete who can rush the passer. He might be a stand-up OLB in a 3-4.

One of the most impressive guys was Illinois commit Jarrod Clements, a stocky kid who looks like he can go inside-outside, Clements has excellent technique and his ability to dip underneath offensive linemen was helping him get to the quarterback before a knee injury ended his day. The injury is not serious though. His future teammate at Trotwood, Trey Williams-Brown is another athletic outside rush guy who was giving the tackles problems. Joseph Henderson is another guy who is on the lighter side, but used quick feet and athleticism to get around would-be blockers. He's a likely college outside linebacker too.

On the interior, other than Price, Marquise Moore from Toledo Whitmer had a very nice day. He's a shorter kid, but he's quick, gets after it and gave offensive linemen fits. Kenton Gibbs from Detroit Cass Tech had an excellent showing as well. He always brings it at these kinds of events and once again, he was rarely stopped. Another to watch is Madison Central's Brandon Parks, who is raw, but has all the required physical tools. He got better with each rep too.

Four-star Darius Latham from North Central is an inside-outside guy who some of the camp coaches were touting as a 3-4 DE and that's what he's built like. He's a very physically talented kid with good size and athleticism. He wasn't necessarily dominating, but he had a very good day. Detroit Loyola's Malik McDowell is one of the top young guys in the Midwest and once again showed his fluidity and ability to use his hands. That, and he's always one of the most physically impressive kids at 6'6. 270-lbs.

Linebackers
Michigan commit Michael McCray, who won the MVP award was solid. He's a good sized kid who ran well in the pursuit drills. He's better straight line than side to side and can play MIKE or SAM at the next level.

Our choice for MVP would have been another Ohio product Darrien Howard, a big backer at nearly 250-lbs, but he's in better shape than when we saw him a year ago. He was a beast in pass rush drills, easily tossing aside running backs, and then the big man made plays in space and coverage that were very impressive.

Michigan State commit Jon Reschke did very well. He's added muscle and is actually moving even better with the added weight. He did a nice job in the pass rush drill too, and as a former defensive end, that is his forte.

A few young linebackers stepped up. Sherrod Graham from Indianapolis North Central has a nice build and showed good feet in some of the drills. Cass Tech's quartet of William White, Deon Drake, Stan Smith and Gary Hosey are all Division-1 prospects. On different days, it seems like a different one is stepping up and today, we thought Hosey had the best day of the group. Cincinnati Sycamore's Tinashe Bere is another class of 2014 product who looks the part and had a good showing.

Defensive Backs
This group was highlighted by the committed guys, and it was Iowa's Delano Hill who stole the show and won MVP. He's a good sized kid who made a lot of plays on the ball and got physical in coverage. He roughed up some receivers at the line. He's going to be a good one for the Hawkeyes.

Two Ohio State commits played in the secondary. Cameron Burrows came in as the corner and Jayme Thompson the safety, but we think that may flip in college. Burrows is getting big, and the way he's put together, he may be better suited to safety at the next level. Thompson on the other hand, showed he can play man to man well enough to potentially be a corner in college.

Penn State commit Ross Douglas had a very nice day. As we've seen from him in the past, he may not the biggest guy on the field, but he has great feet and quickness, which allowed him to stay right with the receivers he was going up against.

Cass Tech brought a lot of guys, including Hill, and a lot of them are bigger names, but one unsung guy is Erron Enoex, who had a good day yesterday. Toledo St. Johns Jesuit's Tony Harper is a nice sized kid who looks like a prototype safety. Cleveland Glenville's Christopher Worley is a long, lean kid who did well in drills, but may move to outside linebacker at the next level. Trotwood-Madison's Reon Dawson is a nice looking kid on the hoof. He's raw, but has upside.

In the 2014 class, one kid who emerged was Lima Central Catholic's Darius West.

Dave Berk, Bob Lichtenfels and Bill Greene contributed notes, observations and more to this report.


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