- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Andrea had you covered for the offensive side of the ball. Now, let's take a look at how the 2012 first-team All-Big East defensive players fared as high school recruits.
DL Dan Giordano, Cincinnati. Scout grade: 73. Giordano was the No. 107 receiver in the nation in the class of 2008, coming out of Lincoln-Way East (Ill.) High. According to the ESPN Scouting Report, Giordano "is an active defensive end. He has good size and comes across as a blue collar type player. He has a solid get-off and displays the ability to take on a blocker and generate some power from his lower body."
DL Trevardo Williams, UConn. A defensive end out of the Canterbury School, Williams did not receive a grade from ESPN as part of the Class of 2008. Scout had him as a three-star prospect, and Rivals rated him a two-star.
DL Aaron Donald, Pitt. Scout grade: 70. Donald was the No. 22 defensive tackle prospect in the nation in the class of 2010, out of Penn Hills (Pa.) High. He was a four-star prospect. According to the ESPN Scouting Report, Donald "is an active and disruptive defensive tackle. On paper, he does not have great size, but on film displays the frame to add more bulk and looks to have fairly-long limbs for a kid with his dimensions."
DL Scott Vallone, Rutgers. Scout grade: 78. Vallone was the No. 29 defensive tackle in the nation in the class of 2008, out of Saint Anthony's (N.Y.) High. According to the ESPN Scouting Report, Vallone "is an active presence in the defensive trenches. He lacks ideal size for a defensive tackle and will need to get into a college weight program and add bulk to his frame. While you wish he was a little bulkier you can't discount his production."
LB Greg Blair, Cincinnati. An inside linebacker out of Schenley (Pa.) High in the Class of 2008, Blair did not receive a grade from ESPN. He played at Lackawanna (Pa.) CC and was rated as a two-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals.
LB Sio Moore, UConn. An inside linebacker out of West Haven (Conn.) High, Moore did not receive a grade from ESPN as part of the Class of 2008. Both Scouts and Rivals rated him as a two-star prospect.
LB Yawin Smallwood, UConn. Scout grade: 75. Smallwood was the No. 94 outside linebacker prospect in the nation in the class of 2010, out of Doherty Memorial (Mass.) High. He was a three-star prospect and, according to ESPN's Scouting Report, "is an impressive athlete from a physical standpoint and has a lot of raw tools to mold and develop at the next level. A bit raw fundamentally but is a good athlete doubling as productive running back and linebacker."
LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers. A safety out of Avon Olds Farms School for Boys (Conn.), Greene did not receive a grade from ESPN as part of the class of 2008. Rivals rated him as a two-star prospect.
CB Adrian Bushell, Louisville. Scout grade: 79. Bushell signed with Florida out of DeSoto (Texas) High in the class of 2008, when he was rated as the No. 21 cornerback in the nation. According to ESPN's Scouting Report, "In our opinion, Bushell has all the traits of a great cover corner in time. He is smooth, quick and he shows great foot speed."
CB Logan Ryan, Rutgers. Scout grade: 80. Ryan was the No. 15 corner in the nation in the class of 2009, out of Eastern (N.J.) High. He was the No. 30 player in the East region and, according to ESPN's Scouting Report, "blends good speed, athleticism and toughness at the cornerback position and is just a well-rounded prospect who should offer his future college defensive coordinator great scheme versatility. Has good size with his tall and well-defined frame."
S Duron Harmon, Rutgers. Scout grade: 78. Harmon was the No. 48 athlete in the class of 2009, out of Ceasar Rodney (Del.) High. He was the No. 65 player in the East region and, according to ESPN's Scouting Report, "is a smooth, impressive-looking athlete with the skills to potentially excel on either side of the ball in college. Safety might be his more natural position as offense (most likely RB) would take some more development and polish."
S Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse. Scout grade: 76. Thomas was the No. 94 safety in the nation in the class of 2009, out of Ocean Lakes (Va.) High. According to ESPN's Scouting Report, "as a safety he comes up fast on run support while keeping leverage on the football. Physical when tackling but doesn't have enough lead in his but to get knockback hits."
P Brandon McManus, Temple. A kicker out of North Penn (Pa.) High, McManus did not receive a grade from ESPN as part of the class of 2009. Both Scouts and Rivals rated him as a two-star prospect.