L.A. NFTC Defensive Preview

A look at some of the top defensive prospects expected at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday at Cerritos College...

Several of the West's best prospects will be in the Southland on Sunday for the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp at Cerritos College.

Scout.com will be on hand to check out the top prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Here is a look at some of the defensive players to watch on Sunday.


Upland (Calif.) defensive end Joe Mathis.

The headliner on the defensive line is Upland (Calif.) defensive end Joe Mathis, a Scout 100 prospect, who was offered on Friday by national champion Alabama.  Mathis played linebacker last week at the NLA Elite 7on7 but will work at his college position on the defensive line.


A couple of out-of-state prospects making the trek to Los Angeles include Pickerington Central (Ohio) defensive end Taco Charlton, a commit to Michigan as well as Grand Junction (Colo.) defensive end Austin Berk, a verbal to Colorado State.

Top underclassmen to watch include Lompoc (Calif.) lineman Ainuu Taua, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian's Marquis Ware and Tustin (Calif.) end Greg Hoyd.


Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Michael Hutchings

The linebacker crop is led by the West's top outside linebacker prospect, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle five-star Michael Hutchings, who's coming down from the Bay Area to work at the Los Angeles NFTC.  Hutchings was one of the top performers, regardless of class, at last year's Stanford NFTC.

The Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley will be well represented, with Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) twin backers Alani Latu and Viliami Latu as well as Monrovia (Calif.) linebacker George Frazier and Duarte (Calif.) backer Denzel Talifero.

Kevin Palma of Tulare (Calif.) Mission Oak was one of the top performers at the Sparq Combine on Saturday, and had a great showing at the Semper Fi Proving Ground combine in Arizona in January.

Out-of-state prospects include Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial's Trajan Pili, a commit to BYU, Draper (Utah) Juan Diego's Dakota Cox and Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep's Calvin Chandler.

Underclassmen include Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian's Jamardre Cobb and Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Dwight Williams.


The secondary is the deepest position out West in the 2013 class and a host of the top prospects from the region will be representing the defensive backs.

Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Tahaan Goodman and cornerback Chris Hawkins

It will be a big day for Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) cornerback Chris Hawkins.  At the conclusion of the NFTC, the four-star corner will announce between USC and Stanford where he'll play his college ball.  But first, Hawkins is looking to make a splash at the camp.

His teammate, Tahaan Goodman, a four-star safety, is one of the top prospects overall that will be on hand.  Joining him will be another stellar safety, Priest Willis, from Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza, a five-star prospect who's the top player in Arizona.

Another Scout 100 prospect in the fold is Mission Viejo (Calif.) safety Max Redfield, one of the premier prospects in all of the Southland in this class.

Two more Scout 300 corners will be in attendance in Westlake (Calif.) cornerback Dashon Hunt, a commit to UCLA and Poway (Calif.) corner Derek Babiash.

Other prospects to watch include Encino (Calif.) Crespi safeties Brandon Arnold and Tyler Foreman, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey cornerback Daquawn Brown, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez corner Kaylan Montgomery, Fontana (Calif.) Summit corner Charles Okonkwo, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly safety David Price, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills corner Devin Holiday and Santa Margarita (Calif.) safety Connor O'Brien.

There will be plenty of talented underclassmen there too, led by Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2015 safety Iman Marshall and 2014 prospects Brandon Lewis from Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco cornerback Jalel Wadood.

Brandon is in his eighth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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