May 17, 2011

2011 Midwest Elite Camp: Defense

As many of you know, the Midwest Elite Football Exposure Camp is a place where top high school football players from across the Midwest gather to showcase their skills. In previous years, it has featured many great talents including Jake Fisher, Austin White, Devin Gardner and Robert Bolden.

The 2011 edition took place on Sunday in Wixom, Mich. and I had an opportunity to visit the camp for the first time. It was a good chance to meet and interact with some great coaches, as well as many rising prospects. Over the next two days, I'm going to break down who impressed me at each position and some other guys that caught my attention.

Today, I'm going to talk about the players who I thought stood out on the defensive side of the ball. Tomorrow I will give you my thoughts on the top prospects on the offensive side.

Defensive Line
Jabari Dean, Class of 2012: 6'2, 289 pounds, Detroit Renaissance - He has four offers thus far. They are Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Western Michigan. He is built and has the strength to overpower most offensive lineman. He gets off the ball well, but lacks elite quickness.
Kyle Ready, Class of 2012: 6'4, 230 pounds, Carlson - Western Michigan is the only program to offer the athletic big man thus far. He has the speed to beat guys off the edge, but strength to bull rush over big offensive lineman.
Darryl Goldsmith, Class of 2012: 6'1, 310 pounds, Cass Tech - Has offers from Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo. He is very wide-bodied player who has the ability to plug holes. His size it makes him very tough to move.
Other Notable Prospects:
Mike Zawacki, Class of 2012: 6'3, 215 pounds - Monroe
Melvin Rawls, Class of 2012: 6'2, 270 pounds - Beecher
Nick Johnson, Class of 2012: 6'2, 230 pounds - South Lake
David Ampadu, Class of 2012: 6'2, 230 pounds - Romeoville

Linebackers
Hunter Matt, Class of 2012: 6'1, 215 pounds, Wyandotte Roosevelt - His only offer so far is from Akron, although I believe he will have many more. He has very good athleticism and speed. To increase his stock, he needs to add some strength while maintaining his athleticism. Good in coverage and defended the running backs very well in the one-on-one drills. He has great technique and instincts, with unbelievable work ethic - he never stops moving.
Tyler Goble, Class of 2012: 6'1, 220 pounds, Plymouth - He has great athleticism and size, which make him a major threat on defense. He has the ability to run down the quarterback or drop into coverage. He needs to work on his overall technique and footwork a bit, but he is definitely a player to keep an eye on as Signing Day gets closer.
Lester Liston Jr., Class of 2012: 6'2, 218 pounds, Grand Blanc - Western Michigan remains his only offer. However, he does have the skills that will earn him a lot more offers. Has a great mix of athleticism and strength. He could get a little faster, but his overall athleticism covers up any lack of speed.
Bryan Jones, Class of 2012: 6'3, 205 pounds, Schoolcraft - He has a great frame which he maximizes by showing great strength and athleticism. He can cover a big distance in a short amount of time and displays a lot of versatility. With his overall athleticism and skill set, I see him more as a safety then a linebacker.
Matt Dellinger, Class of 2012: 6'2, 195 pounds, Clarkston - He is a quick, athletic player that needs to bulk up and get stronger. However, he does display the instincts and natural ability to be successful. If he can add some size and strength, watch out.
Other Notable Prospects:
Ronnie Dawson, Class of 2013: 6'0.5, 220 pounds - Licking Heights
Daniel Liesman, Class of 2012: 6'3, 220 pounds - Lansing Catholic
Terrence Wright, Class of 2012: 5'7.5, 205 pounds - J.W. Sexton
Jarrett Bochniak, Class of 2012: 6'2, 225 pounds - Troy

Defensive Backs
Kevin Buford, Class of 2012: 5'9, 170 pounds, Canton - Has offers from Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Toledo. He is very well rounded and does everything well. He is also a running back in high school, so you know he has versatility and athleticism. He has good size and speed. Didn't do anything spectacular, but made always the right plays.
James White, Class of 2012: 6'0, 175 pounds, Crockett - He has a good frame and he displays great strength and speed. Has great athleticism, which he displayed by going up high and getting the ball. He made play after play in the one-on-one drills, which got him talking and getting in opponent's faces, displaying confidence in his ability. Other players starting making plays on him, which forced him to quiet down, re-focus and start making plays again. I see him as a defensive back at the next level, but he does play wide receiver at Crockett and is one of Brian Blackburn's primary targets.
Anthony Scarcelli, Class of 2012: 6'0, 180 pounds, Marine City - He has an offer from Central Michigan. He played wide receiver in high school, so he has athleticism and versatility. At the next level, I see him as a safety, but needs to develop more when it comes to one-on-one matchups, which he struggled with at this camp when he was playing defensive back.
Other Notable Prospects:
Garrett Fuhrman, Class of 2012: 5'9, 170 pounds - Lansing Eastern
Jacob Romeo, Class of 2012: 6'0,185 pounds - Notre Dame Prep
Terrance Dye, Class of 2012: 5'9, 172 pounds - Grand Blanc
Jaleel Canty, Class of 2013, 5'9, 180 pounds - Lansing Everett

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