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Recruiting: Region's talent in defensive tackles is quite deep

10/5/2010

Editor's note: In his ongoing series on West Coast prep football prospects, recruiting expert Greg Biggins takes a look at defensive tackles:

This is easily one of the deepest years for talent at the defensive tackle position in some time. There is national level talent at the top of the board and great depth overall.

The top 10 is loaded and there is very little separating players ranked 3-10. The top player on the board is Viliami ‘Vei’ Moala. Moala’s coming out party came two years ago when Grant shocked the world in upsetting Long Beach Poly in the state championship game. Moala dominated the line of scrimmage against a very good Jackrabbits offensive line and he hasn’t slowed down since.

Moala has incredible strength and mauls opposing offensive lineman. He’s a high motor guy and never takes a play off. He does need to watch his weight a bit as he didn’t look as explosive off the line at the NorCal NIKE Camp last summer as he has in the past.

Todd Barr is the quickest tackle in the region and often times lines up off the edge. He’s very good getting up the field and can split a double team. Barr has great closing speed and the athleticism to run down quarterbacks and running backs from behind.

Danny Shelton is an absolute load in the middle of the line and routinely pushes his man five yards into the backfield every play. For a big tackle, he has exceptional lateral mobility and can change direction with ease.

Mustafa Jalil has battled injuries the past two seasons but when healthy, he’s a monster on the interior line. He has tremendous size and the frame to grow into a prototype nose guard in college. Jalil is also a very good looking offensive lineman and could play on either side of the ball in college.

Antwaun Woods is as gifted as any lineman in the region but doesn’t always bring it on every play. He’s cat-quick off the line and has that Warren Sapp build that is very tough to block. He’s strong and active with his hands and has the talent to take over a game.

The Top 10:

1. Viliami Moala, 6-2, 335, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant

Has been one of the state’s top DTs since his sophomore year.

2. Todd Barr, 6-3, 260, Lakewood (Calif.)

The most athletic tackle in the region.

3. Danny Shelton, 6-3, 290, Auburn (Wash.)

Runs incredibly well for a big man, some like as much on the OL.

4. Mustafa Jalil, 6-3, 300, San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic -- California

Mammoth lineman but can move and is very quick.

5. Antwaun Woods, 6-1, 325, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft -- USC

When the motor is running, few are better.

6. Christian Heyward, 6-2, 270, San Diego (Calif.) Point Loma

Very active player who lines up all over the defensive front.

7. Jeff Worthy, 6-3, 275, Whittier (Calif.) Christian -- Boise State

One of the most highly touted players to ever commit to the Broncos.

8. Taniela Tupou, 6-2, 275, Everett (Wash.) Archbishop Murphy -- Washington

DL MVP at two different NIKE Camps last spring.

9. Todd Peat, 6-3, 290, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol

Has strong hands and very good at getting off blocks.

10. Jalen Grimble, 6-2, 255, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman -- USC

Plays end but frame and athleticism project better as an interior lineman.

The Next 10:

11. Mo Latu, 6-2, 300, Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry

12. Matthew Ramondo, 6-4, 280, Las Cruces (N.M.) Mayfield -- Arizona State

13. Steve Dillon, 6-2, 265, Palmdale (Calif.)

14. Moses Kaumatule, 6-1, 250, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham -- Brigham Young

15. Brandon Tuliaupupu, 6-2, 270, Claremont (Calif.)

16. Cody Temple, 6-3, 285, Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty

17. Nathan Falo, 6-0, 290, Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum

18. Kesni Tausinga, 6-0, 285, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham -- Brigham Young

19. David Davis, 5-11, 260, Palos Verdes Estates (Calif.) -- Washington State

20. Seni Fauonuku, 6-0, 285, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham -- Utah

Previous posts:

Tight ends

Wide receivers

Running backs

Quarterbacks

Offensive linemen

Greg Biggins is an occasional contributor to the ESPNLosAngeles.com Preps Blog. For more recruiting news, check out his Insider blog on West Coast recruiting.