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Thursday, January 21, 2010
Updated: January 22, 4:44 PM ET
ESPN RISE All-Junior Team: 1st Team Defense

By Brian Stumpf & Mark Tennis -- Contributing: Doug Huff, Greg Biggins

ESPN RISE has put together it list of juniors who are sure to be on the top of every college's radar and All-American lists heading into their senior seasons.

ESPN RISE All-Junior Teams

ESPN RISE has put together it list of juniors who are sure to be on the top of every college's radar and All-American lists heading into their senior seasons.


DL Jadaveon Clowney, South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) 6-6, 243

The South Carolina State Junior of the Year could be nation's top defensive end prospect in the Class of 2011. He posted an eye-opening 144 tackles and 23 sacks this fall.

DL Xzavier Dickson, Griffin (Ga.) 6-4, 235

He was the consensus all-state pick in Georgia and the Region 4-AAAA Defensive Player of the Year this fall with 94 tackles, 14 sacks and three interceptions.

DL Tim Jernigan, Columbia (Lake City, Fla.) 6-3, 270

A disruptive force against the run or pass, Jernigan earned all-area honors from both The Gainesville Sun and Florida Times-Union after registering 131 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2009.

DL Anthony Johnson, O. Perry Walker (New Orleans, La.) 6-4, 290

Another early pledge for LSU, Johnson was named the Louisiana Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 79 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.

DL Vei Moala, Grant (Sacramento, Calif.) 6-2, 330

The ringleader of a ferocious Grant defense in 2009 totaled 104 tackles and 15 sacks. Moala was so dominant - on both side of the line -- that he was the State Junior of the Year, a rare feat for a lineman.

LB Stephone Anthony, Anson (Wadesboro, N.C.) 6-3, 220

If there is a rival for quarterback Christian Lemay as the Tar Heel State's top junior prospect, it is Anthony. He earned AP all-state honors and registered 121 tackles and four interceptions this fall.

LB Brent Calloway, Russellville (Ala.) 6-2, 210

This Alabama commit led Russellville all the way to the Class 5A finals in Alabama, earning all-state honors at linebacker while also topping 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight season.

LB Curtis Grant, Hermitage (Richmond, Va.) 6-3, 220

Super active linebacker will be a wanted man in Virginia next fall after totaling 154 tackles in 2009. Grant also had 22 tackles for loss and five sacks and made the Group AAA all-state team.

AJ Johnson
Johnson recorded 174 tackles with two defensive touchdowns last year.
LB A.J. Johnson, Gainesville (Ga.) 6-3, 225

Freakish athlete led the Red Elephants to a state final, earned Class AAA all-state honors and racked up 174 tackles with two defensive touchdowns.

DB Brian Randolph, Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 6-0, 183

Already a two-time Class AAAAA all-state pick in the Peach State, Randolph should be one of state's top recruits after intercepting three passes and rushing for over 1,000 yards during 2009 season.

DB De'Ante Saunders, DeLand (Fla.) 5-11, 180

Intercepting seven passes in 2009 puts Saunders on this team on defense, although he also is valuable on offense. He rushed for 1,685 yards and 22 TDs and had two TD catches and two TD passes.

DB Damian Swann, Grady (Atlanta, Ga.) 6-0, 170

A Class AAA all-state pick and also the Atlanta Public Schools Player of the Year, Swann totaled 67 tackles and six interceptions while also catching 48 passes for 824 yards as a wide receiver.

P Jordan Morgan, Valley Christian (Chandler, Ariz.) 6-0, 195

Also a fine quarterback and safety, Morgan earned All-Arizona honors with his foot this fall, averaging 45 yards per boot.


QB/RB Darius Jennings, Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.)

The most decorated junior in Maryland gained that status after a junior season in which he rushed for 2,028 yards and 25 TDs while also passing for 748 yards and another 10 scores.

RB/DB De'Anthony Thomas, Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) 5-9, 165

The "Black Mamba" anchored Crenshaw's run to the CIF Open Division State Bowl Game. He registered 60 tackles and two interceptions in the secondary while topping 1,000 yards rushing on offense.

QB/RB Jamal Turner, Sam Houston (Arlington, Texas) 6-1,170

He earned District 4-5A MVP and Class 5A second team all-state honors in Texas. Turner threw for 2,063 yards and 14 TDs while also rushing for 2,032 yards and 18 TDs in just 10 games.

RB/DE/LB James Wilder Jr., Plant (Tampa, Fla.) 6-2, 225

Considered the runner-up to Christian Lemay for national junior honors, Wilder Jr. powered Plant to the Class 5A state title in Florida. The son of the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back by the same name racked up 858 yards and 14 TDs on the ground while totaling 129 tackles and 19 sacks on defense.