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June 29, 2011

Sooner Summer Camp Hot 11: Defense

The Sooner Hot 11 is a SoonerScoop.com ranking, compiled by editor Josh McCuistion. Generally it's a ranking of the top players from each Oklahoma Sooner Saturday but this time we're putting a different spin on things and having a look at the best offensive performers of the Oklahoma's ever talent-heavy collection of prospects for their annual June Summer camp. In this edition we look at the considerable collection of young talent that congregated on the defensive side of the ball in Norman and through the week the Sooners saw some surprising talent at defensive end along with a great crop of linebackers and defensive end.
11. T.J. Ponds, Linebacker - 2013
Analysis: Ponds was a guy that we were all interested to see but it's safe to say that he exceeded expectations. Joining with several other talented class of 2013 linebackers Ponds showed impressive physicality and the type of middle linebacker frame that will have him picking up a lot of attention in the coming year.

CAMP Write-Up
10. Kimmie Carson, Linebacker - 2013
Analysis: Carson didn't get a lot of fanfare during his time in Norman but he is an ultra athletic linebacker that is raw around the edges but has the tools to really grow into a major recruit before he reaches the end of his eligibility in the winter of 2012. Carson is more physical than his relatively light frame might lead one to believe, but best of all as a raw player that takes well to coaching.

CAMP Write-Up
9. Kevin Peterson, Cornerback- 2012
Analysis: The skilled cornerback would most likely have an Oklahoma offer if the Sooners were working under normal scholarship parameters. Peterson on the day was really the only cornerback who had an answer for 2013 star tight end Derrick Griffin due to his good speed and his massive improvement in man-to-man coverage since the same camp last summer.

CAMP Write-Up
8. Stanvon Taylor, Cornerback - 2013
Analysis: Quite surprisingly Taylor spent the entire day working out at cornerback rather than splitting some time at receiver. After watching him this spring at East Central's spring practice it came as no surprise that Taylor looked very natural at the position and more and more looks to be a guy who could be a defensive back prospect moving forward. His great burst and quick-twitch athleticism makes him a name to know going forward.

CAMP Write-Up
7. Teriyon Gipson, Cornerback - 2013
Analysis: If there was any player that came in less known to the staff of SoonerScoop.com than Gipson it's hard to think of one. Gipson arrived to Norman known as a running back but after talking to Willie Martinez it's pretty clear that Gipson is now sold that his future is as a pure cover corner and look for him to really emerge in the class of 2013.

CAMP Write-Up
6. Devin Rolan, Linebacker - 2013
Analysis: The thing that was best about Rolan at the camp? His willingness to work and improve. Anyone who has watched the incredibly physical inside linebacker realizes that his strengths lie in playing downhill and play at the point of attack. However, as a three-day camper Rolan really improved from one day to the next, his pass drops and overall footwork grew by leaps and bounds.

CAMP Write-Up
5. Jeremy Land, Cornerback- 2013
Analysis: For whatever reason cornerback was really the position that produced a lot of surprises and none was any bigger than the Houston area defensive back who came in with no Rivals.com information and lacking so much as a prospect page. After leaving Land was considered probably the camp's best technician and grew in the position under the tutelage of Willie Martinez.

CAMP Write-Up
4. Jordan Mastrogiovanni. Linebacker - 2013
Analysis: Many knew of other names at Dallas Jesuit but before the Oklahoma camp the young man with the crazy last name wasn't really one of them. Following the camp he is now almost certainly in the conversation of one of the most physically skilled inside linebackers that we've seen in the last few years of Oklahoma's camp. Mastrogiovanni's most interesting trait is the mixture of high skill level along with a surprisingly large frame.

CAMP Write-Up
3. Michael Onuoha, Defensive End - 2012
Analysis: OK, ok, I've said several times that one player was a big surprise but while it's always great to find defensive backs it's safe to say that rarely ever do 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive ends sneak up on anyone. Much less when those defensive ends have very real skillsets that will lead to BCS offers in the very near future. Watch for schools to start taking note and with a good start to his senior year the noise that started from this camp should reach ear-shattering level.

CAMP Write-Up
2. Polo Manukainiu, Defensive End - 2012
Analysis: This one, absolutely was not a surprise. Manukainiu looked solid on the day showing incredible feet for a young man that is every bit of 6-foot-5 and 260-pounds. The one thing that was surprise about Manukainiu's game is there a lot more explosion and wiggle than some might have expected.

CAMP Write-Up
1. Eric Striker, Linebacker/Safety - 2012
Analysis: Striker was a kid that looked the part from the very start, even as we admit to being caught off guard by him being in Norman for the very first day of camp. However, watching him move his feet and some of the burst he has in and out of his cuts it made the idea that he 'can not' be a college safety seem reasonably obsolete.

CAMP Write-Up

Other Notables: Gyasi Akem, Sekou Clark, Novis Cullom, Orion Jones, Taion Sells, Trevan Smith, Kerwin Thomas

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