The summer camp season is over and the Rivals.com recruiting analysts were all over the country starting with the Penn State NIKE Camp way back in the first weekend of May to the ESPN Rise Gridiron Kings tournament at the end of July that wrapped things up.
Heading into our next set of evaluation meetings and a new set of rankings due at the end of August, here are our first and second-team defensive players from the summer events as well as some who earned honorable mention honors. This list is led by Notre Dame commitment David Perkins who should be getting a nice bump in our next rankings.
2011 ALL-CAMP TEAM - DEFENSE
DE Dante Fowler Jr., 6-3/232, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
Fowler at FSU NIKE Camp: Florida's Friday Night Lights, Jimbo Fisher Football Camp
Committed to:Florida State Performance: Fowler has a first step that sets him apart from his peers. He is very good at dipping his shoulder and getting around offensive tackles on the snap and when in the backfield he finishes the play.
DE Alex Balducci, 6-4/262, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic
Balducci Top Gun Highlights Camp: Top Gun Camp
Committed to:Oregon Performance: Balducci is an old-school guy who likes to get physical, mix things up and gets stronger the more reps he takes. He can beat you with speed to the outside or bull-rush right over you and he has the versatility to play all four defensive line positions in a 4-3.
DT Ondre Pipkins, 6-3/325, Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill
Pipkins Highlights Camp: Ohio State NIKE Camp
Committed to:Michigan Performance: Pipkins was nearly un-blockable during his MVP Performance at the Ohio State NIKE Camp. He plays like a bull and is too strong for most offensive linemen to stop.
DT Robert Nkemdiche, 6-5/260, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson, 2013
Nkemdiche Highlights Camp: Hoover 7-on-7
Performance: Nkemdiche, in sum, is a rare talent. How many other defensive tackles could play linebacker in Hoover - and shine? Nkemdiche is incredibly athletic, and plays with an amazing amount of fire.
LB Keith Brown, 6-2/230, Miami (Fla.) Norland
Brown NIKE Camp Highlights Camp: The Opening, Gridiron Kings
Committed to:Miami Performance: Brown, an inside linebacker, is very well built and his strength is playing north-south, but he is athletic enough to make plays in space and moving laterally.
LB Kwontie Moore, 6-2/243, Norfolk (Va.) Norfolk Christian School
Moore at VTO Combine Camp: Gridiron Kings
Committed to:Virginia Performance: Moore is a prototypical inside linebacker but he displayed a solid understanding of zone coverage at Gridiron Kings and the ability to make a play when the ball came his way. He had at least two interceptions, including one which he returned for a touchdown.
LB Jaylon Smith, 6-3/202, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers, 2013
Camp: Ohio State NIKE Camp
Performance: Smith is a natural playing the pass as a linebacker and he has plenty of room on his frame to add weight without sacrificing any of his outstanding athleticism. He was one of the biggest surprises at the Ohio State NIKE Camp.
CB Tracy Howard, 6-0/170, Miramar, Fla.
Howard at Badger 7-on-7 Camp: Heath Evans 7-on-7, The Opening
Performance: The greatest respect that can be paid to a cornerback is to never throw his way, and such was the case for Howard at Heath Evans 7-on-7. The few times he was tested, he made the play on the ball. At The Opening, he had more chances to shine and was all over receivers like a blanket.
CB Kendall Fuller, 5-11/181, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, 2013
Fuller at VTO Combine Camp: Top Gun Camp
Performance: Fuller was his usual outstanding self at the Top Gun Camp, showing of his physical nature, quick hips, surprising closing speed and excellent instincts. You can tell he's from a long line of talented defensive backs in his family and that he goes up against a five star (Stefon Diggs) on a daily basis in practice.
S Shaq Thompson, 6-2/210, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Thompson NIKE Camp Highlights Camp: Stanford NIKE
Performance: Thompson was slowed late in camp with a leg injury but it's clear he has all the tools to make him one of the best defensive backs in the 2012 class. He's getting so big and physical that he might move down to linebacker.
S Landon Collins, 6-0/199, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
Collins Highlights Camp: The Opening
Performance: Collins was one of the more athletic safeties seen all summer. He won the SPARQ national championship and then on the field showed he can really move and cover lots of ground.
ATH David Perkins, 6-2/209, South Bend (Ind.) Washington
Perkins SMSB Highlights Camp: Ohio State NIKE Camp, Sound Mind Sound Body, The Opening
Committed to:Notre Dame Performance: The Notre Dame athlete commit could be a very good linebacker if he ends up playing there but he can also play defensive end as he did at Ohio State or even on offense as a tight end.