The Opening: Day Two Top Defensive Performers
Jaylon Smith
Jaylon Smith
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 8, 2012


Day two at The Opening brought padded and spirited competition from the linemen and a number of standout performances from linebackers and defensive backs in the 7 on 7s. Here are 11 who stood out, along with a few honorable mentions.

TOP OFFENSE | TOP DEFENSE

Jalen Ramsey | CB | Brentwood Academy (TN)
Jalen Ramsey
CB Jalen Ramsey
Ramsey was one of the most impressive players period today. He's a great cover man with excellent change of direction and athleticism. He carried over his big testing numbers from yesterday into 7 on 7 play today. He had several pass breakups and an interception.

Jaylon Smith | OLB | Fort Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers
OLB Jaylon Smith
committed to Notre Dame - Smith is one of the best athletes in the country. For a linebacker to move like he does and cover the way he can against not only tight ends and running backs, but slot receivers too is rare. He made a number of great plays on the ball, including a couple of interceptions. He got a little overaggressive about trying to jump stuff at times, but there is no doubt he is an elite prospect.

A'Shawn Robinson | DT | Ft. Worth (TX) Arlington Heights
DT A'Shawn Robinson
committed to Texas - The word "beast" gets thrown around frequently, probably too frequently in the recruiting world, but Robinson is a guy who deserves the title. On the hoof, he's well ahead of his years and is explosive, powerful and made life tough for those trying to get in his way in one on ones.

Demarcus Walker | DT | Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood
DT Demarcus Walker
Able to get around you with impressive nimbleness for a big guy, and able to anchor in against the run with strength and power, Walker is a guy who can do it all. We think he can be a 3-4 end or 4-3 tackle because of that versatility and the multitude of ways he can beat you.

Tashawn Bower | DE | Somerville (NJ) Immaculate
DE Tashawn Bower
committed to Auburn - Bower definitely passes the eye test with his frame and length. He's a fine athlete with quick feet and a good get off. He also got physical and showed a little bit of attitude during one on ones. He has a lot of room to put weight on still and he'll get even better as he gets stronger.

Marcell Harris | S | Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips
S Marcell Harris
He is one of the biggest safeties here, so much so, that there were linebacker whispers about him, but Harris played the safety position at a high level on Saturday. He has good instincts and found himself in on a lot of plays including a few pass breakups and a couple of interceptions.

Holland Fisher | OLB | Midlothian (Va.) Manchester
Holland Fisher
OLB Holland Fisher
committed to Virginia Tech - Fisher was all over the field today, using his speed to jump a couple passes, including an interception he grabbed early in the day. He is listed as a safety, but closer to the line of scrimmage quite a bit. We project him at linebacker, where he's not the prototypical size right now, but he can run, and is good in coverage.

Da'Shawn Hand | DE | Woodbridge (Va.)
Da'shawn Hand
DE Da'Shawn Hand
This 2014 prospect has tremendous upside and is truly an elite prospect in his class. He has long arms, is explosive and is not only talented, but has a motor to go along with his physical tools. Depending on how his body develops, he could go either way as far as inside-outside, but no matter where he ends up, he's a special talent.

Elijah Qualls | DT | Petaluma (Ca.) Casa Gande
DT Elijah Qualls
A guy who came in not having played much defensive line before, Qualls showed not only the physical tools, but also the demeanor to play the position well in college. He's a thicker kid who is naturally hard to move, and he makes it even harder by playing with good pad level and leverage. He is an intense kid who got a little chippy with the offensive linemen and definitely gets after it on the field.

Matthew Thomas | LB | Miami (Fla.) Washington
OLB Matthew Thomas
Thomas is a fantastic athlete with the speed to run with slots and running backs and the height and length to be a good matchup on the tight ends here. He made several nice plays on the ball today including an interception where he was able to show some of the speed he has for a big guy after the catch.

Marcus Robinson | LB | Memphis (TN) East
OLB Marcus Robinson
On a loaded Land Sharks defense, Robinson was still able to make his presence felt, getting into a couple of passing lanes and tipping a pass which turned into a key pick six for his team. He's a kid with a nice frame and good length, and he used those physical tools to excel in coverage on the day.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
DBs: Cameron Burrows, Jourdan Lewis, Chris Hawkins, Quin Blanding, Jayme Thompson, Colin Spencer
DL: Eddie Vanderdoes, Caleb Brantley, Elijah Daniel, Taco Charlton, Jordan Sherit
LB: Alex Anzalone

Brandon Huffman, Jake Worthen, Chad Simmons, Greg Biggins and Greg Powers also contributed to this report.



Related Stories
The Opening: Breaking Down the DBs
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Jul 7, 2012
The Opening: Who stood out on Day 2
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Jul 7, 2012
The Opening: Jalen Ramsey
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Jul 7, 2012

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