Best of US Army Combine Notebook (Defense)

Now that the focus is on 2012 kids, GBW's Eugene Hankerson brings out his "Best of US Army Combine Notebook" ... here's his defensive picks.

Gene's Best of US Army Combine Notebook


Jaleel Johnson / DL / Westchester (IL) St. Joseph

Turned in a big performance that will surely have more schools getting involved in his recruitment. Without a doubt, Johnson was the most explosive player in a very talented group of defensive linemen. He gets out of his stance quickly, and has the power to drive through offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback. Johnson gave Jordan Diamond all he could handle and more. His junior film matches up with what I saw in San Antonio. This is a kid that should be very highly rated.

Ondre Pipkins / DT / Kansas City (MO) Parker Hill HS
One of the more impressive big bodies at the combine! Pipkins proved to be light on his feet and strong at the point of attack. He's a bit raw, and more of bull rusher right now, but he's a willing learner. He's a versatile defender that could fit a 4-3, or 3-4 front. Either way, Pipkins has all the tools that will have him in demand on the recruiting trail.

Others defensive linemen that stood out: Eli Ankou Ottawa (CJ) St Peter Knights, Anthony Smith Houston (TX) Westfield, Charles Tapper Baltimore (MD) Baltimore City College, Jelani Hamilton Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas.

Daniel Halverson / LB / Portland (OR) Grant HS
Nicely built, Halverson was likely the fastest linebacker on the turf at the Alamo Dome. He showed great short area burst, moved well laterally, and made plays on the 30-40 yards down field. Halverson was consistent from start to finish. If his film looks good, he should pick up a number of offers shortly.

Mikhail Dubose / LB / Chicago (IL) Hubbard HS
The credit goes to Dubose for starting what Jaleel Johnson finished in regards to Jordan Diamond. Dubose has a relentless motor, as he kept the pressure on offensive linemen all day. He's a vicious edge rusher, with a terrific blend of power and quickness. Dubose plays linebacker at Hubbard, but projects at a number of positions due to his height and weight. He stands at 6'3" 240 right now, but has enough speed and lateral quickness.

Other linebackers that stood out: Deaysean Rippy Mc Kees Rocks (PA) Sto-Rox HS, Vince Biegel Wisconsin Rapids (WI) Lincoln HS, Vin Ascolese North Bergen (NJ) North Bergen HS, Nick Dawson Charlotte (NC) Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, Jason Sylva Marion (MA) Mount Tarbor Academy.

Lorenzo Fields / CB / Chester (VA) Thomas Dale HS
Fields locked up just about every receiver that came his way. I would have loved to see him matchup with Stefon Diggs, but it never materialized since the two were on opposite sides. Fields has a quiet confidence, as you can tell that being a lockdown corner is nothing new to him. He's a shade under 5'10", but is a good athlete that breaks on the ball extremely well.

Karl Joseph / DB / Orlando (FL) Edgewater HS
Now if you want pure Florida swagger, this is your guy. Joseph did a lot of talking but backed it up with a great performance. He plays safety and linebacker at Edgewater because of his sized, which only helps because he has cornerback skills. Joseph has a very smooth backpedal, reads and reacts well, and can jump out the gym. He really impressed former NFL star and defensive backs coach for the day, Ray Buchanan.

Other defensive backs that stood out: V'Angelo Bentley Cleveland (OH) Glenville Academy, Corey Thompson Missouri City (TX) Lawrence Elkins HS, Donovan Riley Baltimore (MD) Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Kyron Jackson Lutcher (LA) Lutcher HS.


For Gene's Offensive Combine stars, click here.

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