Top players from the Mid-Atlantic Region descended on Frederick, Md., on Saturday for the Next Level Nation 5-Star Showcase at the Frederick Indoor Sports Center. Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman names the top performers on the line of scrimmage.
NEXT LEVEL NATION 5-STAR SHOWCASE TOP LINE PERFORMERS
1. DE Adam McLean, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy (2015)
McLean was simply dominant during one-on-ones. His combination of aggressiveness, quickness and power made it nearly impossible for an offensive lineman to block him. McLean isn't the tallest defensive end, so it is important that he continues to play with good leverage so he can generate the push he needs. He is only a sophomore, so McLean has time to improve his balance and learn more inside and outside moves.
Phoenix possesses a frame to easily pack more weight, and he has the bloodlines because his father was a standout along the Maryland defensive line in the 1990s. During one-on-ones, Phoenix showcased an explosive first step off the ball, quickly getting into the body of the offensive tackle. Phoenix predominantly used a bull rush to beat the opposition, so he'll have to incorporate more moves into his repertoire, but he was a willing student, listening to the coaches at the event and trying to better himself every rep.
Boulware, who started on the opposite side of 2013 standout Derwin Gray, is more advanced technically than Gray was at the same age. He shows great potential as a pass blocker, which has gotten him a few verbal offers after his sophomore year. Boulware looks more like a guard than a tackle because he doesn't possess great length, but all the tools are there.
4. DE Izon Pulley, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel (2016)
Pulley looks like the next player in a long line of great ones at Good Counsel. Although he is only a freshman, Pulley has the potential to become a great defensive end. He has good natural explosiveness but needs to continue to hit the weight room and work on inside and outside moves to be a true difference maker.
Haynes was a bit of a surprise, but his sheer size and quick feet made it hard not to notice him. At 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, Haynes was a load for any defensive lineman. He has a good base to stop bull rushes and quick feet to slide with the defensive lineman. Haynes needs to work on his upper-body strength so that it is not so easy for defensive linemen to disengage.