The Opening: Top Five Defensive Line
Chad Thomas
Chad Thomas
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 8, 2013

While the defensive line met its match more often than not with the offensive line at The Opening, there were still some stellar showings by the guys in the trenches and picks its top five defensive linemen...'s complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
Ainuu Taua (6'0, 270) - Lompoc (Calif.)
The 1on1 MVP, Taua started a little slow on the first day but caught fire on the second day.  Generously listed at 6-0, Taua used his quickness off the ball and non-stop motor to take over on Wednesday.  He plays real low and with great leverage and gets off the snap instantly.

Bijhon Jackson (6'3, 315) - El Dorado (Ark.)
The Arkansas commit was impressive all week.  Though he came in as a 3-star, he left a big impression, with his quickness and moves in the one-on-ones, and his agility, impressive considering his size.  He has a quick first step and flew off the line of scrimmage at the snap and played nice and low.

Chad Thomas (6'5, 240) - Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington
The overall defensive line MVP, Thomas' athleticism was what first caught your eyes, but he didn't just use his speed and quickness off the ball to win 1on1s, he showed a wide variety of moves and impressive strength to take over in the 1on1s.  His ceiling is high and he has a chance to be one of the premier defensive linemen nationally when it's all said and done.

Gerald Willis (6'4, 270) - New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr
Willis looks like he could end up as a tackle down the line, but during The Opening, he put his hand down off the edge, and showed great burst and plenty of moves.  He also was one of the few linemen to even hang with Cameron Robinson, beating him twice in fact. 

Solomon Thomas (6'3, 256) - Coppell (Texas)
Possibly the most consistent defensive linemen from Day One to Day Three, Thomas has great strength and a motor that doesn't turn off.  One of the most technically sound participants in the entire event, Thomas used that with his power to have a sterling performance all week.

Greg Biggins, Brian Dohn, Greg Powers, Scott Kennedy, Jamie Newberg, Allen Trieu, and Chad Simmons contributed to this feature.

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DE Bijhon Jackson (profile)
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