MSU Camp Notes - Defense

Joel Heath

Michigan State's camp on Monday featured a few outstanding performances on the defensive side of the ball, including a couple of commits who had excellent days.

The Commits
Future Spartans Lawrence Thomas, Joel Heath and Taiwan Jones all worked out, with Thomas and Heath both competing neck and neck during the testing portion.

Thomas measured just over 6'4, was 255-lbs and ran a 4.63 forty. In drills, he looked fast and did a good job adjusting to the ball and catching it during coverage drills. He could be a big middle linebacker, but I see him more as an edge rusher. That said, there are many options for a player with his ability.

Heath is bigger and more filled out than he looked on film. He then ran a 4.69 and had one of the day's top broad jumps. He is simply a fantastic athlete. In 1-1s, he produced some good results, but I think he needs some technical work. Once he develops a pass rush repertoire, he'll be tough to deal with because of his length and athleticism.

Jones improved as the day went along. He had to adjust to doing some of these drills for the first time, but he took to the coaching and got better. He is big, and has good straight line speed. As he gets more comfortable seeing things and changing directions, I think he'll keep getting better.

Rising Seniors Report
One of the most impressive performances of the day was turned in by Roger Williamson (Dayton Dunbar, Ohio). He was a little shorter than I've seen him listed, but very well put together. While many see him as a receiver, he played defense and says that's where he wants to be in college. He definitely has the mentality for it. He is physical, pressing several highly touted receivers right into the ground. He has good speed, and solid change of direction. Is he a corner? I think he could be. I also think he could play safety. Either way, he's a good looking prospect with the type of demeanor I like to see.

Another defensive back who got a lot of attention was the "Canadian Flash" Arjen Colquhoun (WF Herman). He is very long, and did well in testing, running a 4.42 and 4.47, along with recording a 38-inch vertical. In man to man, he did a decent job, but because of how long legged and upright he is, I do not see him as a cornerback. However, as a safety in 7 on 7s, he was excellent. He showed instincts, and used his speed to cover ground and make plays. Coming from up north, there are questions about level of competition, but he hung with all the big boys and then some on this day.

Other defensive backs who came in with some hype behind them were Brian Sutton (Fishers, Ind.), and Ryan Griffin (Ypsilanti, Mich.). Sutton is long and is a very solid cover man. Griffin is physical and has good technique, he just needs to continue to get faster, but he is always one of the toughest players for receivers to get open against.

One intriguing defensive back was Takwudza Kubvoruno (Richland Gull Lake, Mich.). The high school receiver was tried at defensive back and did very well. This was surprising, considering he had a separated shoulder and could not lift one arm to break up passes. He gutted through it and made plays though. His main area to improve in is also straight line speed, but he shows football speed.

On the defensive line, Donte Phillips (Mequon Homestead, Wisc.) had a nice day. The Indiana commit says he was visiting family in the area and camped, but is solid with the Hoosiers. He is a little undersized, but has good technique and plays hard. He fought through a broken toe today and had good results in one-on-ones. Damon Knox (Muskegon, Mich.) is big and strong. He has a good bull rush, and plays very hard. He was tried both at end and tackle, and he could play either spot in college.

At linebacker, other than the commits, the top senior prospect was Dwight Trammer (Inkster, Mich.). He is a thick kid, who is getting better in space. He is starting to generate more college interest, saying he has heard from Mississippi, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State among others.

South Haven's (Mich.) Dylan Brooks was a tight end at the last camp and tried defense today. He's a good athlete who will play on Saturdays for someone. Jarrell McKinney (Detroit Cooley, Mich.) has a great frame and is athletic. He is inexperienced, but the upside is there.

Underclassmen Shine
The camp featured some talented underclassmen on defense. The cornerback position had some of that with Detroit Cass Tech's rising junior Terry Richardson and Avon (Ohio) rising sophomore Ross Douglas. Richardson can really cover, and has shown that all along. If he keeps getting bigger and stronger, he'll earn his share of offers, because he has hips, speed and instincts. The same goes for Douglas, who is a very good athlete, and is ahead of the curve already.

At linebacker, Cass Tech's duo of Royce Jenkins-Stone and Laron Taylor had nice camps with Jenkins-Stone receiving word that he is in line for an offer down the road from the Spartans. Wyandotte (Mich.) Roosevelt's Hunter Matt is a great football player, he is just currently undersized, but I really think he can play. Plymouth (Mich.) has a good one coming up in Tyler Goble, who had a good day at camp as well.

On the defensive line, Detroit Catholic Central's Matthew Godin has great size, and is athletic for his frame, he just needs continued technical work and he needs to get stronger. I like his frame, his motor, work ethic and he has agile feet for a big man. Recommended Stories

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