The Opening: Top 5 Defensive Surprises
Tashawn Bower
Tashawn Bower
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 11, 2012

Here are five defenders who outperformed expectations in Oregon.

Top 5 Defensive Surprise Performers at The Opening.


Mike Mitchell | LB | 6-4/220 | Plano (TX)
Mike Mitchell

Quick Hitter: Mitchell came in as a four-star, but he surprised everyone with the way he tested. He ran a 4.39 at his size, setting a new SPARQ record and used that speed and athleticism to show his ability in coverage during 7 on 7.
Recruiting: Uncommitted

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

Quick Hitter: Bower was one of the more impressive defensive linemen on the hoof with his long frame, but he proved he was more than a big body, using his athleticism and quickness to win more than his share of 1-1s. He's certainly a guy who set himself up to move up the rankings.
Recruiting: Committed to Auburn.

Delano Hill | S | 6-1/190 | Detroit Cass Tech (MI)
<A HREF=>Elijah Qualls</A>

Quick Hitter: Hill is a good sized safety who surprised by how he could move that frame, running a 4.44 in the forty yard dash. He then used that speed to make a number of big plays in 7 on 7s, including a pick six on elimination day.
Recruiting: Committed to Iowa

Elijah Qualls | DT | 6-2/279 | Petaluma (CA)

Quick Hitter: Although he was already a four-star, Qualls still surprised us with how seemingly easy he ran through the competition. His strength, quickness off the ball and ability to get low and stay low allowed him to routinely power past would-be blockers.
Recruiting: Committed to Washington.

Colin Spencer | CB | 5-10/180 | Dallas (TX)

Quick Hitter: Spencer, an unranked two-star prospect, put up incredible testing numbers, running a 3.87 shuttle, 4.42 forty and recording a 42-inch vertical. It wasn't just those numbers though, as he translated his athleticism to the field, making several big plays for his Land Sharks 7on team, including a key pick six.
Recruiting: Committed to Kansas.

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

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DE Tashawn Bower (profile)
S Delano Hill (profile)
OLB Mike Mitchell (profile)
CB Colin Spencer (profile)
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