football Edit

Fab 15: Defenders make waves in Los Angeles

The Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour rolled into Southern California over the weekend, with many of the West Coast’s top players coming out to compete. Here’s a breakdown of the players that turned heads on defense.

More: Recruiting notes | Live from Los Angeles | Video interviews | Rivals Recap | Top performers: Offense



Recruiting wrap: Taylor is committed to Washington.

Performance: Taylor is a long, rangy defensive back who gave wide receivers fits all day with his physicality. Taylor identifies himself as a corner, but it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t grow into safety. Either way, his coverage skills were impressive and he was rewarded with the defensive back MVP award for his efforts.

Recruiting wrap: Phillips has a host of offers from all over the country, with Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, Washington and others among the top schools vying for his commitment.

Performance: Phillips is transitioning from linebacker to defensive end and he looks like the ideal hybrid pass-rushing prospect. On Saturday he showed terrific speed off the edge, but also very strong hands and an impressive set of pass rushing moves. Once he learns to play more with his hand in the dirt, he will be very tough to stop coming off the edge.

Recruiting wrap: Graham is committed to USC

Performance: Graham has quick feet and fluid hips, allowing him to turn and run with even the quickest of wide receivers. He can also get physical when needed and he knows how to use the sideline to his advantage, which led to several wins during one-on-ones.

Recruiting wrap: Schooler’s lone offer to date is from UNLV.

Performance: The race for linebacker MVP was among the tightest at the camp, but a strong close by Schooler led to him taking home the honors. The unranked sleeper impressed during drills and then turned that into an outstanding performance during one-on-ones. Not only did he win rep after rep, but he did it in impressive fashion, snagging several interceptions along the way.

Recruiting wrap: Fields has double-digit offers, with Arizona and Washington State among his most notable to date.

Performance: Fields nearly won the camp’s MVP honors after impressing coaches during drill work, especially with his footwork and ability to improve as the day went along. During one-on-ones his fundamentals were on full display and his ability to change direction was also very impressive, especially for a linebacker.

Recruiting wrap: Rogers has an impressive list of national offers, but USC and UCLA appear like his most likely destinations.

Performance: The 6-foot-4, 300-pound prospect was the most impressive interior defensive lineman at the event and he showed good power combined with a nice ability to fire off the ball. His quick start gave slower offensive linemen fits and his combination of size and speed is rare.

Recruiting wrap: Lenior has several programs vying for his services, including UCLA, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Washington and Michigan.

Performance: Lenoir is known for his ability to play a “centerfield” type role but on Saturday he showed a great ability to lock down in one-on-one coverage. He also showed physicality at the line of scrimmage and did a nice job of slowing receivers as they came off the ball.

Recruiting wrap: USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and others have already offered the versatile athlete.

Performance: Redd was one of the fastest defensive backs in attendance at the event and his speed didn’t let him down as he flew around the field making plays. Unlike some speedsters, he didn’t overly rely on his speed or take too many bad gambles and appears to have the foundation of a nice set of defensive back skills.

Recruiting wrap: Johnson is committed to Arizona

Performance: The rangy defensive back was a favorite of the coaches for his technique during the drills portion of the event. Despite being listed at 5-foot-11, he actually looks taller and he also has very long arms that help him when it comes time to make a play on the ball.

Recruiting wrap: Andrus has several offers, with UCLA and USC among the early favorites to land his services.

Performance: The talented defensive end was one of the most active participants during one-on-ones, taking the most reps of any defensive lineman. He didn’t always win, but he showed flashes of his excellent potential, including a nice set of pass rushing moves.

Recruiting wrap: Short is committed to UCLA.

Performance: Short is anything but and he used his 6-foot-1 frame to his advantage, knocking around receivers and running backs alike. He also showed good fundamental skills during drills and looks like he has the versatility to play safety or even grow into a linebacker at the next level.

Recruiting wrap: Hall has offers from several schools like Nevada, UNLV and others, with Utah being his most notable offer to date.

Performance: Hall is a tall, skinny defensive back who is still a little bit raw when it comes to his full skill set, but looks like has the potential to grow into quite the prospect. The event’s coaches praised him for his performance during one-on-ones and were also complimentary of his ability to take coaching and improve as the day went along.

Recruiting wrap: Cage is waiting on his first offer

Performance: The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Cage was one of the most physically impressive prospects at the linebacker position. He has terrific length and looks like he could grow into a hybrid defensive end down the line. Either way, he showed a nice ability to play in space and shouldn’t be waiting on an offer for long.

Recruiting wrap: Gates has early offers from Notre Dame, UCLA, Oregon and others.

Performance: Gates is a versatile athlete with excellent ball skills who has a background of playing on both sides of the ball. While he might be an undersized prospect as a wide receiver, he actually has pretty good size for a defensive back. As he continues to focus more on defense, his ability should only continue to increase.

Recruiting wrap: Lund is committed to Stanford.

Performance: Lund is a big-bodied linebacker who will likely anchor the center of the Cardinal defense in the future but he showed that he’s not just a run-stuffer with his play in space. Lund is very athletic and did a good job of running with backs and tight ends in coverage.