Camp Wrap: Seven Defensive Standouts To Watch

Tyler Knox

Pack Pride breaks down seven defensive standouts from NC State's four one-day football camps. Myrtle Beach (SC) star defensive end Tyler Knox camped at NC State, and the Wolfpack is hoping they can move up his list of leaders.

Summer camps provide an opportunity for under-the-radar type prospects to prove their ability while affording college coaches a chance to discover a diamond in the rough. This was clearly the case for NC State as the Wolfpack landed commitments from four prospects in the past week that impressed enough at camp to earn a Pack offer.

That doesn't mean the Wolfpack is done, however. Pack Pride breaks down seven additional defensive prospects that fared well at NC State's camp and could be prospects to keep a close eye on in the months to come.

Sophomore cornerback Jalen Tabor (6-1, 175 pounds) Edison Friendship School, Washington DC
That's not a misprint. We really did list a sophomore as one of the top prospects during NC State's four days of camp. In fact, we'd go so far as to list him as one of the top two or three players in attendance, regardless of position or class. Tabor is that good.

His speed, transition and recovery quickness, hips, size- they all scream of a big time college prospect in the making. Thrown in the fact that this kid- who just completed the ninth grade- also brought a little swagger and he proved to be the complete package at cornerback. No one completed a pass on him and we don't know that anyone was ever even really close.

It's good that State got him on campus and that's a plus. It'll take a big-time recruiting effort to land this prospect without a doubt.

Junior defensive end Jonathan Allen (6-2, 215 pounds) Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn VA
While Jalen Tabor may have been in our top two or three, for our money, no one was better than Jonathan Allen. He was a chiseled 215 pounds and it didn't take long to determine that Allen is going to be an elite prospect and one of 2013's best. Allen is a blur coming off the edge and he blistered virtually every offensive lineman placed across from him. Because he's fairly new to the position, Allen is raw and doesn't have a huge repertoire of moves.

However, as he continues to learn the nuances of the position and fill out physically, we suspect he'll be able to choose his college destination next year. For NC State's part, they made a huge impression and it was obvious that defensive line coach Keith Willis and Allen have developed a strong bond.

This is definitely going to be one to watch next year. Could Allen finally be that blue-chip speed rusher that State has tried so hard to land?

Junior defensive end Lewis Neal (6-2, 225 pounds) Hunt High School, Wilson NC
Neal is a different type of defensive end than Allen. His frame is thicker and he'll likely be a bigger player down the road. While not as fast or explosive as Allen, he is still going to be one of North Carolina's top players in 2013.

He routinely beat the opposing offensive lineman in one on one drills using a combination of strength and quickness. The good news for State is that they lead early and that became pretty evident when Neal showed up for a second camp workout.

He has a very strong relationship with coach Willis and should the Pack spring for an offer, Neal could definitely be an early addition to the class of 2013.

Senior defensive end Joe Wright (6-6, 228 pounds) Rose High School, Greenville NC
Wright was a player that we first noticed at the Shrine Bowl combine held in Williamston earlier this year. At 6-6 he is easily recognizable and then when he ran, Wright clearly turned some heads. At NC State he timed in the 4.8 range in the 40-yard dash and had an equally impressive 4.45-second pro shuttle. Those are very solid numbers for a player with his length and range.

We thought Wright would work out as an offensive lineman so we were a little surprised when he lined up at defensive end. While he performed well, we're not completely sure he's best suited on defense, particularly at end. However, Wright has the frame to fill out and could potentially grow into a Littleton Wright type lineman.

Although he seems thin at 228 pounds, Wright has the frame to add size and weight likely won't be an issue.

Senior defensive back Marchez Coates (6-0, 170 pounds) Maurice McDonough High School, Pomfret MD
Coates said he and Jalen Tabor were brothers and while we don't know if he meant that in the literal sense, their talents in one-on-ones proved brother-like. Coates may not have the natural ability of Tabor especially considering the age gap but he is still a very solid prospect as evidenced by his recent offer from Pittsburgh. He has very good size and his cover skills were very good. Coates showed good quickness, toughness and a willingness to compete.

He seemed to find his way on the field every fourth or fifth play during one on ones. We don't think the Pack has offered but we do know that State has become a serious player if they intend to take another defensive back.

Senior defensive end Justin Lawrence (6-5, 230 pounds) Westlake High School, Waldorf MD
Lawrence was a player that really impressed us during camp and he may be one of the better sleepers on the east coast. He has legitimate size and while we didn't get his numbers during testing, Lawrence showed a good burst off the line of scrimmage during one on ones and proved to be a little more polished at the position than some of the other players that worked out.

Lawrence also spent some time at tight end although we didn't get a chance to see him work out for coach Horton. We don't know what State's interest level is but Lawrence is one we'll be keeping an eye on in the months to come.

Senior defensive end Tyler Knox (6-4, 225 pounds) Myrtle Beach SC High School
We didn't get to see a lot of Knox on the field. After testing and warmups, Knox fell ill and didn't perform during drills or one-on-ones.

Physically, this is a kid that definitely passes the look test. His size is legitimate and his talent is as well as he's landed over a dozen offers from around the east coast, to include NC State.

We don't know how big of a factor the Pack will be but we included him because his coaches seemed very high on NC State and that could help the Wolfpack down the road.

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