Big Time Showcase Defensive Top 10

The Big Time Showcase was a terrific opportunity for young players across the country to compete to become top players in the region. Yesterday, we brought you the offensive stars of the combine, today we sill switch to the defensive side of the ball.

There was an abundance of defensive athletes who caught the attention of on-lookers at the event. SOR will concentrate on our top 10 performers.

Jr. DE T.J. Clemmings (6'6 265) of Patterson Catholic (NJ) is as big and as good as advertised. He has an elongated, athletic frame with a huge wing span which is perfect for playing the weak side defensive end position. He could easily walk around at 285 and still play defensive end because of the way he holds his weight. Unbelievably, he ran a 4.7 forty yard dash and also excelled in defensive line drills as well as 1-on-1's, which he dominated. Every time he lined up, an offensive lineman got embarrassed. T.J. not too long ago, being that he was new to the game, was considered an athletic specimen with potential. He has now become a football player who is an athletic specimen. There is a big difference. He applied swim and rip moves affectively and at the ideal moments throughout the pass rush progression. Clemmings likely would have gone home with multiple post- event awards but he had to leave early due to emergency, which disqualified him from consideration. T.J. should come into next season as the top player in the state and compete for All-American honors.

Jr. DT Chris Woods (6'2 325) of East Orange (NJ) is an absolute stud at the defensive tackle position. He would be ideal at playing over the guard or center on the next level. Beyond T.J. he was the most overall impressive player at the combine. Chris man-handled players in 1-on-1's utilizing his power and low center of gravity. He is built like a truck. His thick, meaty frame is built low to the ground where he is an immovable object with a mean streak. Chris has calves the size of cantaloupes and uses them as his power base. The kid is built well for the position. Although he could lose a bit of weight, he carries 325lbs around pretty well. Despite maintaining his reputation of being an overpowering individual, he currently holds no offers. That should change. He is one of the most impressive 1 techniques I have seen in person. Chris walked away with the DL as well as overall Defensive MVP awards.

Jr. DT Terrace Bourne (6'1 290) of Alexis I Dupont (DE) showed that he is still one of the better defensive tackles in the region. He displayed quick feet and effective pass rush moves during 1-on-1's as well. Mentally, Terrace seemed to be ahead of many other defensive tackles at the event. His technique is quite sound and he has the ability to make an offensive lineman continuously re-set and remain off-balance. Terrace currently holds no offers, but is working hard to ensure that does not remain the case. He would be ideal for any school looking for a smaller athletic one gap defensive tackle who can shoot gaps in a 4-3 for instance.

Jr. DE Taj Watkins (6'0 215) of Piscataway (NJ) is ridiculously quick off the edge. He has an array of pass rush moves but mainly utilizes his quickness being that he is an under-sized defensive lineman. Taj is a probably a weak side linebacker on the next level. He has a strong and athletic build as well as a mean first step. His skill set pertains to being able to get to the quarterback. I believe he will have a breakout season this upcoming year and appear on a few radars. He currently has no offers at this point, but I can foresee a couple FBS schools taking a chance on him depending on what I predict he will accomplish in 2009.

Jr. DE Rob Welsh (6'3 245) of Saint Anthony's continued to impress. This is the second time I have seen Rob in person and have left impressed in both instances. He plays the game with a high motor and terrific level of intensity. Most of the offensive linemen he defeated during 1-on-1's were beat before they even got out of their stances. Rob is another player who is a rocket off the edge and should be able to find a home on the next level at defensive end. His technique is fundamentally sound and he displayed tight pass rush movements, which were quite effective.

Jr. LB Danny Sullivan of Manasquan (NJ) walked away with the Linebacker MVP award. At 6'2 225lbs, he ran in the 4.6 range and showcased elite skills during 1-on-1's. Danny is an athletic specimen currently playing out of position at defensive end. He displays natural LB skills and comes with the added bonus of being able to cover as well. Danny would be and ideal strong side linebacker on the next level. Hopefully he gets the opportunity to play a bit of a hybrid DE/OLB role next season in order for his complete skill set to be put on display.

So. LB Quentin Gause (6'2 215) of Bishop Kearny is a player. Compared to many other players at the event, he looked like the upperclassman instead of the second year guy. Although this young man plays a multitude of positions on the high school level, he is a natural linebacker. He has a flawless physique to the point where it looks like someone put some Krazy Glue on a bunch of muscles and threw them at him. Gause has the luxury of having a father and an uncle who are personal trainers, therefore he is always in peak optimum condition. Once he settles down at the LB position and improves his footwork a bit, he could become special. Quentin can deliver a good pop and move flawlessly, which makes him a potential terror on the gridiron.

Jr. LB Javarie Johnson (6'4 215) of Dunbar (DC) is an athletic freak. He ran a forty-yard dash in the 4.5 range. Johnson has the potential athletic ability of a Jevon Kearse. Once he truly learns the game, he has NFL Draft pick written all over him. Javarie currently holds a plethora of offers and deservedly so. His unique size and speed make him potentionally dominant at most any defensive position other than corner and defensive tackle. I can foresee him at either weak or strong side linebacker with the ability to put his hand on the ground during particular stunts.

Jr. CB William "CJ" Jones (6'1 195) of Alexis I Dupont (DE) was one of the better players in the defensive secondary. He currently holds a handful of FBS offers. Jones displays solid turnover in his hips and a strong back pedal. At 6'1, he has the size and speed that college coaches yearn for at the cornerback position. Although he is probably a bit of a project at a position where you have to play close to perfect football, his tangibles and potential make him a very attractive FBS prospect.

Other notable players with top- tier performances included Jesse Raymond (Raritan), Charles Tillman (Dunbar), Kyle Polk (Piscataway) and Malik Gumbs (Matawan). Talented prospects such as Christon Gill and Blair Wynn were unable to affectively perform due to injury.

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