Rick O'Brien: Interior D-linemen: The area's best

Continuing with our tour of the local football talent, this week we rank the top 10 interior defensive linemen (tackles and middle guards) in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Please note that some standout two-way linemen, such as Archbishop Wood's Frank Taylor and Penn Charter's Mike McGlinchey, were included in our listing of the area's best offensive linemen. As a result, their names will not be duplicated here.

1. Colin Thompson, Archbishop Wood, senior, 6-foot-5, 255 pounds. Thompson is expected to play tight end at the University of Florida, but he's also quite the run-stuffer for a suffocating defense.

2. Kevon Johnson, Plymouth Whitemarsh, senior, 6-1, 265. Johnson's inside muscle helped the 8-1 Patriots clinch their first Suburban One League American Conference championship since 2005.

3. Tyler Hightower, Chestnut Hill Academy, senior, 6-1, 295. With Hightower clogging the middle, the Blue Devils are making a run for an outright Inter-Academic League title.

4. Andrew Cohen, Council Rock South, senior, 6-3, 270. Golden Hawks coach Vince Bedesem can't say enough about the rock-solid Cohen, who also helps ignite the squad's wishbone offense.

5. Ayitey Kwei-Quaye, Upper Darby, senior, 6-0, 295. A middle guard, Kwei-Quaye was hearing from the Division I-AA likes of Stony Brook, Delaware, and Villanova.

6. Rick Young, Souderton, sophomore, 6-2, 287. Division I-A recruiters should make it a priority to check out the rising, two-way tackle.

7. Chris Kutsubos, Neshaminy, senior, 6-1, 273. While he might be better as an offensive tackle, Kutsubos has been a force on both sides of the ball for the 7-3 Redskins.

8. Dan Sergeyev, Central Bucks West, senior, 6-1, 245. Sergeyev, also a top performer in the classroom, is considering Princeton and Harvard. Bowdoin, in Maine, is another possibility.

9. Jeremiah Lowery, Academy Park, senior, 6-3, 230. Coach Jason Vosheski said Lowery, who has helped the Knights to a 7-3 mark, "has been absolutely unblockable."

10. Shannan Green, Malvern Prep, senior, 5-10, 230. With a terrific nose for the ball, the versatile Green can play middle guard or tackle for the Friars.

Twenty others to watch, listed alphabetically: Will Bendon, Central Bucks South, senior, 6-2, 230; Derek Brandt, North Penn, junior, 5-10, 220; Tyrone Brown, Roman Catholic, senior, 6-1, 265; Mark Caputo, Unionville, sophomore, 6-2, 290; Jake Clark, Abington, sophomore, 5-11, 275; Anthony Desiderio, Marple Newtown, senior, 6-0, 210; Devante Ford, West Catholic, senior, 5-10, 287; Paul Johnson, St. Joseph's Prep, junior, 5-11, 280; Mark Kaminskas, Conestoga, senior, 6-0, 235; Tyler Mercer, Penn Charter, senior, 6-1, 285; Dylan Morgan, Coatesville, junior, 6-0, 210; Jake Newman, Pennridge, senior, 6-1, 215; Kevin Nyce, Spring-Ford, senior, 6-0, 205; Tyler Ramirez, Monsignor Bonner, senior, 6-0, 298; Malcolm Roberson, West Chester Rustin, senior, 6-1, 300; Matt Schuck, Hatboro-Horsham, senior, 6-2, 285; Peter Slabonik, Boyertown, senior, 5-11, 235; Dan Speca, Downingtown West, junior, 5-11, 215; Tom Spiteri, La Salle, junior, 6-2, 250; Andrew Thomas, Garnet Valley, senior, 5-11, 190.

Extra points. In La Salle's 26-16 victory Friday over Father Judge, the Explorers ran 74 plays from scrimmage compared with the Crusaders' 45. Sparked by Raul Quinones (138 yards on 13 carries), Judge totaled 192 yards on the ground. La Salle tailback Tim Wade, who netted a school-record 300 yards on 39 carries against Judge, has totaled 1,246 yards and 16 touchdowns for the season. . . . West Chester Henderson's Jake Richard has carried 107 times for 704 yards and nine TDs. He ran for 250 yards and three scores in Friday's 42-20 romp over Downingtown East. . . . Downingtown East's Kyle Lauletta has completed 107 of 165 passes for 1,654 yards and 22 TDs. . . . Pope John Paul II's David Cotellese has hit on 138 of 278 throws for 2,074 yards and 21 scores. . . . Jenkintown High product Aden Twer, a sophomore receiver at Gettysburg, broke a 47-year-old school record with his 12th touchdown catch of the season in a 22-14 win over Moravian.

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com,

or @ozoneinq on Twitter.

Read his blog, "The O'Zone,"

at www.philly.com/ozone