ESPN RISE All-Junior Team: 2nd Team Defense

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 Kenny Hayes, Whitmer (Toledo, Ohio) 6-5, 230

A Division I All-Ohio selection, Hayes led the Panthers to a 9-2 record and Toledo City League title. He collected 42 stops and seven sacks and committed to Ohio State back in September.

DL Nathan Hughes, Klein Oak (Spring, Texas) 6-4, 245

He racked up 82 tackles and 11 sacks in just 10 games this season and was chosen to the Houston Chronicle's All-Greater Houston squad.

DL Curtis Maggitt, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) 6-3, 210

The All-Palm Beach County selection was a key cog in Dwyer's run to the Class 4A state title with 11 sacks. He already holds offers from powers such as Florida, Miami, Iowa and Tennessee.

DL Jermauria Rasco, Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) 6-4, 250

There are only a handful of three-time all-staters who still have their senior year to go and Rasco is one of those. He had 10.5 sacks in 2009 to push his career total to a whopping 42.5.

LB Colt Lyerla, Hillsboro (Ore.) 6-4, 225

The lone Oregonian on this team is a versatile one with 5A all-state honors at both LB and RB. He totaled nearly 2,400 yards of offense and scored 39 TDs in powering Hillsboro to the 5A state title.

LB Jason Meehan, Webster Groves (Mo.) 6-3, 225

Destructive force racked up 145 tackles, six sacks and four interceptions this fall while helping Webster Groves to a state title and earning Class 5 all-state and Defensive Player of the Year honors.

LB Daquan Romero, Phoebus (Hampton, Va.) 6-2, 225

The best player on Virginia's best team this fall, Romero was tabbed all-state for a second straight season after racking up 30 sacks, including 11 in the playoffs from his outside linebacker position.

LB Lawrence Thomas, Renaissance (Detroit, Mich.) 6-3, 215

The Detroit Free-Press All-Metro pick should be one of the state's top recruits next year. He registered 104 tackles, 12 sacks and three picks as a junior.

DB Erique' Florence, Valley (Ala.) 6-2, 180

Two-time Class 5A all-state pick is one of the most active safeties around. He amassed 140 tackles this past year and also scored nine touchdowns via punt return, rush or reception.

DB Maurice Harris, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 6-2, 195

He teamed with senior Keenan Allen to form a dynamic duo at Northern Guilford in 2009. Harris picked off 10 passes while totaling 1,216 yards and 18 touchdowns receiving.

DB Nick Waisome, South Lake (Groveland, Fla.) 5-9, 165

This cornerback isn't the biggest in stature but makes a ton of plays, which is why he earned Orlando Sentinel All-Central Florida honors.

DB Jabriel Washington, Trinity Christian (Jackson, Tenn.) 5-11, 165

Two-time all-stater picked up his first offer as a freshman and never looked back. As a junior, he ran back two interceptions for scores and totaled 94 tackles.

P Michael Branthover, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 5-11, 180

A key weapon for DeMatha team that was pushing for a top 10 finish in the FAB 50 until a loss in the final game, Branthover was on the Big School All-State Team and also was chosen to the Washington Post's All-Met squad.


QB/RB/DB/P Quandre Diggs, Angleton (Texas) 5-9, 185

Younger brother of San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer was selected The Houston Chronicle's All-Greater Houston Player of the Year after totaling 1,692 yards and 18 touchdowns on offense, returning two kicks for scores and accounting for 37 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks on defense.

QB/RB Dano Graves, Folsom (Calif.) 5-9, 175

He doesn't have the size of a major college prospect but put up gigantic numbers that made him absolutely qualified for this team: 3,882 yards passing and 52 TDs with 874 yards rushing plus 14 more scores. He also led Folsom to a 10-2 record.

QB/DB Nick Marshall, Wilcox County (Rochelle, Ga.) 6-2, 190

Named Georgia's Class A Offensive Player of the Year after leading Wilcox County to a state title and passing for 2,956 yards and 31 touchdowns; also ran for five scores, intercepted four passes on defense and stars in basketball.

WR/DB Bryce McGovern, Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.) 5-9, 175
On offense, he caught 100 passes for 1,987 yards and 16 touchdowns, including 10 for 300 in one game and 13 for 272 in another. On defense, he had four interceptions and caused three fumbles.