The Opening: Top 10 Defensive Performers
Eddie Vanderdoes
Eddie Vanderdoes
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 10, 2012
Chad Simmons


BEAVERTON, Ore. - Scout had many eyes on the prospects competing at The Opening and here are the 10 defensive prospects that impressed the most.

Top 10 Defensive Performers at The Opening

Tashawn Bower | DE | 6-5/235 | Immaculate (NJ)
Tashawn Bowers
Bower

Quick Hitter: Bower is a very athletic rush end and he showed up each day of this event. He was impressive in the drills, then showed good strength and quickness in the 1-on-1s. He could use his quickness off the ball to get past the offensive tackle or set him up and go inside. He will see a substantial move in the rankings.
Recruiting: Committed to Auburn.


Cameron Burrows | CB | 6-2/195 | Trotwood-Madison (Ohio)
Burroughs

Quick Hitter: Burrows did not look the 6-foot-2 he is listed, but he is a corner on the taller and bigger side. Some thought he could move to safety on the next level, but after this event, most, if not all see him as a corner. He is good in press coverage and he showed excellent body control in this event. He has great ball skills and his instincts looked great when the ball was in the air.
Recruiting: Committed to Ohio State.


Tahaan Goodman | S | 6-2/190 | Ranchero Cucamonga (CA)
Tahaan Goodman
Goodman

Quick Hitter: Goodman was a safety that stayed involved. Not many times did he go missing in action like some others did over the weekend. He has very good range on the back of the defense and he put himself to make plays. He has good size, he attacks the ball, and he could be a big-play safety on the next level.
Recruiting: Goodman is open and weighing his options right now.


Jourdan Lewis | CB | 5-9/160 | Cass Technical (MI)
Lewis

Quick Hitter: Lewis was one of the top cornerbacks at The Opening in 2012. He broke on the ball very well, he locked up his man much of the time, and he showed the ability to open up his hips and run with the wide receivers. He had some picks and those were nice, but his coverage stood out the most.
Recruiting: Committed to Michigan.


Jalen Ramsey | CB | 6-0/190 | Brentwood Academy (TN)
Jalen Ramsey
Ramsey

Quick Hitter: Ramsey really stole the show over the three days The Opening was going on. He answered any questions that people may have had about his ability to be a corner on the next level. He was one of the best at any position and made play after play if the ball was thrown his way.
Recruiting: Committing to someone on July 16. Tennessee, Vanderbilt, USC, and others are still in the mix.


A'Shawn Robinson | DT | 6-4/305 | Arlington Heights (TX)
A'Shawn Robinson
Robinson

Quick Hitter: When motivated, Robinson can be as good as just about anyone in the country. If he wants it, he gets it at defensive line. He was one of the few DLs that was as successful against the run blocking as he was rushing the quarterback over the weekend. If he plays with that nasty attitude, it is pretty much over for that OL that is trying to stop him.
Recruiting: Committed to Texas.


Jaylon Smith | OLB | 6-3/225 | Bishop Luers (IN)
Smith

Quick Hitter: Many times in these types of events, linebackers get exposed, but that did not happen to Smith. He was lining up in coverage on slot receivers and blanketing them. He is such a special athlete and he looks like one of those guys that should be playing college football right now. He showed ball skills, aggression, speed, and more at The Opening.
Recruiting: Committed to Notre Dame.


Matthew Thomas | OLB | 6-4/205 | Booker T. Washington (FL)
Matthew Thomas
Thomas

Quick Hitter: For a guy who has rushed the passer off the edge a lot in high school, Thomas looked very natural at linebacker over the weekend. He has so much range, he showed great instincts, and he picked off three balls in one game, so you know he has hands. He still has so much room to grow into his frame and he is going to be special on the next level.
Recruiting: Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Miami are top four schools.


Eddie Vanderdoes | DT | 6-3/303 | Placer High (CA)
Eddie Vanderdoes
Vanderdoes

Quick Hitter: Vanderdoes is explosive off the ball and he showed that time after time at The Opening. He showed good strength at the point of attack and he is more than just a bull rush guy in the middle. He has good feet, he keeps his hands moving, and he was very impressive.
Recruiting: Recently narrowed his list down to 10 schools. Baylor, California, Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State, Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington have a chance.


Demarcus Walker | DE | 6-4/275 | Sandalwood (FL)
Demarcus Walker
Walker

Quick Hitter: Walker is one of those rare prospects who could be equally effective at end in a 3-4 as he could at tackle in a 4-3. His film as a tight end stood out first, so he is an athlete, but as his body has developed physically, he has emerged as one of the top DLs in America. He showed active hands, good pad level, and the ability to get off blocks over the weekend.
Recruiting: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Florida are Walker's top four.


Greg Biggins, Brandon Huffman, Allen Trieu, Greg Powers, and Jake Worthen contributed to this feature.
Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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