Junior Day To Watch: Defense

Here are five defensive players to watch as Texas has its Junior Day weekend.

1) Tim Cole

Cole's recruitment this weekend will be interesting to watch for two reasons: first, that he's arguably the top linebacker on the Texas board, a mobile and nasty hitter who would fit well in Manny Diaz's aggressive schemes. Second, that he's close with Brenham teammate Malcolm Brown, the state's top defensive tackle and probably its second best overall defensive prospect behind Mario Edwards. Cole has visited Austin twice in recent weeks, lending credence to rumors that he could be leaning Texas's way. If Texas gets Cole, not only would the Longhorns be landing a fantastic defensive player, but they would also be helping their chances with Brown, who is also coming in this weekend.

2) Alex Norman

While Brown is the top defensive tackle, Norman is the most likely commit from this weekend. His name surfaced later than some of the other players on the board, in part because Bishop Dunne doesn't play high-class Texas football. But make no mistake: Norman is a player, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive tackle with athleticism. He can make staggering plays at times and starts both ways for Dunne. If Norman gets an offer this weekend, he could be one of the first defensive prospects to commit.

3) Alex De La Torre

I said one of the first because De La Torre, who came in early, will likely be the first. De La Torre is a talented player, sure. But he also has great intangibles and is the type of leader who would fit well on defense. The Denton Ryan product plays above his talent level with a high level of toughness, and he fits a need at middle linebacker. He's a likely commitment if the offer comes on Saturday.

4) Hassan Ridgeway

A late addition to Junior Day, Ridgeway fills a major need. The Longhorns are in a desperate situation with defensive ends, and with the top defensive end in the state, Edwards, looking like a long shot, Texas needs to look at other options at the position. Enter Mansfield's Ridgeway, who could play either defensive end or tight end at the next level. At 6-4 220, Ridgeway has the frame to develop as an excellent pass rusher down the line.

5) Javonte Magee

Magee was questionable for this weekend, but was able to work out transportation. That's a good thing, in that Magee might have the most potential of any defensive tackle in the state. At 6-5 270, Magee currently has the build of an end, but projects as a disruptive interior presence at the next level. He's an explosive player from San Antonio Sam Houston High School, the same school Texas was able to pull Quincy Russell from. While Magee isn't considered a likely commit this weekend, he's a high-priority guy moving forward.

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