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March 23, 2012

Rivals/VTO Georgia: Defenders to watch

MORE: Rivals/VTO page | Ala. D | Ala. O | Ga. O

Sunday's Rivals.com/VTO Sports Georgia Elite 100 in Marietta will feature a ton of players that already have Division I offers. Meanwhile, the lesser-known prospects on hand will be doing their best to get noticed. Rivals.com takes a look at some of the top defensive athletes expected to compete in the event.

Rivals.com/VTO Sports Georgia Defensive Players to Watch
SHON AKINS, CB, NORCROSS (GA.)
Akins isn't particularly big but he is a solid corner that has an offer from California and interest from several other programs. He has an excellent backpedal and very good speed. Akins does a nice job reading the quarterback's eyes and closes well. He's also good at making a play on the ball. Another asset is that for his size he's stronger than he looks and has the ability to succeed in press coverage.

TREVELLOUS CHEEK, CB, LAWRENCEVILLE (GA.) ARCHER
The three-star defensive back, who already claims offers from California and Kentucky, tends to play off the line of scrimmage for Archer and make most of his plays coming down toward the receiver and ball. It will be interesting in a camp setting if he shows the ability to play press coverage and stay tight on the hip of the wide receiver as they make their way downfield.

PAUL DAVIS, S, CAIRO (GA.)
The compact 5-foot-9, 182-pound Davis has the ability to play outside linebacker but likely ends up as a safety in college. He is quick but definitely has a physical nature to his game where he shows the willingness to attack at the line of scrimmage and be physical when making the tackle. How his abilities translate to a camp setting will be interesting to see. Davis is still awaiting his first offer.

NICK GLASS, S, ATLANTA (GA.) ST. PIUS X (2014)
The 6-2, 205-pound Glass already has accumulated an impressive offer list, and he's probably just getting started. He's big. He's physical. And he's considered to be an excellent competitor. Glass possesses a strong backpedal, and he reacts quickly to what the offense is doing. He closes well and is a true ball hawk in the secondary. He also does a good job playing the run.

ALI GROVES, ATH, STONE MOUNTAIN (GA.) STEPHENSON
Groves could play on either side of the ball, but probably projects more as a corner. The 5-11, 177-pounder holds a handful of offers. He recorded 23 tackles and one pick in four games last year, but missed much of the season with a fractured neck. He's now in good health, and is looking to earn more offers. Not only is Groves excellent in coverage, but he's a big hitter.

JOSH HOLTON, OLB, WINDER (GA.) APALACHEE (2014)
Holton is a fun prospect to watch on film. He plays along the defensive line for his high school a majority of the time but will likely end up playing in space as an outside linebacker at the next level. He is quick off the snap, does well getting off blocks and very physical at the point of contact. It will be interesting to see how he performs at his future position in a camp setting.

BRENDAN LANGLEY, CB, MARIETTA (GA.) KELL
Langley, who has offers from nine SEC schools, is among the most sought-after Peach State prospects, and it is easy to see why. At 6-1, 185 pounds, he has a terrific frame and better length than most corners. He has the speed and hips to blanket most receivers at this level, is strong enough to knock many off their routes at the line and is an excellent tackler.

CARL LAWSON, SDE, ALPHARETTA (GA.) MILTON
A Rivals100 prospect, Lawson burst onto the scene with a dominant showing at the recent Rising Seniors Georgia Junior Bowl in Atlanta. Simply put, he couldn't be blocked in practice. Lawson has excellent quickness and plays with an extremely high motor. He is trying to beat his man and beat him badly every snap. The bonus is that he's also one of the strongest players in the country. At last check, Lawson was bench pressing around 450 pounds.

DEMETRIUS MONDAY, CB, FAIRBURN (GA.) ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Monday, whose only offer so far is from Akron, is a talented athlete used on both sides of the ball for his high school squad. His future in college is likely on the defensive side and that is where he should be doing his work on the field come Sunday. Monday has previously competed in some camp and combines settings, and shown the ability to shut down opposing wide receivers in one-on-one competition.

JALEN RAMSEY, ATH, NASHVILLE (TENN.) BRENTWOOD ACADEMY
Ramsey is a talented athlete who could play on either side of the ball, but likely ends up as a defensive back at the collegiate level. The 6-foot, 183-pound Rivals250 athlete, who already holds 20 offers, makes plays all over the field for Brentwood Academy on both sides of the ball displaying great athleticism, agility and explosiveness. On defense, he does a good job positioning himself to break quickly on the ball and make plays. He will also go up to win the ball in the air.

NICHOLAS RUFFIN, CB, ATLANTA (GA.) ST. PIUS X (2014)
A teammate of Glass, Ruffin claims a handful of offers and calls Tennessee his early leader with Florida State not far behind. Ruffin is a bit on the thin side, but doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body and is extremely chiseled. His hands, which are very quick, are among his greatest assets. He can cover a ton of ground in the secondary, and also has the ability to play safety.

JONATHAN WYNN, WDE, STONE MOUNTAIN (GA.) STEPHENSON HIGH
The three-star defensive end already claims early offers from South Carolina and Vanderbilt, with others such as Florida keeping tabs on him. He has great length at 6-4 but weights just 200 pounds. He could contribute as either a weakside defensive end or outside linebacker. No matter where he lines up, he does his best work as a speed rusher off the edge. He will need to show the ability to shed blocks and use an array of moves to get around offensive linemen.

If you are the coach or parent of a prospect with D-I offers or likely to receive D-I offers, or the prospect himself, contact Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell at mike@rivals.com, via Twitter at @rivalsmike or via Facebook.

These camps are INVITE ONLY and you must pre-register to attend, there will be no walk ups allowed.



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