Scout takes a look at the top defensive performers from The Opening Charlotte

MATTHEWS, N.C. -- Numerous talented defensive prospects competed in the The Opening Charlotte and Scout takes a look at the top defensive performers.

Four-star Dutchtown (Ga.) safety Trey Dean frustrated receivers throughout the event with his physicality, athleticism and length. He lined up at safety and cornerback and excelled at both. Georgia appears to be the favorite, while AlabamaSouth Carolina and Tennessee are also in the mix.

Among the highest-rated prospects at the event, K.J. Henry looked like it all afternoon. He was the top edge talent in terms of production, seldom being slowed by blockers. But it was not just his speed on Sunday, as Henry played with great leverage and strength when making inside moves in addition to spins and undercuts against the many tackles he faced.  AlabamaClemsonGeorgia and Penn State are schools to watch for Henry.

Four-star Shelby (N.C.) inside linebacker Dax Hollifield has added a significant amount of muscle and showed great strength and power throughout the event. Hollifield also displayed good athleticism and was effective covering running backs and inside receivers when needed. He is a natural playmaker. North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech have long been considered the main contenders, but he will visit Stanford in a few weeks and they are gaining momentum.

Four-star Alpharetta (Ga.) cornerback Jaycee Horn made play after play against some of the South's best receivers due to his aggressiveness, length, athleticism and ball skills. He  was comfortable in man or zone coverage. Horn was also very physical and is the ulitimate competitor. Alabama leads for Horn, but several other SEC and ACC schools are are also pursuing him

He is listed as an offensive guard on Scout, but Jacksonville (N.C.) Northside rising senior Maurice McIntyre was among the biggest head turners on defense Sunday. His first step, surprisingly fast considering he is coming off a severe knee injury, won him several reps against Power 5 prospects and commitments. McIntyre plays with a low center of gravity and has the ability to win reps with his hands as well. Duke offered early and has the edge.

Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan outside linebacker Teradja Mitchell showed why he was the top-ranked defensive prospect at the event. His combination of size, strength, athleticism and aggressiveness were too much for anyone to handle. He was sensational all day. Mitchell is down to Florida StateLSU and Ohio State and will make his decision sometime in the next month.

For the second year in a row, 2019 Loganville (Ga.) Grayson outside linebacker Owen Pappoe earned an invite to The Opening Finals. He showed great athleticism and was very fluid in drills. In the 7-on-7 portion, he was instinctive, comfortable in coverage and did a nice job putting himself in postion to make plays. Pappoe has close to 40 scholarship offers.

Concord (N.C.) star defensive lineman Rick Sandidge was arguably the top interior trench prospect of the day and after he won reps, Sandidge would let onlookers know about it. Playing with immense power against centers and guards, he displayed some of the most violent hands on either side of the ball. Florida State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech a few schools to watch for Sandidge.

Dante Stills matched Sandidge's energy all afternoon and just like the higher-ranked prospect, he won nearly every rep during the one-on-one portion of the event. The Fairmont (W.V.) prospect is very fluid for his size, to the point where there is still talk of him playing inside or outside at the next level, but he has above average technique and uses his hands well en route to what sometimes looked like easy wins. His brother plays at West Virginia and they are the in-state program, so most consider the Mountaineers the favorite. But he will visit Oklahoma this summer and keep an eye on the Sooners.

Four-star Hillsborough (N.C.) Orange outside linebacker and North Carolina commit Payton Wilson was strong from start to finish. Wilson has great length and is extremely athletic. He was also very physical and aggressive. Wilson excelled in one-on-ones and was comfortable dropping into coverage during 7-on-7. He also earned an invite to The Opening Finals and showed why he is one of the best linebackers in the country.

Scout's John Garcia Jr. contributed to this report.

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