Posted On: 03/31/21 3:00 PM
Time to check out the best defensive performances from the first week of Spring ball here in Wisconsin! We have a ton of college level athletes in action this spring. Seven of them made the article here today. We have a mix of juniors and seniors in today’s article, and all except for one is still available. So college coaches, make sure you check out their film that I have linked and reach out if they look like they are a fit for your team. High school athletes, if you would like to be included in these articles going forward make sure you send myself or the Prep Redzone Wisconsin DMs your weekly cutups. The accounts are @MJ_NFLDraft or @PrepRedzoneWI. We will also be making a weekly post announcing that we are looking for the film from the previous week. Keep an eye out for that as well. I want to be able to highlight as many defenders as I can each week! Now, let’s dive into what these dudes did to open the season!
Martell Owens Martell Owens 6'2" | DL La Crosse Logan | 2022 State WI , DL- La Crosse Logan
Stat Line: 5 Total Tackles, 1 Sack. Bonus: 3 Carries, 10 Rushing Yds, 1 Rushing TD Martell’s Week 1 Highlights
6’2″ 280 lbs defensive linemen usually don’t move like Martell does on a football field. I’m not 100% sure how it’s possible, yet here he is on tape making tackles 10 yards down the field on plays going away from him and playing FB on offense. On defense, when he lines up at DE he does a good job of getting and setting a strong edge against the run to turn RBs back inside to his help or making the tackle himself. I will actually be in attendance at his Week 2 game against Sparta High School. I can’t wait to get a look at him live in pads. I was able to see him live at the Prep Redzone WI Showcase in December where he looked like the best DL in attendance. So this week one film should be just the beginning to a very good season for Owens.
Tyler Dahlhauser Tyler Dahlhauser 5'10" | DB Monona Grove | 2022 State WI , DB- Monona Grove
Stat Line: 8 Total Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble. Bonus: 2 Rec. 19 Receiving Yds Dahlhauser’s Week 1 Highlights
What a week for Tyler! As you watch through the film from week one it quickly becomes apparent that he plays the game at a different speed than the other kids on the field around him. When they let him drop down from his safety spot into the box he was basically untouchable on the edge. The ball would be snapped and he was in the backfield thanks to his burst and acceleration. He was able to navigate through the trash inside the box at a level on par with a seasoned LB. His range to make all those plays was limitless too. He showed that he could fly downhill and make a play or pursue down or across the field to bring down a ball carrier. The 5’10″ 180 junior DB is an intriguing prospect. Have a look!
Jackson Funderburg Jackson Funderburg 6'4" | DL Big Foot | 2022 State WI , DL/OLB- Big Foot
Stat Line: 5 Total Tackles, 1 TFL, 1.5 Sacks Funderburg’s Week 1 Highlights
Not a bad day for the 6’4″ 220 lbs junior making his debut at a new position. Having that much size and length coming off the edge is going to be a problem for offenses over the next two seasons as he gains more comfort and experience at the position. Week one already gives me high hopes for what could be ahead. The opponent, Clinton, kept trying to force him to play in space as the read for their option offense. It didn’t have an effect on Funderburg. Instead of allowing them to read him, Jackson would close so quickly that the QB wouldn’t have time to make a decision. Jackson would be on him and the play would be over. I love the effort in his last clip on his film too. He went from the backside of the play to chasing down the RB 40 yards downfield. Check out the film. The room for development and the resulting potential is very high.
Stat Line: 11 Total Tackles, 1 Pass Defensed Sowell’s Week 1 Highlights
The range and versatility that Sowell showed in week one was eye catching. Verona used him both on the edge and as an off ball LB Friday night. There were even a few snaps where he was lined up at safety. No matter where he was lined up, Reggie was able to quickly find the ball and close on it at the line of scrimmage. He also showed that he is a reliable, wrap up tackler. I don’t think Reggie has a specific position on defense. What he does have is the range/speed, versatility, and quick recognition skills that will allow him to be used in many ways at the next level. It looks like the 2021 is still on the market, so check him out.
Brady Lehman Brady Lehman 6'3" | DL Jefferson | 2022 State WI , DL/OLB- Jefferson
Stat Line: 9 Total Tackles, 2 TFLs Lehman’s Week 1 Highlights
Brady had a great week one on tape. He showed so many different strong aspects to his game. The 6’3″ 210 lbs stand up DE proved he has the athleticism to both rush the edge and make plays out in space. Lehman easily was able to defeat one on one blocks thanks to his quick twitch lateral agility. There were a couple plays where he was able to cut through the inside gap and the OT wasn’t able to touch him because of his quickness. He also showed off a nice swim move, and the strength to just toss linemen to the side. He was relentless in his pursuit too. If the play was still live then Lehman was still going 100 mph. Brady was very disruptive on the edge. He is a 2022 you will want to get acquainted with.
Deven Magli Deven Magli 6'1" | DB DeForest | 2022 State WI , DB- DeForest
Stat Line: 4 Total Tackles, 1 INT (Pick Six) Magli’s Week 1 Highlights
The 2019 leader in INTs wasted no time getting his first on the board in week one. Deven found himself in the right place at the right time and was able to complete the tip drill for the INT. After the INT, Deven showed off the speed and elusiveness that he has on the way to six points. Janesville Craig only threw the ball nine times all game, but Deven was still able to get his hands on one of them. The nose for the football is definitely still there. The rest of Magli’s film shows us that he isn’t afraid to show off his physical side and use his 6’1″ 190 lbs frame to shut down the outside run. You will be hard pressed to find another DB in Wisconsin as well rounded as Deven. He is a D2 prospect without a doubt, but I think he could work his way towards even larger interest.
Stat Line: 2 TFL, 1.5 Sacks (None posted, but this is what was shown in his film) Kaden’s Week 1 Highlights
Kaden picked up right where he left off in 2019. Dominating the interior offensive linemen of west central Wisconsin. From his nose guard position, Kaden showed off his very strong hand usage and pass rush repertoire to easily defeat single blocks. He also put his closing speed on display as he was able to easily chase down the QB and RBs in the backfield to create those sacks and TFLs. I always enjoy watching Banks’ tape. He plays relentlessly from snap to whistle. Kaden showed off all the traits that got me fired up and had me adding him to my list of kids that I expected to breakout and get the offers they deserve this spring. Unfortunately for college coaches, it turns out Kaden has already made his decision and signed with Southern Utah for football and track. Good luck out there, Kaden!