Dave Wannstedt Football Camp: Defensive Notes

Individual and overnight summer camp sessions have concluded at the University of Pittsburgh. This weekend's passing camp marked the end of another successful summer for Dave Wannstedt and his Panthers staff. Here is a notebook of some of the campers who caught our eyes on defense.

Defensive Line

Chris Henderson
Harrisburg, Pa., defensive tackle Chris Henderson continued to demonstrate why he is considered one of the state's top defensive linemen. During one-on-one's, Henderson was unstoppable. Henderson informed us that he most likely is heading to Milford Academy for his senior season, so he can work on his academics. Gettysburg, Pa., defensive tackle Logan Shultz is one of those types of players whose motor is non-stop every play. Some are questioning his size and what his maximum growth potential is, but you cannot question his heart. Another prospect that we had heard about, but had not seen until camp was Birdsboro (Pa.) Daniel Boone athlete Saeed Khateeb. Khateeb is a fullback/linebacker, but he likely projects as a defensive tackle/fullback at the next level.

We spoke about a lot of 2009 prospects in our offensive recap, so of course we should mention at least one in our defensive notes. None were more impressive than Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney defensive tackle Johnny Simon. To say that Simon is a specimen would be a grave understatement. Simon is jacked, but he is a football player first and foremost. If you want a sleeper to keep an eye on it is Greencastle-Antrim, Pa., defensive end Jared Smith. At 6-3, 252-pounds, Smith has explosive strength and good get off. Noah Taylor from Woodland Hills, Pa., is another player who could see his stock rise with a strong senior season. Taylor is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. Cochranton's James Harvey is known more for his skills as an offensive lineman, but he flashed some impressive skills as a defensive lineman at camp. Harvey is very strong with an almost 400-pound bench press.


Manny Williams
Clairton, Pa., linebacker/safety Manny Williams continued his string of impressive showings. Williams stood out at the Scout.com All-American Combine in Pittsburgh. he then followed that up with a strong performance at Joe Butler's Metro-Index Camp as well at Pittsburgh and West Virginia senior camps. Williams will be a safety at the next level, due to his outstanding coverage skills, but it would not surprise us to see him eventually grow into an outside linebacker. Williams teammate at Clairton, Jeff Thompson also had an impressive showing. Due to numbers it would be unlikely that Pittsburgh would offer him, right now its looking as though he'll end up somewhere in the MAC. Penn Hills, Pa., class of 2009 prospect Dan Mason continues to shine everytime we see him. It would not surprise us at all if Mason garners a few offers come Sept 1.

Jared Suvak of Big Walnut also had an impressive showing and is one to watch in Ohio this season. The one prospect who may have rivaled Manny Williams as the two most impressive players at the position was Averin Collier of Churchville-Chili, N.Y. Collier, is an impressive looking four-star prospect who is the younger brother of Pittsburgh sophomore tailback Kevin Collier. Pittsburgh (Pa.) Schenley linebacker Greg Blair also continues to get better. If Blair has a strong senior season he should pick up a few offers. Altoona's Alphonso Lewis is another player who could be on the cusp of an offer. He is the type of athletic linebacker that teams covet.

Defensive backs

Chris Hayden-Martin
Two of the most impressive cornerbacks we watched we two players who had already committed to Pittsburgh, Chris Hayden-Martin from Greensburg, Pa., and Antwuan Reed from Johnstown, Pa. Reed was the Panthers first verbal commitment and Hayden-Martin actually committed to the Panthers on Tuesday during lunch. Pittsburgh (Pa.) Brashear athlete Quamane Bryant is another prospect who looks good everytime we see him. The one knock on Bryant is his size, but he'll be a very good player for somebody. Tyrone, Pa., safety Johnny Franco and Indiana, Pa., safety Anthony DeGory are very similar players who should get plenty of looks this year. Franco was recently offered by Army. Miramar, Fla., brought 49 players to camp this year. The camp seemed very upbeat as the players and coaches were very vocal and inspired. Past camps have seemed more calm and geared toward coaching. The prospects seemed to have a good time with the new and intense style. New Panther LeSean "Shady" McCoy could have been a reason for the emotion as he was trying to fire up every player and group that he watched.

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