The Opening West Preview: The Defense

Jul. 7 -- Here's a look at the West participants competing at The Opening this week...

THE DEFENSIVE LINEMEN:

Boss Tagaloa- Tagaloa is the top DT out West and combines a powerful lower body, quick first step and advanced technique. UCLA looks like the early team to beat.

Connor Murphy- Murphy had a dominant showing at The Opening Regional camp in Eugene last month and shows natural pass rushing ability. Arizona State and Michigan could be the early leaders here.

Oluwole Betiku-Betiku may have more upside than any other player out West and was recently elevated to 5-star status. Florida State, Notre Dame, Penn State and UCLA top his list.

THE LINEBACKERS:

Krys Barnes- The UCLA commit is a tough, physical ‘backer who could play inside or strong side in college.

Camilo Eifler- Eifler is still learning the position but has all the physical tools to be an early impact player in college. He’ll announce this week from among California, Oregon, UCLA and Washington.

Mique Juarez- The USC commit is a tremendous athlete who can run, hit, cover and play in space.

Caleb Kelly- Kelly is an instinctual player who can rush the passer, play the run and has a non-stop motor. Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA top his list.

Curtis Robinson- The Stanford commit has excelled on both sides of the ball this spring but we love his upside as an outside ‘backer.

Lamar Winston- Winston might be the most athletic ‘backer in this group and will pick from Oregon, Stanford and UCLA this week.

THE DEFENSIVE BACKS:

Traveon Beck- The Cal commit is a pure cover corner with very good quickness and always competes at a high level.

Brady Breeze- The Oregon commit is a tough, physical safety with underrated athleticism and a nasty disposition.

Lamar Jackson - Big rangy safety has a linebacker frame but runs well enough to stay in the secondary. USC and UCLA remain the two to beat.

David Long- Long has both quickness and top end speed, very good ball skills and a high football IQ. Stanford could be tough to beat here.

Jordan Parker- The UCLA commit is a tough, scrappy corner with very good football instincts.

C.J. Pollard- Pollard has a safety frame but corner skill and could play anywhere in the secondary. He’ll commit this week with USC looking tough to beat.

THE ATHLETES:

Brandon Burton- Burton will play safety this week but is an excellent receiver as well. Alabama, Arizona, Florida State, Oklahoma and UCLA are his current favorites.

Jack Jones- Jones is a dynamic two-way player who can line up at corner or receiver. Jones has yet to cut his list but Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are a few schools we know he has high interest in.

Byron Murphy- Murphy can play on either side of the ball but we love him in the secondary as a big corner or rangy safety. Texas A&M could be tough to beat but Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Washington are all on him hard.

Trevon Sidney- Sidney can play cover corner but has really elevated his game as a slot receiver this spring. He could announce this week and if so, USC is the heavy favorite.

Melquise Stovall- The USC commit can play in the slot, come out of the backfield or even play in the secondary.


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