Birmingham NFTC: Top DL Performers

The Opening invite Kendell Jones

HOOVER, Ala. – Student Sports, the group that runs the Nike Football Training Camps, said that Sunday's Birmingham-area event was easily the best offensive line and defensive line group that the tour has seen thus far. It wasn't hard to see why given the big names, but there was also a group that helped to make names for themselves including the D-line MVP.

The main event on Sunday at Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park High School was the big man battles. It had the hype before the event, and it lived up to it to close out the day. breaks down the top performers on the defensive side of the ball, solely for their effort on Sunday no matter their ranking and/or status on Scout. The names below are arranged alphabetically, along with corresponding video of each rep we were able to capture during the 1-on-1 portion of the camp.

Fletcher Adams, 2015 DT, Brandon (Miss.) High

From start to finish, not many on the defensive linemen were better than Adams. He checked in just under 6-foot-2 and just 254 pounds, so he may be a bit of a tweener, but the kid is a strong and powerful football player. He has a good get-off, he showed off a good rip move, and is one who can play on the inside or outside at the next level.

Christian Bell, 2015 DE, Hoover (Ala.) High

Scout likes him on the edge with his hand down. Bell is still thin for an end, but has good quickness off the ball and can dip his shoulder to turn the corner in a hurry. He's athletic with a lot of room to fill out his frame going forward.

Vasco Curry, 2015 DT, Memphis (Tenn.) East

Another undersized talent here, but another that is feisty. He uses his stature to easily win the pad-level battle and combines that with solid hand-fighting moves and counter moves to quickly win one-on-one reps. His work on Sunday earned him defensive line MVP honors despite competing with several elite defensive linemen. As Nike DL coach and former LSU and NFL standout Chuck Wiley put it of Curry, "he's a dog, he'll go out and hunt."

Kendell Jones, 2015 DE, Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville

A star on the rise? Jones very well could be. He has three offers now with Mississippi State being the biggest, but he should easily triple that number in the coming months. The 6-4, 246 pound end moves very well, he has long arms, and nice strength.

Daron Payne, 2015 DT, Irondale (Ala.) Shades Valley

Who was the strongest prospect at this event? It might have been Payne. When he had success, it was because of his brute power. He actually has pretty good quickness off the ball and he is very powerful when he is good to go. He struggled some due to being out of shape, but when he got his breathe, he was tough to handle.

Chad Simmons contributed to this report.

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