Isaac Taylor-Stuart (Student Sports)

Nike Football The Opening Regional in SoCal: Defensive Preview

A look at the top defensive prospects expected at the The Opening Regional in Los Angeles on Sunday...


Some of the top defensive linemen in the West will be in Los Angeles on Sunday, including one of the best pass-rushers in the region.

San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon four-star defensive end Jeremiah Martin is the headliner of the defensive end group.

Other defensive ends to keep an eye on include Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman end Adam Plant, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade's Parks Gissinger and Honolulu (Hawaii) Kamehameha end Jonah Welch.

From the defensive tackles, Calabasas (Calif.) four-star Mykee Irving is a notable name joined by Salt Lake City (Utah) East tackle Paul Maile, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat tackle Aaron Maldonado and Newbury Park (Calif.) tackle Kamakani Crosby.

Some of the premier underclassmen will also be in action this weekend like Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta 2019 defensive end Keyon Ware-Hudson, Honolulu (HawaiI) St. Louis 2019 defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele, Corona (Calif.) Centennial 2019 end Drake Jackson and Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian tackle Reese Silofau as well as Gardena (Calif.) Serra 2020 tackle Sefita Tupe plus Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral 2019 teammates Terence Simon and Stephon Wright.


The linebacker group will be stacked in Los Angeles, led by the No. 1 overall prospect in the region and the top linebacker in the country in Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman five-star Palaie Gaoteote.

Joining him is a trio of Scout Top 50 prospects in Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star Solomon Tuliaupupu and a pair of USC commits, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne four-star Raymond Scott, a commit to USC.

They'll be joined by other four-stars like Calabasas (Calif.) linebacker Reggie Hughes, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins' Victor Terry, a commit to Washington State, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic's Eli'jah Winston, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Merlin Robertson and Jack Lamb from Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak.

Other 'backers to watch include Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral's Halid Djibril, Corona (Calif.) Centennial's Camron Pitcher, Los Alamitos (Calif.) backer Issaiah Johnson, Menifee (Calif.) Paloma Valley's Phillip Mills, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta's Travis Plantier and Encino (Calif.) Crespi's James Townsend.

Underclassmen of note include Anaheim (Calif.) Servite's Spencer Lytle, Fontana (Calif.) Summit's Jonathan Perkins, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins' De'Gabriel Floyd and St. George (Utah) Desert Hills' Noah Sewell.


The most loaded group of prospects in the camp may in fact be found in the secondary.

The West's No. 1 cornerback, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine four-star Isaac Taylor-Stuart, leads a cornerback group that also features Mission Viejo (Calif.) four-star Olaijah Griffin and Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins cornerback Marcus Johnson, a four-star committed to USC,

Other corners of note include Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta's Elisha Guidry, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Level Price, Fresno (Calif.) Sunnyside's Deshawn Ruffin and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Desmond Talley and Tyric LeBeauf

Two of the West's top safeties, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star Jaiden Woodbey, a commit to Ohio State and Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins four-star safety Aashari Crosswell will be joined by other four-stars like Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro's Josiah Bradley, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Bryan Addison, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany's Ely Doyle, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Stephan Blaylock, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite's Julius Irvin and Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt's Chase Williams.

Other safeties to watch include San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon's Jhevon Hill, a commit to UCLA, Quartz Hill (Calif.) safety Matthew Tago, Newbury Park (Calif.) safety Josh Madison, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony's L.J. Wallace and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Ryan Nixon.

From the underclassmen, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star cornerback Chris Steele, a UCLA commit and Gardena (Calif.) Serra four-star Max Williams are two of the top prospects in the West regardless of class.

Also attending will be Valencia (Calif.) 2019 corner Mykael Wright, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman 2019 cornerback Greg Oliver, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2019 safety Kejuan Markham Westlake (Calif.) 2019 corner Kamren Fabiculanan and Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) 2019 corner Jeremiah Criddell.  

Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins corner Brandon Jones is the top 2020 prospect expected.

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