JUCO Players to Watch - Defensive Tackles

As we prepare to head into the season, we plan to give a quick look at each position, naming just a few of the top players, while giving a look at how things have come along for them on the recruiting front and what can be expected of them this fall. First up is a look at the defensive tackle spot as well as some swing players who could play inside or outside, depending on the scheme...

**Note: This is merely a list of some of the top JUCO defensive tackles/defensive lineman and is by no means a comprehensive or complete list of the prospects available in this class.

Fort Scott DT Abu Lamin - Lamin's recruiting blew up this spring when schools found out he redshirted last fall and would have three years to play three following the 2013 football season. At 6'5" and weighing 315 pounds, Lamin is the perfect fit inside as a three-tech, able to use his outstanding strength and athleticism to wreak havoc on offenses. He received offers from schools from across the country, but, after taking several official visits to different programs, he decided to commit to South Carolina late last month.

Status: Committed to South Carolina
Mesa DT/DE Claude Pelon - The talented defensive lineman can play inside or outside, depending on the scheme, but he's being look at by most schools as an inside player. He's strong at the point and he can get a lot of push in the pass-rush. He has offers from schools from all over, but has seemed to narrow things down to a top two -- Washington and Nebraska -- with a third (Miami) also in the mix as well. He's noted that his official visits will go a long way in helping him decide where he fits best.

Status: Uncommitted
East Los Angeles DT Michael Wyche - Wyche made his decision shortly after being offered by USC and will play for the Trojans in 2014. He's an outstanding interior pass-rusher with a lot of athleticism. He drew interest and offers from several schools, but once USC came calling that was all she wrote.

Status: Committed to USC
Scottsdale DT Calvin Heurtelou - Because he's so tough to move off the line, Heurtelou has offers from schools like Cincinnati, Kansas State, Miami, Missouri, Rutgers and Texas State and he's already visited the Hurricanes and plans to take at least a few more before he decides this fall. Heurtelou can play over the center as a nose tackle or even be a two-gap player and that appears to be how most schools see him fitting into their system.

Status: Uncommitted
L.A. Pierce DT Hakeem Allonce - It came as a bit of a surprise when Allonce committed to Cincinnati back in May. His size (6'5", 290) and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect who could wind up drawing a lot more interest from BCS programs.

Status: Committed to Cincinnati
Pearl River DT Dalvon Stuckey - It's no secret that the Hurricanes are looking to add at least a couple of interior prospects along their defensive line and when they offered Stuckey, it was almost a fait accompli. At 6'3" and tipping the scales at 325 pounds, Stuckey is a perfect fit as a two-gapper. Could he be the next great defensive tackle to come out of the Hurricane program? Don't be surprised as Miami has a history of luck with JUCO defensive tackles (Cortez Kennedy to name one).

Status: Committed to Miami
College of San Mateo DT Rika Levi - Levi was a dominant player inside for the Bulldogs last fall and is expected to be even better this coming season with improved technique and conditioning. He's got an outstanding first step and he uses his hands well, so it's hard for offensive linemen to lock him up. He has offers from Washington and Missouri and schools like Auburn, Alabama, California, Florida State and San Jose State have all been giving him a lot of attention.

Status: Uncommitted
Mt. San Jacinto DT Sam Schwab - Schwab signed with USC out of high school, but blew out his knee, so he headed to Mt. San Jacinto and put on size and has blossomed into one of the better two-gap players in California. He has early offers from Illinois, Washington State and Utah State and he's been hearing quite a bit from Arizona State, New Mexico, Baylor, San Diego State and USC. Status: Uncommitted
Highland DT Mickey Stewart - Stewart was at Arizona Western last fall, but he decided to leave and will play for the Scotties this fall. He's super-quick and, once schools started to notice him this spring, offers from Abilene Christian, Arkansas State and East Carolina rolled in. More schools are after him, including Baylor, Bowling Green, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa State and Toledo and, with a good start to his sophomore season, he could a lot more offers before he makes his decision.

Status: Uncommitted
ASA DT Cory Johnson - Another interior player who is a great fit as a nose tackle. Johnson can stop the run, but he also has enough athleticism to get into the backfield, evidenced by his 9.5 tackles-for-loss to go along with 23 tackles and one sack. Johnson received offers from Arizona State, Temple, Syracuse, North Carolina State and Miami this spring, but when Kentucky offered and he took a visit there this summer, he decided to commit to the Wildcats.

Status: Committed to Kentucky
Hutchinson DE/DT Jeremiah Ledbetter - Ledbetter is versatile, but with his size, he could wind up being a great fit as a three-technique for the school he committed to -- Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are the only school that has offered Ledbetter, but expect more schools to come calling if he gets off to a fast start with the Blue Dragons.

Status: Committed to Oklahoma State
Cerritos DT David Moala - Moala, a bounceback from Arizona State, held down the middle for Cerritos last fall, totaling 49 tackles, four sacks and 7.5 tackles-for-loss. He's gotten offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Hawaii, Houston and Kansas State and he's been hearing quite a bit from Minnesota, Oklahoma State, USC, Utah and, most recently, Washington.

Status: Uncommitted
West Los Angeles DT Dayan Dunn - Dunn had a great freshman season for West L.A., wracking up 25 tackles, four sacks and 8.5 tackles-for-loss. He has yet to receive an offer, but schools like Kansas, New Mexico State, San Diego State and Washington have given him a look this spring and summer.

Status: Uncommitted
College of the Canyons DT Loni Fonua - Fonua is a perfect fit as a nose-tackle and had a solid freshman campaign -- 18 tackles and on sack - and that has drawn interest from Oregon State, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Colorado State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Kansas State, UNLV and Arkansas State since the spring. Expect him to start seeing offers roll in once they get a look at what he can do as a full-time starter this fall.

Status: Uncommitted
Golden West DT Mark Sauvao - At 5'11", Sauvao might be fighting against the stereotype of "squatty", but don't confuse that for being unathletic. Sauveo weighs in at 290 pounds and, this spring, he posted a sub-5.0 forty time (4.92 to be exact). He holds the point really well and showed enough push for the rustlers from his nose tackle spot last season to post 22 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and three sacks. Recruiting started off slow for Sauvao, but things have picked up over the past few months with schools like Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Purdue, Weber State and Western Michigan.

Status: Uncommitted
New Mexico Military DT Taylor Timmons - Timmons has an early offer from Miami, but has made it clear he wants to take his time when making his decision. At 6'2" and nearly 300 pounds, Timmons can play almost anywhere along the line, but probably is a better fit as a three or a five technique where he can use his quickness and athleticism. In addition to his offer from the Hurricanes, Timmons has also been hearing from Arizona, Memphis, New Mexico, New Mexico State and Oklahoma State as well. As a freshman last season, Timmons posted Posted 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four tackles-for-loss.

Status: Uncommitted
Highland DT Marcus Smith - At 6'3" and tipping the scales at 300 pounds, Smith is a prospect that has intrigued coaches from four year schools. Two offers have already come in -- UAB and Western Kentucky -- and you can expect more once the season gets underway when he's able to show how much he's progressed since his freshman season last fall.

Status: Uncommitted
Tyler DT Jeremy Miller - Expect things to hit a fever pitch for Miller after the first month of season as schools get more and more film of him. He's just over 6' tall and weighs close to 300 pounds and he's got great quickness and strength. Schools from all over have shown him some interest, but to this point, none have ponied up an offer. The first one that does could put themselves in a great position to get a run-stuffer for their system.

Status: Uncommitted
Coahoma DT/DE Keland McElrath - With four early offers -- West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Kentucky and Texas Tech -- McElrath is a prospect that has already garnered a lot of early attention and more schools could be getting involved soon. At 6'5, 295 pounds, McElrath is a great fit inside as a three-tech in an even (4-3) front or he could wind up as a defensive end in an odd (3-4) front.

Status: Uncommitted
Butte DT/DE Bobby Falagai - Falagai is a versatile athlete and can play inside or outside, depending upon the scheme. As a freshman he totaled 26 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks while playing as a three-technique or as a defensive end in Butte's odd (3-4) front.

Status: Uncommitted
Diablo Valley DT/DE Tui Talia - We almost forgot about Talia because he's probably a better fit outside, but he's added enough size that the DVC coaches are going to move him inside this year. Talia had offers from several schools and made an early commitment to Washington before switching up and committing to Oregon shortly after the start of the summer. As a freshman in 2012, Talia posted 48 tackles, six sacks and 16 tackles-for-loss.

Status: Committed to Oregon
Los Medanos DT Charles Alexander - Alexander totaled 47 tackles, two sacks and five tackles-for-loss and earned All-Conference honors as a freshman in 2012. He's got the quicks and athleticism to play a three-tech spot in a defense, but also could slide outside in a 3-4 scheme.

Status: Uncommitted
Palomar DT Fiaalii Togiaso - Togiaso signed with Cornell out of high school and redshirted there as a freshman in 2011. Totaled 35 tackles, one sack and three tackles-for-loss as a redshirt freshman in last season. He's garnering the attention of several schools including New Mexico, New Mexico State and North Texas and offers could start to flow after the 2013 season.

Status: Uncommitted
Southwestern DT Alfonso Hampton - - A huge prospect with great hands and quickness, Hampton totaled 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles-for-loss as a freshman last fall. Expect him to draw a lot of interest from schools in the coming months as they get a look at him this season.

Status: Uncommitted
Santa Ana DT Billy Tanuvasa - The Don coaching staff has raved about what Tanuvasa can do on the field and, after a solid freshman season that saw him post 42 tackles, four sacks and six tackles-for-loss, he's got a few schools eyeing his talents including Fresno State, Kansas and Utah.

Status: Uncommitted
College of the Desert DT Tyler Roberts - Roberts totaled seven tackles and two tackles-for-loss as a freshman in 2012 and has schools from the WAC, Mountain West and Pac 12 eyeing his talents. He could play as a nose tackle or as a three tech, depending on need.

Status: Uncommitted
Georgia Military DT/DE Devaroe Lawrence - Even though he's a bit on the smaller side for an interior player (6'3", 275), Lawrence is an absolute beast and he received early offers from Auburn, Southern Miss or Mississippi State. He made the decision to commit to Auburn back in July and will move around for the Tigers once he steps on campus.

Status: Committed to Auburn


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