All-Oregon NFTC Team: The Defense

Here's a look at the top 11 defensive standouts from Oregon at the Nike Football Training Camp this past weekend, led by DL MVP Eddie Vanderdoes...


Defensive Line

Eddie Vanderdoes, Placer (Calif.)- Three different prospects, all with BCS offers, lost their only 1on1s against Vanderdoes. In fact, he went 9-0 on the day in the 1on1s. In fact, the only place where Vanderdoes struggled? Losing a 1on1 in the tug-of-war. But as a defensive lineman, there was a significant gap between he and everyone else. Vanderdoes is incredibly quick off the ball, his first step is the quickest we've seen from a West Coast defensive lineman in a couple of years, and he's got a powerful body that he can just blow offensive lineman off the ball, which he did. He uses his hands better than any defensive lineman that we've seen in this class, so couple that with his quickness and strength, and there is very little debate of why he's a top 10 player nationally.

Mike Ralston, Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon- A physical specimen, Ralston could play defensive end or tight end.  He's quick off the ball, plays nice and low and has good instincts and footwork.  He wants to play tight end in college, but we think he's got a higher ceiling as a defensive end.

Nick Aumua, Auburn (Wash.) Mountainview- Coming from a relatively new school that has yet to sign a D-I prospect, Aumua could be the first, with good get off, good size and quickness and a frame to add more weight. He is definitely a defensive end in college, but could also be an outside linebacker in a 3-4.


Johnny Ragin, Wilsonville (Ore.)- After recording the top SPARQ score in Beaverton, Ragin grabbed MVP honors for the linebacker position. Ragin landed his first offer Friday from Portland State, but it won't be his last. Ragin passes the eye test with flying colors and was as athletic and fluid as any player in the group.

Griffith Gates, Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill- Gates moved really well for his size and is a big time competitor. You could see him as a hybrid OLB/DE with a good frame for either spot, or even as a middle linebacker.

Danny Mattingly, Spokane (Wash.) Mead- The 6'5" 225lbs prospect spent some time running through drills at tight end in addition to linebacker. Mattingly has great speed for his size and looks very comfortable in coverage. If there is a flaw in his game it may be the speed with which he changes direction.

Joe Martarano, Fruitland (Idaho)-Martarano is a hidden gem. He committed early in the process to the Broncos and doesn't receive much national attention coming from Idaho. Martarano is a big time prospect and done a good job filling out his frame since we saw him last. He plays quarterback for his high school team and it is easy to see that he plays with a bvery high football IQ. Bronco fans won't have to worry about him changing schools, but do have to be concerned about his potential to be drafted by a major league baseball team next spring..

Defensive Backs

Trayvon Henderson, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant- A long safety at about 6-2, 190, Henderson has a good frame that can probably add another 15-20 pounds and play at 6-2, 210, in college. In the positional drills, he showed great footwork, was fluid and has good burst.

Chidobe Awuzie, San Jose (Calif.) Oak Grove-  Awuzie, like Henderson, overshadowed by a Pac-12-bound teammate a year ago, probably looked the best of the corners. Awuzie isn't real big, going about 5-10, 165, but he's quick with real smooth hip turn and very good backpedal and active hands. Awuzie has a few offers already.

Dallin Leavitt, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic- Leavitt is well put together, rangy and has good closing speed and always seems to be in position to make plays.  Solid if not spectacular on Sunday.

A.Z. Dyer, San Jose (Calif.) Piedmont Hills- Dyer looked strong in the positional drills then raised his game in the 1on1s, earning the praise of the coaches after a host of breakups and a couple of picks.

National Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman and Northwest Recruiting Analyst Jake Worthen contributed to this report

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