Football: Defensive players to watch

  • Gilman's Micah Kiser, left in last year's MIAA A Conference championship, is one of the top defensive players to watch this season.
Gilman's Micah Kiser, left in last year's MIAA A… (Doug Kapustin / For The Baltimore…)
August 30, 2012|By Katherine Dunn | The Baltimore Sun

Nik D'Avanzo

Archbishop Curley, defensive end, senior

A nimble 6 feet 3, 275 pounds, D'Avanzo, who has committed to Temple, has the quickness and strength to stand out at defensive end. He had 81 tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles last season, and doubles as a wingback on offense.

Elvis Dennah

Annapolis Area Christian, defensive back, senior

The versatile 6-3, 205-pound Dennah can play a handful of positions, but he committed to Maryland as a safety. With 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed, Dennah can also play linebacker and wide receiver.

Marvin Gross Jr.

Dunbar, defensive end, senior

The 6-4, 215-pound All-Metro defensive end led the Class 1A state champs with 31 sacks, including 51/2 in the playoffs, and 76 tackles. A strong pass rusher who brings a lot of emotion to the game, Gross has about 15 Division I offers.

Dan Johnson

Westminster, linebacker, senior

A two-way standout, the 5-11, 185-pound Johnson excels at linebacker, as well as running back. He had 61 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries last season and is looking to play in the Ivy League.

Delando Johnson

Calvert Hall, defensive back, senior

The versatile 6-3, 190-pound Johnson can play at all three levels of the defense. He caused trouble for opponents last season as an undersized defensive end, but he moves to a more natural strong safety position this year.

Malik Jones

Dunbar, defensive end, senior

An intimidating presence at 6-5, 231 pounds, Jones started at left tackle last year, but his size and ability caught the Maryland coaches' eyes when he was playing defensive end at a camp this summer. Jones accepted an offer to play for the Terps.

Micah Kiser

Gilman, linebacker, senior

The Greyhounds' 6-2, 215-pound defensive play-caller excels as a run stopper who can get into pass coverage. The All-Metro middle linebacker, who is headed to Virginia, had six sacks, four interceptions and 91 tackles as a junior.

Miles Norris

Gilman, linebacker, senior

At 6-0, 210 pounds, Norris is undersized as a linebacker but makes up for it with a quick first step and hard work. He received his first offer from Navy and will again play a key role in the Greyhounds' linebacker corps.

Henry Poggi

Gilman, lineman, senior

The top 2013 recruit from the Baltimore area, according to, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound All-Metro tackle has committed to Michigan. In his junior year, Poggi had 10 sacks, a forced fumble and 49 tackles; he also played tight end.

Mike Williams

Archbishop Spalding, defensive end, senior

Cavaliers coach Brian Propst will have trouble deciding when to give Williams a rest. The 6-5, 265-pound Williams stood out on special teams last year, blocking a couple of punts, and will play a big role on both sides of the ball this fall.

Other notables:

Brandon Anthony, Atholton

Justin Arn, River Hill

Zebbie Atkinson, Old Mill

Cole Boozer, Loyola

Wyatt Cook, McDonogh

Nick Crabill, Glenelg

Wyatt Dickerson, Gilman

Malik Dorsey, Meade

Sam Evans, Loyola

Jacob Forrest-Jones, Mount St. Joseph

Kennedy Frazier, Calvert Hall

Mike Fulton, Old Mill

Melvin Gowl, Archbishop Spalding

Nick Hammer, North Harford

Eric Handy, Wilde Lake

Demetrius Johnson, Annapolis Area Christian

Mike Jones Jr., Milford Mill

Melvin Keihn, Gilman

Jimmy Lauer, Westminster

Teddy Martinez, St. Paul's

Mike Minter, Severna Park

Kareem Montgomery, McDonogh

John Myers, Perry Hall

Akeem Myers-Blakney, McDonogh

Alex Newman, Arundel

Stephan Osong, River Hill

Jamal Perkins, Boys' Latin

Brett Schaefer, Howard

Taysean Scott, McDonogh

Chad Slifer, South Carroll

Matt Tilley, Gilman

Rasheed Tynes, Poly

Jake Utz, Winters Mill

Troy Vincent Jr., Gilman

Carey Wells-Jowers, Mount St. Joseph

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