The Opening: Day Three Top Defense

There were numerous top performers on the defensive side of the ball today. Scout names its Top Three for day three here...

Byron Cowart - DE - Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
Eager, open and versatile, the five-star again skipped players in order to get reps in against the nation's best. He did it as a defensive tackle and defensive end, and he probably could have done it as a linebacker if need be as well. He has a quick twitch that is unmatched at this event, and he continues to surprise with his power in the process.

Justin Dunning - S - Whitehouse (Texas)
Dunning is going to be in the conversation as the top overall defensive performer of the tournament. His closing speed and instincts have been fantastic. When he gets to the ball, he doesn't just break up the pass; he picks it off and goes the other way.

Breiden Fehoko - DT - Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington
Quick first step and really showed good explosion up the field Thursday. Played with leverage, worked his hands, and had good success.

Rasheem Green - DE - Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra
Played defensive end today after playing 3-tech all week and was dominant in the linemen 1on1s, winning all three of his reps in the Best of Challenge. Green can play inside or outside, but looked at his best this week outside.

Rashan Gary - DE - Paramus (N.J.) Catholic - 2016
The new No. 1 prospect in the country for the 2016 class, Gary showed that he belonged and made it to the finals of the Lineman Challenge. He’s quick off the ball, strong and plays with great leverage and that’s knowing his best football is still ahead of him.

Donte Jackson - CB - Jefferson (La.) Riverdale
Jackson has been a standout at corner and on offense when his number is called. He plays a solid press corner as well as turning and running with recovers down field.

Iman Marshall - CB - Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic
Big corner who can jam and he made it tough for receivers to get off the line. He stayed with some big and small receivers on the final day to show why he is one of the top corners in the country.

Kahlil McKenzie - DT Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley
Though he lost two of three of his "final five" reps to Alabama commitment Richie Petitbon, the five-star dominated the rest of the competition and even Petitbon on Thursday. He was able to get by blockers with power first, even creating a bloody nose in the process, but also showed the ability to do so with quickness in technique.

Natrez Patrick - DE - Atlanta (Ga.) Mays There were a lot of solid edge rushers this week, but the most consistent at stabbing and beating the opponent outside may have been the Georgia pledge. He doesn't talk much, isn't the biggest or the flashiest, but he simply gets the job done.

Kevin Toliver - CB - Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
Toliver did not make a ton of plays any one day this week, but he was not challenged very often. When he was Thursday, he made a play on it. He picked off a pass in the end zone to seal the deal early in the day.

Marshall The Opening Highlights:

Greg Biggins, Brian Dohn, John Garcia, Brandon Huffman, Scott Kennedy, Jamie Newberg, and Greg Powers contributed to this feature.

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