NFTC Chicago: Linebackers/Secondary Recap

There were several sleepers in the back seven who made their presence felt at the NFTC. One won the defensive backs MVP and there were also several other stand out performances.

Defensive Backs

The defensive back MVP was Wilbert Jones of East St. Louis (Ill.), who was able to come up to the line of scrimmage and get his hands on receivers. He played the ball well in the air and gave up very few completions.

Evan White (Cherokee Trail, Co.) has excellent size and length. He's more of a safety prospect, but made a lot of plays and his frame will be attractive to schools. Chicago St. Rita's Lamar Dawson was able to go high and contest passes against big receivers. He made several nice breakups on the day.

Two guys who only have a couple offers between them, but had excellent performances were Cretin Derham Hall (Minn.) product Tim Gordon and Oak Park (Ill.) River Forest's Jamal Baggett. Gordon has good quickness and awarness. He broke quickly on a couple balls and came away with several breakups. Baggett is a thicker kid who was able to get physical with receivers.

Other guys who had good days in coverage were Alim Muhammad (MICDS, Mo.), Anemus Thomas (Fort Zumwalt East, Mo.), and Ross Anderson (Christian Brothers, Tenn.).
At safety, Warren Central (Ind.) sophomore Mykelti Williams and Marquez Jones (North Little Rock, Ar.), a long, athletic prospect, were among the standouts.


The linebacker group had some big names in it. Nyles Morgan (Crete-Monee, Ill.) has added weight this offseason and is now almost 230-pounds, but has kept the speed and athleticism that has made him a major BCS recruit. He did well in space and performed well in the pursuit and contain drills as well as in coverage.

East St. Louis' Kyron Watson had a good day in the LB-RB pass rush drill and was also to breakup a couple passes in coverage. He's not as long as some of the other guys, but is thick and strong and plays a very physical game. Nile Sykes (Lombard Montini, Ill.) is a hybrid pass rusher who continues to show that he can drop into coverage. This is important in his development as he's not the size of a full time defensive end, but offers great possibilities as a rush backer who can also drop.

Jimmie Swain (Lee's Summit, Mo.) is a thick, physical kid who looks like a classic middle linebacker and has several BCS offers to show for it. He did a nice job changing direction and breaking up a couple passes in one on ones, showing he's not just a run stopper. Morgan Park (Ill.) junior Tahje Hartley is a kid with a nice frame and is beginning to hear from more and more schools in his recruitment. Rice Lake (Wisc.) linebacker Austin Roberts is a good sized kid who played physically. D'Marcus Moon of Fort Wayne North Side (Ind.) is a big, thicker linebacker who moved well during drills. A high school running back, he's showing people he can play linebacker in college and having success so far this offseason.

Two guys who made a couple nice plays in coverage were Matt Carlson, from Brownsburg (Ind.) and Nick McEwin from Elkhorn South (Neb.). A young guy to watch for is Carter Masek, a sophomore from East Grand Rapids (Mich.).

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