The Opening: Top 11 Defensive Performers

Quin Blanding

Virginia commitment Quin Blanding led the way for all the defenders at The Opening camp in Beaverton, Ore. last week. He was stellar and steady from start to finish. Who nailed the other top spots? It was a talented pool on this side of the ball.

Scout.com's complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
Jamal Adams S (6-0/190) - Lewisville, Texas/Hebron
The nation's No. 2 safety prospect didn't disappoint at The Opening, showcasing his athleticism and range in coverage. He also has ball skills, instincts and body control in the air. Adams is a ball-hawk with as much upside in the secondary as anyone in this 2014 class.

Budda Baker ATH (5-10/170) - Bellevue, Wa.
Baker showed why he was one of the very best players in attendance at the Opening regardless of position. He starred on both sides of the ball. Defensively he has range, speed and superior athleticism. There's no doubt that Baker solidified himself as one of the premier athletes in the 2014 class as a receiver or defensive back. He's scary good.

Quin Blanding S (6-2/202 ) - Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside
Blanding was the only unanimous selection for the top 11, garnering first team votes from all eight FoxSportsNext scouts. I am not sure there was a more steady player at the Opening then Blanding. It seems as though in every game he's in the right place at the right time with a key pass breakup or interception. This Virginia commitment rarely got beat.

Dante Booker LB (6-3/225) - Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary
This Ohio State commitment had one of the big plays of day three with an interception return for touchdown as time expired to lead his 7-on-7 team to a victory over the top seed. This is a speedy ‘backer that ran 4.52 [forty] at 6-foot-3 and 225-pounds on Monday. Wow. He's big and agile and looks like a kid that could blossom into something special in Columbus.

Tony Brown CB (6-1/185) - Beaumont, Texas/Ozen -
At 6-foot-1 and 185-pounds, Brown is a very good cornerback who's somewhat raw but has elite size, speed and length. He's athletic and makes plays on the other side of the ball as well. On defense he's active and always around the ball. Brown has very good ball skills and can flip his hips and run with anyone in Oregon. He's showed excellent leadership skills and there's no doubt that his best football is in front of him.

Duke Dawson CB (5-11/185) - Cross City, Fla./ Dixie County
Dawson capped a big spring with an outstanding performance in Oregon at the Opening. In fact, you could make a case that he was the big secondary surprise of this event. He's a physical cornerback who could also play safety. He's explosive, instinctive and always around the ball. He plays bigger than his 5-11 body.

Rashaan Evans LB (6-3/218) – Auburn, Ala.
Evans is a defensive end prospect that had a nice Opening camp playing linebacker, showcasing his speed and athleticism in space and in coverage. He made big plays each of the final days. This is a long and quick cat that has a great future in front of him.

Adoree Jackson CB (5-10/170 ) - Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra
While his 7-on-7 team got knocked out earlier than expected it wasn't the fault of Jackson. This kid is a monster athlete on both sides of the ball. He's freakishly athletic with outstanding speed and ball skills and the Opening he showed he can be a shutdown cornerback. What's scary is that he's better offensively and would be a dynamic receiver in a spread attack.

Jonathan Lockett CB (5-11/170) - Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei
Lockett and Duke Dawson had to be the big surprises at the corner position. This is a lock down guy all the way. He looked outstanding at NFTC and carried the same play throughout the 7-on tournament on days two and three. While he lacks great size Lockett does everything else very well at the position and he plays with a little swag and confidence that you have to have for a corner.

Adarius Pickett CB (6-0/185 ) El Cerrito, Calif.
Pickett earned All-Opening honors after a huge day on day three with two key very late pass breakups to help secure wins and help his 7-on team to a championship. He showed very good cover skills, did well in the SPARQ testing and proved why he's one of the very best defensive backs in the country. He may not be as known as some of the others but this kid can certainly play.

Jalen Tabor CB (6-1/195) Washington D.C./Edison-Friendship
Tabor doesn't have the jets of Jackson or the athleticism of Brown but he does have great size, length and instincts for the position. Add that to his physical style and you have a rare big corner that can play at a very high level. This kid was rarely beaten at the Opening.

Here is a link to the story for the The Opening: Top 11 Offensive Performers

Scott Kennedy, Brandon Huffman, Greg Biggins, Greg Powers, Alan Trieu, Brian Dohn and Chad Simmons all contributed to this story.

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