Dynamic defenders

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A pair of intriguing defensive specialists from Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, S.C., were among the participants in Day 1 of Tennessee's High School Camp Monday at Haslam Field.

Marcus Edmond is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback prospect with speed to burn. Alonzo Gibson is a 6-foot-2, 245-pounder with the versatility to play end or outside linebacker.

"Marcus Edmond is being highly recruited. He's the top corner in South Carolina," Lower Richland head coach Wayne Farmer said following Monday's session. "He's being recruited by colleges across the nation. (Vol safeties) coach (Josh) Conklin is recruiting him, so we brought him up here to take a look."

Despite his length, Edmond boasts exceptional speed.

"He has one of the fastest 40 times in the nation, and he's going to run nationals this weekend coming up," Farmer said. "He's a track and basketball guy, as well as football."

Edmond said he already has offers from North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Arizona. He's on the radar at a lot of other quality schools.

"Alabama's looking at him closely," Farmer said. "And he's going to Clemson when he leaves here."

In addition to excellent size and speed, Edmond has a good head for the game.

"He's a student of the game, a very smart kid," Farmer said. "He's very confident in his abilities. He can play man to man now. At cover corner you have to be confident enough to play with your back to the ball and not get beat. He has all the assets as far as being really good."

Safeties coach Josh Conklin is Tennessee's lead recruiter on Edmond.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
Edmond, who says he recorded four interceptions last fall, found the Volunteer camp quite helpful.

"We had some good drills," he said. "They worked us real hard with the agility drills. The DB drills and one-on-ones I got a lot of reps. My favorite part was probably the one-on-ones and the 7-on-7s. It was good facing guys from other parts of the country."

Noting that he recorded a 4.49 forty time and "a couple of breakups" during the afternoon, Edmond added: "I feel like I did pretty good. I'll just work hard and let the coaches critique what I did."

Gibson hasn't attracted the kind of interest Edmond has to date but his heft and athleticism make him a prospect to watch in the months to come.

"Alonzo Gibson is a football/basketball player, a good athlete with great feet," Farmer said. "He's one of those special guys. He moves very well. You should see him on the basketball court, throwing it down. He can throw it down!"

Gibson isn't too shabby on the football field, either. He says he numbered 17 sacks among his 71 tackles last fall.

"He's a playmaker, very hard to block," Farmer said. "When we go to a 4-3 he puts his hand on the ground and plays D-end. When we play 3-4 he's a stand-up outside linebacker. That's what Tennessee is recruiting him as — an outside linebacker."

Like Edmond, Gibson thoroughly enjoyed Day 1 of the Tennessee camp.

"The 7-on-7 was my favorite part," he said. "I broke up a couple of passes. I'm catching on to the system real quick."

Describing Knoxville as "a great city," Gibson said he clocked a 4.7 in the forty and "enjoyed the competition as a player."

Currently holding offers from South Carolina State and Youngstown, Gibson said he's also getting interest from Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina.

The robust young linebacker described himself as "high motor," adding: "I played defensive end last year ... basically a pass rusher. Now I'm learning to drop back into coverage."

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