Camp Recap: Defensive Backs

A pair of Canadian underclassmen Patrice Rene and Jonathon Sutherland were among the standouts in the secondary on Sunday in East Lansing, but many made a strong showing, including 2015 Ft. Wayne Carroll safety Justin Tranquill.

With Michigan State's first camp of the summer Sunday, the talent came to East Lansing. SpartanDigest was in attendance and will provide breakdowns of what talent we were able to see.

**Spending much of the day watching the defensive backs, which were in my opinion the best group as far as the talent in attendance, I was most impressed with the Canadian duo of 2016 cornerback Patrice Rene (St. Peter's, Ontario) and 2017 cornerback Jonathan Sutherland. The pair got plenty of attention from the coaches throughout the day, and both Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi said they liked both, according to a source.

**Rene is impressive because of his length. His arms are long and he is a very rangy 6-foot-1 or 6-2. His feet are very quick and he moves laterally as well as anyone that was in attendance. While he struggled catching the ball at points, he was physical at the line and uses his hands well in press-man coverage.

**Sutherland might wind up as a safety at the next level. He is 5-11 and incredibly aggressive after the ball. Playing corner, he is tough off the line and is strong – and let's the receiver know that quickly. He has improved a lot from last summer at Sound Mind Sound Body in terms of his consistency.

**According to a source, Rene and Sutherland – and 2017 defensive lineman Luiji Vilian – like the idea of playing together in college, and Michigan State is a very likely place all three would like to play. They have visited many times, like the defense and like the proximity to their homes in Canada.

**Kelly, who the Spartans have offered as an athlete, was solid and speedy all day. He pulled double duty for parts of camp, working at running back as well as cornerback. He ended the day by showing Narduzzi, Dantonio and Harlon Barnett three back flips in a row … which was impressive. He was very tough for receivers on the day, as he plays with great physicality and isn't afraid to be aggressive.

**2015 safety Justin Tranquill (Ft. Wayne Carroll) had himself a good day. He struggled early in drills, but made up for it in 7 on 7 and one on ones. He had six interceptions between the two and showed great instincts and very quick feet. After what started off not being his best showing, he ended strong and made a good impression.

**2015 cornerback Aaron Garland (Fenwick, Ill.), who has visited Michigan State before – most recently with Miles Boykin – showed good hands and a good job commanding the defense in 7 on 7.

**Ray Buford, a 2015 cornerback from Southfield, missed much of his junior year with an injury and was a little bit limited Sunday by a hip injury. He still showed well in drills, using his fluid skills and size to make plays. He was best in one on ones, as he did a great job shadowing wide receivers. He could afford to be more aggressive after the ball, as he played slightly conservative, at times.


Spartan Nation Top Stories