Gainesville NIKE Camp -- Defense

For the second straight day the defensive line position wasn't nearly as strong as it's been at this camp in recent years. The defensive back position, next to quarterbacks, was probably the camp's strongest position.

**Please Note: Like yesterday at Miami, I had a chance to see every kid in person before the camp actually started. Yesterday I was at the picture table and today I was measuring heights of all the kids. Therefore, I got a really good look at every kid that walked through the doors into the UF weightroom today.**

For the second straight day the defensive line position wasn't nearly as strong as it's been at this camp in recent years. I think that might be a way of telling us that this position isn't as deep in this state this year. Pensacola's Paul Griffin (5-11 3/4 -- 6-0) was very strong and had a solid day but it was Orlando Oak Ridge's Joe Joseph who I thought had the best day at this position. After measuring in at 6-2 1/2 and 267, Joseph went on to put up 19 reps on the bench, jump 23 inches, and look fluid during drills. His 40-time wasn't real impressive because of bad form but he is a high energy kid that is moving really well at top speed. He'll eventually be a 300-pound tackle and pushed people around during 1-on-1 drills today.

When it comes to linebackers there were a few good ones here today but the overall group was nothing like yesterday's group in Miami. Today, however, I saw what might be a top 5 overall kid in the state. His name is Brandon Siler, who checked in at 6-2 and 206 of all muscle. He has a lower body that will allow him to grow in to a 6-2 or 6-3 and 235-pound outside linebacker in a few years. He jumped 31 inches, put up 20 reps on the bench, and turned in a 4.59/40 on grass (and against the wind when he was running). Built a lot like Earl Everett from last year's class, Siler actually worked out mostly with the tight ends today (he played both ways at Evans last year and will actually play running back this season as well). Afterwards, he told me he wanted to challenge himself by going up against smaller, quicker defensive backs. And believe me, he made a lot of them look silly although I think he has a lot more upside on defense. Here's a kid that once made over 25 plays in a game last year and ended the season with well over 150 tackles. He's also a full academic qualifier and an intense competitor that loves the game like the great ones do. Every time there was hesitation on which kid was up during 1 on 1 drills, Siler would immediately step up (often extremely tired from running so many reps) and want more. He's one that is just a little different than the rest of the pack.

The defensive back position, next to quarterbacks, was probably the camp's strongest positions. There were several good ones out there today but the best I watched was Haines City's Tony Joiner. At 6-0 and 175, Joiner plays QB and FS for the Hornets and made big plays all year. Athletically, he proved a lot today. With a sub 4.5/40 time, Joiner displayed excellent feet, athletic ability, and a natural feel for the passing game when playing defense during 1 on 1 drills. He's clearly better suited to play safety but looked excellent in cover drills.

Mandarin's Tony Carter, who checked in at just 5-9 and 145, was the fastest/quickest kid I saw today. Although he may not have had the best 40-time, he was blazing. I saw him run a 4.37 and 4.38 on back-to-back runs and then watched him run through the ladder like it was something he does five times a day -- oh wait, that's just a natural athlete who makes it look effortless. He has a tremendous break on the ball and looked very good in cover drills (except on one play where C. Ingram pulled a triple pump and had Carter turned around -- even though he quickly yelled out "sack"). Like Terrell Walden at that age two years ago when he was 148, Carter needs to gain some weight to be able to handle bigger receivers at the line of scrimmage (something he did not face during his 1 on 1 drills today). A third player, Fletcher's Kyle Jackson, looked very good as well. At 6-0 1/2 and 176, he may not have tested the way he had hoped (he was disappointed with his 4.65/40 times), he showed why he's a natural football player that already has a couple legitimate offers. His cover skills on defense are very good, he's got good ball skills, he can jump, and he's very competitive.

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