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January 1, 2004

They put the D in defense

Rivals100.com is proud to present an in-depth look at the top prospects at the U.S. Army All-American Game from former Texas A&M assistant coach Alan Weddell.

Before joining the Texas A&M staff in 1998 and retiring this past football season, Weddell led La Marque, Texas, to three consecutive Class 4A state championships (1995-97) and five straight state title games. As a collegiate player, Weddell was an offensive lineman on Darrell Royal's 1970 national champion Texas Longhorn football team.




SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Defense starts up front in the trenches. In college, a defense must be tough and talented in order to both stop the opponent's run game and put pressure on the quarterback.

There are five or six kids that will play in the trenches Saturday in the U.S. Army All-American Game that will see their name in the lights as they will soon dominate college offensive lines for four years to come.

On the "East Side", Tim Jamison might be a little undersized at 6-foot-3 and 235-pounds, but athleticism abounds.

Jamison, who is from Thorton High in Harvey, Ill., is very quick off the ball. He uses his hands very well to disengage from offensive blockers. He has a big smile and a large enough frame to get to 265 in two to three years, meaning he will be a dominating edge player in a 4-3 scheme.

The other standout defensive lineman in the East camp is defensive tackle DeMario Pressley.

A 6-3 frame holds this 290-pound ball player from Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley. DeMario has extremely quick hands and outstanding low pad level. With this leverage he can dominate offensive linemen and has hands to disengage on pass rush.

Today at practice I was in awe as DeMario did a full split. That's all 290-pounds as flexible as a cheerleader. He will be successful either as a nose man in a 3-4 scheme or a big time defensive tackle in a 4-3 package.

The "West Side" has their share of future NFL players also in the defensive line.

Franklin Okam from Lake Highlands in Dallas has defensive tackle size at 6-5 and 305 pounds and defensive end quickness.

Put him in any position along the defensive line in any scheme and he will be successful. A hard worker and smart (3.9 grade-point average), it will take two to control this future All-American.

Good pad level and use of hands keeps him in every play. Franklin seems to have a very good knack for reading blocking schemes and plays. Rushing the passer either by bull rushing or speed outside gives this big man an excellent chance to get to the quarterback.

At about 6-feet tall and a very thick 310 pounds, Marlon Favorite is the perfect mold for a 3-4-nose guard. Centers will have a hard time handling this human bowling ball.

The West offensive linemen were all commenting on how strong and low this kid plays. He has extremely strong hands so that he will control an opposing blocker once he locks on and gets separation.

Beginning his rush with a bull rush, his quick feet give him the option of continuing to overpower the center or athletic enough to slip around to pressure the quarterback.

With all the talent on both teams, the player that I want to take home with me is defensive end Jeff Schweiger.

This is a ball-playing machine.

He has been to me the most impressive player at practice this week.

West offensive coaches had to ask Schweiger to take it easy in practice because he was disrupting every offensive play.

In pass rush drills, he destroyed the O-linemen opposite him. He is as quick as any player off the ball I have seen.

He looks like a Winston Cup Racer when the ball is snapped!

Tremendous explosiveness continues as he attacks offensive blockers with super quick hands. Arms extend, separation happens and past the blocker he goes.

The kid has not been blocked by the best in the nation this week.

His motor is always running full speed. At 6-4, he only weighs about 245. His frame will allow this lean, mean, fighting machine to add 30 pounds during his college days, making him a feared man.

If offensive linemen don't fear him, they should.

He will make them look bad.

As for QBs, many will have unexpected stomach viruses on game day. This kid is talented, coachable and has a world of future in front of him.

If colleges could draft, this is a big time first rounder. Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., lost a good one and some college will soon get a great one!


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