The defensive line and defensive back positions were loaded and that’s evident in our top 10 as nine of the 10 players come from those two spots. Here’s a close up look and again, this list is based only on what we saw on Sunday, not on who we feel are the best college prospects.
Chaz Ah You, DB, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Ah You was the top safety we saw and felt he made a strong case to land an invite for The Opening Finals. We love his size, athleticism, cover skills and instincts. He’s a smart player as well, always in the right place and always around the ball. The Oregon Ducks, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins and Washington Huskies are a few schools Ah You is strongly considering.
Elijah Blades, DB, Pasadena (Calif.) Muir
Blades got beat over the top a few times, which was surprising because of how well he runs but he still had a strong overall camp. He has a long, athletic frame, pushing 6-3, but is very fluid in his movement and is physical in press coverage. The Arizona Wildcats, Florida Gators, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Utah Utes are his current leaders.
Hunter Echols, DE, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral
Echols had a strong camp, landing an invite to The Opening Finals following the event. In fact, in what was a loaded DL group, Echols was right there for MVP honors for his position. He’s a very good edge pass rusher with long arms, good lateral mobility and a nice burst around the edge. He’ll need to put some weight when he gets to college but all the tools are there for him to be a very good player in college. The UCLA commit plans to take his visits and mentioned the Alabama Crimson Tide, Miami (Fl) Hurricanes, Nebraska Cornhuskers and USC Trojans as schools he may check out.
Elijah Gates, DB, Buena Park (Calif.)
Like Ah You, we felt Gates did enough to earn an invite to The Opening Finals as well. He’s a natural cover corner with very good feet, balance and instincts. He’s quick breaking on the ball, shows good ball skills and always competes at a high level. Michigan Wolverines, Nebraska, Oregon, TCU and UCLA are a few schools on his short list.
Jaylon Johnson, DB, Fresno (Calif.) Central
If we had to name an overall defensive MVP, it would have gone to Johnson. The talented corner started off the day dominating the testing portion of the camp with the day’s top Nike Rating with a score of 132.42, highest among all DBs tested this year. He then won the fastest man competition with a winning time of 4.49 and proceeded to win every one on one rep he took during the position drills. You won’t find too many corners anywhere in the country with more upside than Johnson. Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC are a few he’s looking at.
Alex Perry, DB, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Perry is one of those players that does everything well. He earned an invite to The Opening Finals and it was well deserved. Perry never gets beat one on one, even by bigger receivers, because of how well he understands positioning, technique and his football instincts. The athlete is open to a host of schools including Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan and Oklahoma.
Greg Rogers, DL, Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View
Rogers is a big kid and a natural as an inside run stuffer who should develop into a guy who can pressure the quarterback as well. He’s naturally strong and can get a nice push up the field. He needs some technique work as he got turned around a few times getting up the field but you can definitely teach that a lot easier than you can teach size and strength and he has that. Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC are involved with Rogers.
Lamin Touray, LB, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Touray was the top ‘backer in the camp and took home LB MVP honors. He looks like a prototype inside 'backer in any scheme but moves well enough in space to play some strongside as well. He's a physical player whose game shows up even more with the pads on but he has made some very nice strides playing in space this spring. The Colorado State Rams, Hawaii Warriors, Nevada Wolf Pack, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans and Wyoming Cowboys are just a few of the schools who have offered him.
Jay Tufele, DL, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham
Tufele was right there with Johnson as the most dominant overall defensive player we saw. He was the most explosive tackle in the event and has a tremendous combination of size, strength, quickness and technique. He uses his hands very well and has a tremendous amount of upside to him. BYU, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, USC and Utah are all on the short list.
Marlon Tuipulotu, DL Independence (Ore.) Central
Tuipulotu took home DL MVP honors and earned an invite to The Opening Finals as well. The Washington commit has a rock solid frame, good lateral mobility, uses his hands well and an explosive get off. He’s a tough kid with a high motor and you can tell he enjoys being coached and competing. His best days are definitely ahead of him and when he hits college and refines his technique, his game will take off to another level.
National recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman and Mountain/Southwest regional analyst Blair Angulo contributed to this compilation.