The West's Emerging Defensive Prospects

A look at the emerging defensive players out West as the evaluation period gets started, and which players who are looking to add more FBS offers into the mix...

Sione Taumoe'anga
Defensive Line, Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt
Taumoe'anga has one FBS offer, from Idaho, as well as one from Portland State, but when coaches get a chance to see him this spring, expect that to increase.  He's one of the top defensive linemen in the Northwest and can play either tackle or nose at the next level.

Sumner Houston
Defensive Line, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Overshadowed by a ton of prospects on his own team the past couple of years, Houston has been a rock for the Spartans on both the offensive line and defensive line.  His brother, Bart, is now at Wisconsin, and several other key players have graduated, but Houston has a chance to be the next in line at De La Salle and he'll continue to anchor the trenches for the Spartans.

Jason Fao
Defensive Line, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Poly is home to the nation's best safety in Juju Smith and elite sophomore defensive back Iman Marshall, but he may be the heart and soul of the defense for the Jackrabbits, playing a major role not just on defense, but on the offensive line too.  With schools wanting to see Smith and Marshall, they'll be able to see one of the best linemen in the Southland in Fao.

Lane Veach
Defensive Line, Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry
Veach is a 6-6, 220-pound outside linebacker that projects as a defensive end, and should add the weight for the position. He can flat out run and occasionally lines up in the slot and covers receivers.

John Porchivina
Linebacker, Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande
Holds one offer, from Idaho, but should see that expand after the spring.  Wants to play running back at the next level, but linebacker is where he's best suited.  Was overshadowed last year by All-American teammate Elijah Qualls, but his coach says he's one of the toughest players he's ever coached and he should end up with more offers after the eval period.

Sam Bodine
Linebacker, Canby (Ore.)
:Much like another Oregon native, Johnny Ragin, from last year's class, Bodine is under-the-radar, coming from a school that isn't necessarily known for its prospects. He looked great at the Vegas NLA Elite 7on7 and has the athleticism and size that college coaches covet.

D.J. Biggers
Linebacker, Redlands (Calif.)
On a team that had three FBS players a year ago, Biggers was the anchor of the Terriers defense and figures to be one of the top prospects in the Inland Empire in this class.

Demonte King
Defensive Back, Los Alamitos (Calif.)
From traditional powerhouse Los Alamitos, it's been somewhat of a dry run for the Griffins in the past couple of years, but college coaches are very aware of the school, and always stop by.  They will get to see King, who was terrific at the Los Angeles NFTC and has done well at a handful of 7on7 tournaments already.

Artuz Manning
Defensive Back, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)
Three of Rancho Cucamonga's defensive backs signed with FBS schools last year, two of them were All-Americans, so Manning got lost in the shuffle there.  But he's been very good on the 7on7 circuit this spring and now that it's his turn to shine, should see the offers roll in.

Kevin Hamlett
Defensive Back, Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe
Not just a good physical safety, but Hamlett gets it done in he classroom too, carrying a 4.0 GPA.

Quentin Tartabull
Defensive Back, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
A two-year starter as a linebacker for Alemany, Tartabull will see time on both sides of the ball this year, and he'll lead a defense that has been pretty stout the past couple of years.  The son of former MLB player Danny Tartabull, Quentin is one of the most physical players in the region and projects best to safety in college.

Greg Biggins, Jason Jewell, Jake Worthen and Brandon Huffman contributed to this team.

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