Scout looks at the Top 5 defensive linemen from The Opening on Saturday:
Malik Herring was powerful and quick. He got a strong initial push, and he was able to disengage quickly and get into the backfield. He uses his hands well. Clemson and Georgia are thought to be the top schools and a commitment could come as early as mid August. Tennessee and USC are also hanging around.
Jaelan Phillips won one of the two reps Foster Sarell lost. In fact, his only losses came against Sarell. The five-star UCLA commit continues to show the move to defensive end will be seamless. He is an outside linebacker by trade, but is playing with his hand down this week and showed great explosion off the ball, a variety of moves and still has room to grow physically.
LaBryan Ray is one of the best in Alabama and he flashed as one of the best in the country with his quickness off of the football and athleticism. During one rep, he dipped near parallel to the ground and nearly got to the theoretical quarterback untouched. Ray told Scout he likes Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee are standing out. He is in no rush to make a verbal commitment.
Xavier Thomas was one of the most impressive players anywhere on the field. He was aggressive and fast, had good balance as he dipped his shoulder to gain the edge and alo was able to disengage quickly and dominate a rep. Thomas has a top four of Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and Tennessee. It is thought to be an in-state battle between the Tigers and Gamecocks.
Chase Young was explosive and he varied he moved. He started off his first 1-on-1 with a feign outside and cut inside. He also used his speed outside and was able to get around the edge. Young put a lot of work into his hand development, and he was quick in the drills. He continues to hold a top 15, but schools of hihg interest include Maryland, Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Oregon and Florida.