Orlando NFTC Preview: Defense

Five-star DE Byron Cowart

Spring brings the Nike Football Training Camp circuit as the top prospects from around each region come to compete. It's always fun to see some new names emerge after great performances, but here are some names to know heading into the camp.

Some of the nation's top defenders will be on hand in Orlando on Saturday for the NFTC.

Defensive line

Five-star defensive ends CeCe Jefferson (the nation's top defensive end) and Byron Cowart (number five end in the class) will be on hand to compete. These two have become great friends throughout their recruitment and have recently talked about being a package deal at the next level. Jefferson will be heading down from Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County and Cowart will make the trip over from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. These two can pretty much name their schools, but Florida, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, LSU, and Georgia are all in a good position.

A couple other names to know on the defensive line are 2015 defensive ends Andrew Ivie of Pasco (Fla.) Dade City and Scott Patchan of Tampa (Fla.) Freedom. In the 2016 class, four-star defensive tackle Cedric Wood will be in attendance. The Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby standout is committed to Florida State.

Linebackers

A stellar linebacker group is slated to attend, starting with the state's top outside linebacker in Jeffery Holland. The Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity star is the number four outside backer in the class and has offers from every school he could want. Auburn, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, and Alabama are some that look good for the Jacksonville star.

The state's top middle linebacker will also be in Orlando competing. Frostproof (Fla.) four-star backer Cecil Cherry is ready to earn that invite to The Opening. Cherry is committed to Tennessee and seems very solid to the Vols.

A couple more linebacker stars from the Jacksonville area are also on the list. Holland's Trinity teammate Andre Smith, a North Carolina commit, will be there. South Carolina commit Sherrod Pittman of First Coast will compete, and 2016 middle linebacker Shaquille Quarterman of Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf will be one to watch in the sophomore class.

Defensive Backs

Tyreke Johnson may not even be in high school yet, but the Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian (yes, this school again) star already has offers from LSU, Miami, UCLA, and more. He's in the 2018 class and he'll be at the camp.

P.J. Simmons is a safety out of Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby, he has offers from a few schools including Vanderbilt, North Carolina, and South Florida. North Carolina safety commit Ronnie Harrison of Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High School will compete as well. Keep an eye on Aaron Covington of Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. He's a guy that could get some serious momentum in the coming months.

Scout.com will have a great team covering the Orlando NFTC Saturday and the Miami NFTC Sunday, so stay tuned right here for coverage of the events.

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