Under Armour All-American Game 2013: Ranking the Top 15 Defensive Recruits

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2013

Under Armour All-American Game 2013: Ranking the Top 15 Defensive Recruits

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    The Under Armour game will go down in Florida this Friday night, and looking at the rosters for this game, I see some serious talent. Pretty much the who's who of elite college football recruits are playing in this game, and that only means we will see some tremendous talent on the field Friday night.

    When I look at the rosters more intently, I notice that there are a slew of top-notch defensive prospects scheduled to suit up in this game. So for this read, let's just quickly run down and rank the top 15 defensive players that will be at the Under Armour All-American Game.

    So here are 15 reasons why points may be hard to come by this Friday night.

15. Joey Bosa, DT

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    Bosa is a swing DL prospect at 6'5" and 260 pounds. He can play some strong side DE and maybe even some true 5-technique in a 30-front.

    He's committed to Ohio State where he'll likely grow into a DT. Bosa plays big at the point of attack, can grind on a blocker and push the pocket as a rusher. 

14. Leon McQuay III, S

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    McQuay is more of a FS as he goes 6'2", 185 pounds and plays well in space. He can read route combinations, stay patient in his pedal and use surging speed to go jump passing lanes for picks.

    McQuay has good hands, and his length allows him to get to balls at high points. He's scheduled to announce his decision at the game. 

13. Caleb Brantley, DT

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    Brantley is a 6'3", 304-pound DT that can fit in any type of scheme. He has the size and strength to play as a 2-gap defender in a 3-4 scheme while also possessing solid snap quickness to play inside as a 4-3 playmaker.

    I think he can even play nose or the 1-technique too. With his strength, size and solid short area pursuit quickness, he's one of the better DT prospects in the country. 

12. Keanu Neal, S

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    Neal is listed at about 205 pounds, but the 6'1" Florida commit looks bigger on the hoof. He plays safety right now but could grow into an OLB.

    With his great athleticism, Neal patrols the back end then squeezes the line with speed to make stops versus the run. He's solid space and can be a physical press-man defender on receivers and tight ends. 

11. Demarcus Walker, DL

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    Walker is another versatile DL prospect that can play DE or DT. He's 6'4", 280 pounds and can really get off the ball quickly.

    The Florida native and Alabama commit can play big at times at the point of attack and has stacking potential.

    I like Walker as a 3-4 DE, yet he can also kick inside and play DT in a 4-3 scheme. He's an excellent fit for Crimson Tide defense. 

10. Cam Burrows, CB

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    Burrows has a world of talent and looks like an OLB on the hoof at 6'0" and 200 pounds. Yet, he has the hips, mirror ability and speed to play CB, which he'll get his first crack at in Columbus.

    Don't be shocked if Burrows gets moved to safety, but the big corner wants to stay just that: a big corner. His size allows him to match up with big receivers, yet he can can carry anyone deep. 

9. Priest Willis, DB

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    Willis, like Burrows, wants to remain at CB but may grow into a safety. He's already 6'2", weighs about 200 pounds and probably figures to add another 15-20 pounds in college. 

    From Arizona, Willis has quick feet and can come out of transition pretty smoothly for a big athlete. He shows good speed and natural cover ability. I really like LSU's chances with him. 

8. Max Redfield, S

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    I'd be shocked if Redfield didn't announce for Notre Dame during the game. He just seems sold on playing in South Bend and everything the Irish have to offer.

    At 6'2" and 195 pounds, he's an excellent FS prospect that has great size, length, ball skills, athleticism and speed. In fact, if Redfield is given the chance, he could be a great WR.

7. Vonn Bell, S

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    Bell has a final list of Ohio State, Tennessee and Alabama. He's a 6'0", 190-pound DB that can play both SS and FS, while also a little CB too.

    He plays with great speed when he sees things clearly and can really put a lick on a ball carrier. What Bell does best is naturally intercept passes; his ball skills are incredible.

    This guy is a playmaker that I will keep my eye on. 

6. Antonio Conner, S

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    From The Dixie State, Conner can ball with the best in the nation. He's a competitive guy that loves to win and makes an impact from the safety position.

    Conner can play on all three levels of a defense due to great quickness, instincts, ball location skills and speed. He shows good ball skills on the back end and is even better in the box.

    He'll announce sometime during the game, and it'll likely be Ole Miss or Alabama. 

5. Matthew Thomas, OLB

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    A Miami native, Thomas is a talented 6'3", 210-pound second-level defender that can play the flanks with speed and athleticism. He shows the ability to hawk ball carriers to the edges by beating traffic and making solid wrap tackles.

    Thomas is not a real cover guy because he prefers to attack the passer rather than cover pass catchers. He can play some sub-package DE for a defense. 

4. Carl Lawson, DE

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    At 6'2" and about 252 pounds, Lawson is on another level from other DE's in the snap quickness department. He's super explosive off the ball and can jump on top of OT's with ease.

    He has a strong guy that can free himself up from blocks to get clean and make stops from versus the run. In fact, I wouldn't rule the Auburn commit out from playing a little DT in college. 

3. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB

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    Hargreaves is perhaps the best CB prospect in recent memory. He's special and should be just a model player in college at Florida.

    The Florida native is a 5'11", 185-pound cover man. He has loose hips, quick feet, mirror ability and great transition quickness in man coverage. In zone schemes, he shows outstanding vision, awareness and anticipation skills.

    Hargreaves is also a solid run defender too. 

2. Reuben Foster, LB

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    Many people are anxious to see Foster this week because he has had an inconsistent senior year. Some claim he hasn't been focused and has struggled with his weight.

    The 6'2" 'backer usually plays at about 240 pounds and has incredible instincts, play speed, strength, shedding ability and toughness. He's a great tackler, is a true plug and plays Mike LB.

    The only question now is where is he going to school? 

1. Robert Nkemdiche, DE

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    We finally get to see the nation's No. 1 prospect in a national game setting this Friday evening. Nkemdiche should be primed to put on a show, as the 6'5", 272-pounder has a ton of hype around him.

    He is a war daddy on the field, displaying excellent explosiveness at the snap, point of attack strength, power and relentless pursuit speed. He's got the total package, and Friday would be a good time to let all his talent hang out.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.

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