IMG 7 On 7 Recap- The Defense

The IMG West Region Championship was loaded with not just teams from the Southern California area but NorCal and Arizona as well. Here's a look at the top defensive players who caught our eye over the two day event.

B2G Five Star exacted some revenge on Body By Tra to win the tournament. BBT had beaten B2G five times in a row in previous tournaments but after an OT scare in the quarters against TGS Warriors, B2G rolled over everyone.

Here's a look at the top defensive players from the tournament, we looked at the top offensive players on Tuesday. We also spotlighted two-way standouts Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith in an earlier article and didn't feel the need to write them up again in this piece.

2014 Checklist

Fred Warner, LB San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills- Warner has been great all spring but was especially impressive this past weekend. Its not often a linebacker jumps out at you during 7 on 7 player but Warner's size, cover skills and closing speed were all on display and he made a ton of plays for the winning B2G squad.

Maurice McKnight, DB San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley- McKnight looked like one of the smoothest corners in the tournament. He has good length and is about 5-11 with long arms and is very fluid. He's smooth in his backpedal, can break on the ball and played very tight coverage. You're not going to get a lot on McKnight and he's definitely a player colleges should be looking hard at.

Jonathan Lockett, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Lockett is great in coverage and just blankets a receiver. The one thing he needs work on and really the only time you ever see him beat is on corner fades where he can lose track of the ball. His cover skills and instincts are already at a high level and will continue to get better as he gets bigger and stronger. We've said it before but he's one of the few corners who doesn't have to clutch and grab at the line but can just move his feet and shadow a receiver all over the field.

Alijah Holder, DB Oceanside (Calif.)- Holder has a great corner frame, long, athletic and he's very tough. Holder plays with an edge and is just as content slamming a receiver to the ground as he is turning and running with him down the field. He's a complete corner who does everything well and will likely outperform players rated higher than him at the next level because of his physical upside.

A.J. Greathouse, DB Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton- Hamilton is always loaded in the secondary so it's easy to see how Greathouse might have gotten overlooked last season. He showed this past weekend that's he's a legitimate prospect with a nice upside. He looked close to 6-0 with an athletic body and very good ball skills. He was strong in coverage and had a pick in every game we watched him play.

Jordan Robinson, LB Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite- Robinson is a safety-linebacker hybrid but looked very good at ‘backer this past weekend. He has a very solid frame at about 6-0, 205 pounds, has good athleticism and plays with toughness. He has good field awareness and is always in position to make a play.

Jamardre Cobb, LB Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- Cobb always plays hard, that's the one you thing you can always count on with him and he wants to get better. He knows right now he's more of a run stuffing inside ‘backer and is playing a ton of 7 on 7 to improve his cover skills and it's paying off. He's more fluid now than earlier in the spring and is a great leader.

Sidney Jones, DB West Covina (Calif.)- Jones has quickly become one of the hot corner prospects in the state. He has plus size at 6-0 and very good speed as well. He's a smart heady player who understands the position well and never looks lost on the field. You can't beat him over the top because of his top end speed and he's physical enough to battle on the underneath routes as well.

Kwesi Mashack, DB Norco (Calif.)- Mashack sometimes gets lost in the shadows playing with so many other highly touted defensive backs but not this week. The physical corner lines up against a slot receiver and almost plays like a second linebacker. He's physically strong and will knock a receiver coming across the middle but has the talent level to cover a receiver down the field as well.

Artuz Manning, DB Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)- Manning has looked good all spring and battled hard against some top receivers. He won't back down from anyone and excels in tight, press coverage where he can use his strength at the line. He runs well and shows natural cover ability.

Kurt Scoby, LB Monrovia (Calif.)- We almost put Scoby at running back, as he made several nice plays out of the backfield but probably had a bigger impact on defense. Scoby is so physically strong but has good balance and can change direction. He can cover a back out of the backfield and shows very good closing speed running down plays all over the field.

Nic Needham, DB Buena Park (Calif.)- An intriguing player who showed off a very nice skill set. Can play multiple positions but spent all weekend at corner and looked good . Very smooth in coverage and was rarely tested. Showed excellent quickness breaking on the ball and good hands when he was tested as well.

2015 Checklist

Iman Marshall, DB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Marshall took Saturday off to recover from a track meet but had a huge impact on Sunday. It doesn't matter if it's corner or safety, Marshall always brings his A game and plays with so much intensity and fire, that it can't help but inspire the rest of his teammates.

Stanley Norman, DB Culver City (Calif.)- Norman was the best two-way player in the tournament and made a ton of plays at receiver as well as corner. He's an electric athlete and does everything well. Throw in his high compete level and toughness and Norman should be a national prospect in two years. If he continues to grow and fills out, he's a national top 50 player, he's that talented.

Marvell Tell, DB Encino (Calif.) Crespi- When Tell lines up next to Marshall at safety, you're looking at two of the nation's best 2015 prospects. As good as he is at safety, and he's very good, Tell's coaches at B2G feel he could be an even better corner prospect down the line because of his size and high level athleticism.

Jaylinn Hawkins, DB Buena Park (Calif.)- We've talked up Hawkins at receiver but at IMG, he shined at safety. The athlete had SAT on Saturday so was only there for Sunday but he wasted no time making an impact. He covers a ton of ground in the secondary, has great ball skills and plays with a high football IQ. He also showed great leadership skills despite playing for a brand new team and missing all of Saturday.

Kyahva Tezino, LB Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- Tezino worked out at linebacker and is as tough as they come. He's very physical in the box, but has the athleticism of a safety. He can run and cover and has good ball skills, picking off a couple of passes, which he does every tournament. The debate will be what position does Tezino project best at but with his frame, you know he'll continue to grow and should develop in to an elite ‘backer prospect.

Elijah Jones, DB Upland (Calif.)- Jones is a good looking safety prospect with a big upside. He has a corner frame but can roam the secondary and is always around the ball. He's a big time athlete who runs well and plays with a high football IQ. He's a solid running back as well but projects best in the secondary.

Justin Calhoun, DB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Calhoun's twin brother made this list yesterday at running back and Justin keeps it all in the family. Calhoun is about 5-9 and not real heavy right now but he makes up for it with superior quickness and is very tough. He'll battle you and made a lot of plays in Crazy Quick's surprising run on Sunday.

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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