College Football Recruiting: The Opening's Defensive Stars

Here are some of the top defensive recruits observed by SB Nation Recruiting at The Opening:

Defensive Line

  • A'Shawn Robinson: The Texas defensive tackle commitment out of Fort Worth (Texas) Arlington Heights High School showed his well-known power, but he also impressed with excellent agility and lateral quickness at 6'4 and 302 pounds.
  • Eddie Vanderdoes: The Placer (Calif.) High defensive line recruit is well known for his quickness, but his power and leverage were excellent on day two. He had one of the highlight reps of the line competition as he pancaked an opposing lineman.
  • Demarcus Walker: The Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood defensive linemen showed great first-step quickness and played low throughout the drills. Walker will likely play inside at the college level, as he is already 6'4 and 280 pounds.
  • Elijah Qualls: The Washington commitment out of Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande High has great quickness off the snap. He is not a long player, but does have good thickness and is able to play low out of his stance, using his 265-pound frame effectively.
  • Honorable Mention: Caleb Brantley


  • Jaylon Smith: The Notre Dame commitment out of Indiana again showed freakish athleticism. Smith is incredibly long and was the best player on the field for much of the tournament. His ability to close ground on a receiver is unreal.
  • Matthew Thomas: The uncommitted Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Linebacker has many of the traits that make Jaylon Smith special, including length and speed. Thomas was the best player on the eventual 7-on-7 champion ‘Superbad.' Bryant told SB Nation that he is considering Alabama, Florida State and Miami.
  • Larenz Bryant: The South Carolina commitment is well suited for 7-on-7 play with his small frame and fast game. He was quite active Saturday.
  • Alex Anzalone: The Pennsylvania linebacker committed to Notre Dame Sunday arfter previously being committed to Ohio State. Anzalone didn't make as many plays as some of his counterparts, but relative to his size and game, he played very well in the setting.

Defensive Back

  • Jalen Ramsey: The Brentwood (TN) Academy corner has excellent size at 6'0 and 189 pounds. His performance on Saturday was excellent, and he followed it up with a strong showing Sunday. Ramsey read the receiver well and broke on numerous footballs. He decides July 16 and has USC, Vanderbilt and Alabama as likely destinations.
  • Jourdan Lewis: Michigan has a good one in this Detroit corner. Lewis jumped several routes Sunday and came away with diving interceptions. He also made ESPN's all-tournament team.
  • Eli Woodard: The Ohio State commitment out of New Jersey has legitimate size (6'1, 185), and displayed excellent athleticism in intercepting Brice Ramsey and Cooper Bateman.
  • Priest Willis: The uncommitted Arizona recruit was playing out of position in the slot, but did show off nice physicality. His change of direction was also impressive for a corner of his size.
  • Marcell Harris: The uncommitted Florida safety looks like a linebacker, but was excellent playing the pass in a format that wasn't thought to fit his skills coming in. Harris covered hash to sideline with ease. He is strongly considering Florida and Texas.
  • Honorable Mentions: Cameron Burrows, Artie Burns, Holland Fisher and Keanu Neal

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