SoCal NIKE Camp Preview: The Defense

Ainuu Taua

A look at the some of the top defensive prospects expected at the Los Angeles NFTC on Sunday...

Several of the West's best prospects will be in the Southland on Sunday for the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp at Redondo Union HS. will be on hand to check out the top prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Here is a look at some of the defensive players to watch on Sunday, which includes a number of 2014 Scout 300 prospects.


Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star DL Malik Dorton.

The headliner on the defensive line is Lompoc (Calif.) defensive tackle Ainuu Taua, a four-star prospect and one of the premier defensive linemen in the West.  Taua came to the SoCal NFTC a year ago and was one of the top underclass performers there.  He's ranked #7 nationally at the defensive tackle.

Making an appearance for the second year is another four-star defensive lineman, Malik Dorton, the four-star defensive end from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, one of a number of top prospects from St. John Bosco expected on Sunday.

A slew of other top defensive tackles will also be there, including La Habra (Calif.) tackle Greg Gaines, who's got a handful of offers, Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista's Jalen Jelks, who also boasts some offers, and Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian tackle Tyrone Fa'anono.

Other to watch include Ventura (Calif.) defensive end Tevin Krall, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez defensive end Uriah Leiataua, Oak Hills (Calif.) defensive end Kennedy Emesibe, Los Angeles (Calif.) University defensive end Jameal Baker, Villa Park (Calif.) defensive end Louis Vecchio and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.


Gardena (Calif.) Serra four-star linebacker Dwight Williams.

The linebacker crop is led by the West's top outside linebacker prospect, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Dwight Williams.  Last year, with a talented group of upperclassmen, it was Williams who left Los Angeles with the LB MVP award and he's hoping to make it a repeat and potentially earn an invitation to The Opening.

Some of the top linebackers in San Diego will be in attendance, San Diego (Calif.) Patrick Henry linebacker Zach Brown and La Mesa (Calif.) Helix's Ruben Leasau.

From the Inland Empire is Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta linebacker Greg Hoyd and from the Valley is West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade's Rick Gamboa.

Underclassmen include Encino (Calif.) Crespi's D.J. Beavers, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Andre Chevalier, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's John Houston and San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine freshman Quinn Seau.


The secondary is the deepest position out West in the 2014 class and a host of the top prospects from the region will be representing the defensive backs, including the West's top prospect in the 2014 class, Gardena (Calif.) Serra cornerback Adoree Jackson and perhaps the top prospect in the region in 2015, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Iman Marshall.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star cornerback Adoree Jackson

Jackson, a five-star by Scout and the #2-ranked corner in the country, was a standout a year ago at the NFTC and Marshall, who is a lock for five-stars in 2015, was another stellar performer a year ago.  They'll be back this weekend for another go-round.

Joining them are a handful of Scout 300 prospects for 2014, including Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei cornerback Jonathan Lockett, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco teammates Naijiel Hale and Jaleel Wadood and three-star Bosco cornerback Chandler Hawkins.

Compton (Calif.) Centennial's Denzel Fisher is an intriguing prospect with a ton of upside and figures to blow up this spring and become a top priority for several schools.  Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany safety Quentin Tartabull

Other prospects to watch include Oceanside (Calif.) safety Alijah Holder, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt cornerback Kionce Roberts Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback Demetric Woodard, Chandler (Ariz.) safety J.R. Hunt

Besides Marshall, other underclassmen to watch include Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Marvell Tell, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Darick Holmes and Diamond Bar (Calif.) corner Kanya Bell.

Brandon is in his ninth year with and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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