USAAAB: West Defensive Notes

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- takes a look at some of the action from the first day of West practice. In this feature we take a look at the defensive side of the ball...

Defensive Line – Not having Kylie Fitts hurts the depth at defensive end, but the West squad rectified that depth problem with moving the monster that is A'Shawn Robinson over to log some snaps there. At 6'4, 310 that is not his natural position, but the fact that he has the athletic ability to do so speaks volumes. Eddie Vanderdoes plays with a low center of gravity and is able to get inside to wreak havoc and that allows linebackers to clean things up behind him. Isaiah Golden and Justin Manning are both going to Texas A&M and they will make a great duo there. Golden is a massive load who can plug gaps and Manning seems as quick off the ball as any defensive end.

Linebacker – The linebackers are also tremendously skilled and the West coaches used them in a variety of ways. They had some sets that had Jaylon Smith and Mike Mitchell on the field at the same time with Chans Cox in the middle and they had some sets with Tim Kimbrough in the middle with Myles Jack and Michael Hutchings and Josh Banderas outside. They mixed an matched even more than that, but one thing is evidently clear. All the backers have the desirable size with the speed to chase down very quick running backs to the edge. They also as a group have above average coverage skills. The best set of linebackers I have seen covering the game, or at least the potential to be. Maybe a defender will win MVP for the West like Chris Galippo did a few years back.

Defensive Back – Scout's No. 1 safety Su'a Cravens did not practice due to injury, and all-in-all it just seemed like a light day for the safeties. They spent a lot of time going over assignment while corners and receivers did one-on-one. With Cravens out they used Ezekiel Elliott and Antwuan Davis at the position. The corners seem to be a pretty talented bunch with Chris Hawkins and Tre'Davious White leading the grouping. Hawkins is a fiery competitor and White is super athletic. Jourdan Lewis is also very talented and has added some nice size to his frame from the time we saw him at The Opening in the summer. It will be hard to pick the two starters.

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