Oakland NFTC: Defensive Preview

Several of UCLA's defensive targets will be in Oakland on Sunday for the NFTC...

Several of the West's best prospects will be in the Bay Area on Sunday for the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp at Chabot 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, which includes a number of 2015 Scout 300 prospects, including the region's top middle linebacker, safety and a five-star defensive tackle plus a number of elite 2016 prospects.

DEFENSIVE LINE

It's a terrific year for defensive linemen out West, and the camp is loaded in the trenches. In fact, the defensive linemen and offensive linemen 1on1s figure, as usual, to be the highlight of the event.

Northern California's top prospect in the 2015 class, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle five-star defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie is the headliner of the group, and he's looking to lock in an invitation to The Opening.

McKenzie leads a gifted group that also features Texas Tech commit Breiden Fehoko, the Scout 100 prospect out of Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington. Fehoko was an all-Underclass selection a year ago at the Oakland NFTC. Another Hawaii native is making the trek to the Bay Area, something he'll be getting used to quick. Miliani (Hawaii) defensive tackle Rex Manu, who committed to Stanford last month, will join Fehoko in Oakland.

Washington State commit Thomas Toki from Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis, had a good performance in Los Angeles in March and he'll be back closer to his new Bay Area home and is another four-star expected.

Colorado commit N.J. Falo from Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum likely projects to outside linebacker in college, and he was another all-Underclass pick a year ago. He'll work at defensive end on Sunday.

A number of NorCal prospects with offers will be making the short drive over,including Pittsburg (Calif.) defensive tackle David Lui and Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit defensive end Kori Collons.

As always, there are sleepers we're looking forward to seeing for the first time, one being Dempsey Robinson from Oak Hills (Calif.), a long, athletic defensive end.

Other prospects to watch include Upland (Calif.) defensive lineman Gary Baker, Layton (Utah) defensive lineman Mason Ewing, Kahuku (Hawaii) defensive Salanoa Alo-Wily, Bakersfield (Calif.) defensive tackle Nigel Brooks and Jasad Haynes from Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial, who was one of the surprises at the Los Angeles NFTC.

LINEBACKERS

The West's top middle linebacker, also the nation's tops, will be in attendance in Granite Bay (Calif.) four-star Cameron Smith.

Smith was no worse than the No. 2 linebacker last year as a sophomore and continues to flourish this spring as he redefines his body.

While Smith had his coming out party a year ago, the West's top middle linebacker in the 2016 class, and giving Smith a run for his money for top middle backer overall, is Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West's Caleb Kelly.

The four-star may be the top defensive prospect in the West in the 2016 class and already has double-digit offers and really impressed us at the Pylon Elite 7v7 in Las Vegas.

Another Central Valley 2016 prospect to keep an eye on is Fresno (Calif.) Bullard's Cvaughn Stewart, who has Pac-12 offers already.

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker Simba Short will come to the event fresh off a commitment to Northwestern, which he gave to the Wildcats on Thursday. He's been a standout on some good Spartan defenses the past couple of seasons.

Hurricane (Utah) linebacker Jeremiah Ieremia was actually supposed to commit on Thursday himself, but decided this week to push his commitment timetable back towards the end of summer. He's one of the top out-of-state prospects attending. Another Utah native who will be there is Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood's T.J. Fehoko, who may work again with the defensive linemen as he did in Los Angeles.

Berkeley (Calif.) St. Mary's linebacker Aaron Mercadel has offers as does Visalia (Calif.) Central Valley Christian's Tate Nelson.

Some Southland prospects making the trip up include Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Eddie Rudinski, who's recruitment has taken off this week, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian four-star Kyahva Tezino and La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat's Anthony Camargo.

Some linebackers who have flown under the radar but could raise their stock with a good showing include Woods Cross (Utah) linebacker Deion Saumalu, American Canyon (Calif.) linebacker Tristan LaPlume, Paso Robles (Calif.) linebacker Jake Oliver and Oakland (Calif.) Skyline's Jacquese Steen

Underclassmen include El Cerrito (Calif.) 2016 athlete Darius Powe, who also plays receiver for the Gauchos, Honolulu (Hawaii) Kamehameha's Michael Kahlua and San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty's Matt Tofano.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The defensive back group is very strong, both in the 2015 and 2016 class.

Headlining the list is the West's premier safety, and the No. 3 safety in the country, Marvell Tell from Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Tell missed the Los Angeles NFTC so he'll make the trip up to the Bay to try to lock in a spot at The Opening.

Tell isn't the only Scout 100 prospect in the secondary expected on Sunday.

Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill cornerback Isaiah Langley, who shined last year at the camp as a receiver, will work with the defensive backs and he too is pushing for an invitation to The Opening.

San Leandro (Calif.) cornerback Stephen Johnson is another four-star working with the defensive backs, though this week, Fresno State offered him as a quarterback. Still, his future is on defense.

Some other Bay Area prospects who are being pursued by a number of schools include San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty's Dakari Monroe, Hayward (Calif.) Stellar Prep's Chandler Gumbs, Berkeley (Calif.) St. Mary's Ron Smith,

Some of the notsbles coming over from the Sacramento area are Sacramento (Calif.) DB Kyron Basped, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove cornerback Sedrick Thomas and Elk Grove (Calif.) safety Shaunard Harts.

Two of the top prospects in Fresno, Edison teammtes A.J. Greeley, a commit to Fresno State, and Dehlon Preston from Central, a commit to San Jose State will be there with a two more members of the DB Guru secondary, Tyler Horton from Edison and Savion Simms from Central.

Another Central Valley prospect coming up is Noruwa Obanor from Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North. Often overshadowed by teammates headed to USC and UCLA, Obanor has had a very good spring and has picked up a handful of offers in the past few weeks.

Some Southern Californians coming up include Cameron Haney and Marshaun Cameron from Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt safety Evan Tyler, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola's Jason Baker and North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake's Hassan Smith.

Colorado will have a couple of prospects who've emerged this spring out in Oakland, led by James Jones from Denver (Colo.) Mullen and Jalen Moore from Denver (Colo.) East.

Coming over from Hawaii is three-star safety Dylan Kane from Honololu Kamehameha.

The top underclass defensive back expected is Pittsburg (Calif.) 2016 four-star safety Shurod Thompson, who's seen his recruitment take off this spring.

Other underclassmen to keep an eye on include Hayward (Calif.) Stellar Prep 2016 safety Addison Gumbs, Westlake (Utah) 2017 safety Chaz Ah You, West Covina (Calif.) 2016 safety Isaiah Love, Rohnert Park (Calif.) Rancho Cotate 2016 athlete Chris Taylor-Yamanha, La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis 2016 DB Avery Williams and Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum 2016 DB Tyrique Carter.


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