L.A. Scout Combine Preview: Defense

In the first year that Scout.com has joined with Under Armour to produce the combines, we have commitments to attend the Los Angeles combine from some of the best defensive prospects in the country, including many of UCLA's committed recruits and its targets...

Whenever the Scout.com Combine comes to Los Angeles, you can expect the talent level to be high.

Two years ago, Everson Griffen had his coming out party, running a 4.46 forty en route to earning Scout.com's #1 ranking in the class of 2007. Last year, it was Darrell Scott's 4.31 that sealed his top-ranked running back spot nationally.

In fact, last year, 23 participants at the Los Angeles Scout.com Combine were selected to one of the three All-American Football Games, including Combine MVP Covaughn Deboskie, Offensive MVP Matt Kalil and Defensive MVP Damien Holmes.

This year, with new sponsor Under Armour on board, three selections to the Under Armour All-America Game will be on hand as well as a host of other players selected to the Offense-Defense and U.S. Army Games already.

Here is a look at some of the defensive players expected to compete this Saturday, May 31st, at the Home Depot Center in Carson from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.:


Defensive Line

Edward Nuckols
It's not a very deep year for defensive lineman in California this year, but there are certainly some prospects we're looking forward to seeing on Saturday.

Heading that list is a solid group of defensive tackles, led by Corona Centennial's Will Sutton, who's had a strong spring and is starting to rack up some offers.  Joining him will be San Marcos Mission Hills' Edward Nuckols, a big, agile man in the middle, who also doubles as a fullback for the Grizzlies.

A pair of players from Los Angeles, both in search of their first offers, will be on hand in Compton's Justin Brown and Verbum Dei's Noel Beckles.

Two underclassmen to watch include Oxnard Santa Clara's Svondo Bradley and Woodland Hills Taft's Antwaun Woods, who hopes to follow his teammate Craig Noble's stellar performance from a year ago.

On the edge, Los Angeles Jordan's James Boyd will be the top defensive end prospect there, and he'll be joined by La Mesa Helix fast-riser Anthony Anderson and Fresno Edison versatile threat Nat Harrison.


Todd Golper

Linebacker may be the best, and most talented, position group in California in the class of 2009, and numerous prospects from that group will be in attendance on Saturday, led by the nation's top-ranked middle linebacker, Vontaze Burfict from Corona Centennial.  The five-star prospect, who's committed to USC, headlines an impressive group of backers.

Joining him is another highly-touted middle backer, Todd Golper, from Arcadia, and a commit to UCLA.  Golper is ranked sixth nationally by Scout.com.  The top outside linebacker in SoCal, Compton Dominguez's Marquis Simmons, will be back for the second year in a row, and the top outside linebacker in NorCal, San Jose Bellarmine Prep's Michael Clay will be making the trek down.

Trevor Erno from Lakewood, committed to Arizona earlier this month, and he'll be on hand.  Compton's Chris Metcalf attended as a sophomore a year ago, and the linebacker/safety will return on Saturday.

Some of the other linebackers we're looking forward to seeing include Moreno Valley Rancho Verde's Eric Martin, Los Flores Tesoro's John Michael Davis, San Pedro's Robert Franco, Woodland Hills Taft's Nick Bruce, Bloomington's Jayson Allmond, Sacramento Christian Brothers' Daniel Cox, La Mesa Helix's Anthony Larceval and Corona Centennial's Anthony Whitlow.


Cliff Harris

Fresno Edison defensive backs love coming to the Scout Combines, they don't mind making the trip down from the Valley, and with the nation's premier cornerback, Cliff Harris, it could be another show for the Tiger secondary.  Harris is ranked as Scout's #1 cornerback, and a year ago, as a sophomore, he was named first team all-combine, drawing the praises of Scout Combine secondary coach Don Cox as the best underclassmen he worked with all year.

San Bernardino Cajon's Marlon Pollard, a commit to UCLA, had one of the best day's testing a year ago, having the top marks for underclassmen in three different tests.  He'll be back to continue a big spring for him that started in Las Vegas at the Badger/New Level/Scout 7-on-7 tourney.  That was also the site that Corona Santiago's Sean Martin burst onto the scene, having an excellent day, and marking his spot as a top tier cornerback prospect in the West.  Fellow Inland Empire native Osahon Irabor has had a big spring himself, approaching double-digit offers, and he'll join a strong contingent from Upland.

A pair of Ventura St. Bonaventure teammates, Isaiah Burton and J.B. Dock, won a state championship last December, and both will be back at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.  Anaheim Servite's Bijon Samoodi was an all-state underclass pick last fall and he'll be in attendance as well.

Other corners expected to attend include Lawndale Leuzinger's Semaj Harris, Chino Hills Ayala's Devin Jackson and La Mesa Helix's Trelan Taylor.

Some of the underclassmen registered include Colton's Jonathan Mack, Covina South Hills' Myles Bevell and Ontario Colony's Jered Bell.


Byron Moore
Two of the top safeties in the West will be on hand on Saturday, in Harbor City Narbonne's Byron Moore and Fresno Edison's T.J. McDonald.  The two were teammates at the Las Vegas 7-on-7 tournament in March, but they'll be rivals come college, with Moore headed to UCLA and McDonald going to USC.  On Saturday, they lead the field of safeties.

Marte Sears from Fresno McClane is another guy who stood out to us at the 7-on-7 tourney, blessed with good size and speed and coverage ability.  Lawndale Leuzinger's Dijon Washington is a guy we're anxious to see, as we are with Cantwell Sacred Heart's Jeffrey Taylor, an intriguing athlete, being recruited on both sides of the ball.

Moreno Valley Rancho Verde's Richard Spencer is one of four Mustangs with BCS offers who will be there on Saturday and Serra League rivals Brent Seals from La Puente Bishop Amat and Ace Ward from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, both linebackers for their high school teams, will work with the safties.

Two standout underclassmen will be there in the safety group, Harbor City Narbonne's Sean Parker and Fresno Edison's Tevin McDonald.

The Under Armour/Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles is full. There will be no walk-ups accepted.

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