Nation's top defensive linemen

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Led by 6-6, 240-pound Jadaveon Clowney of Rock Hill, S.C., it is an outstanding class of defensive ends throughout the nation for the 2010 season. Clowney is ranked No. 2 on my national list but No. 1 by Rivals and Scout. And it is a good year for defensive tackles--but not as good as it is for defensive ends.

Clowney is a great talent. He reminds me of Mario Williams. He has long arms. The only thing that can hold him back is his work ethic. He should be an impact player from the first time he steps on the field as a college player.

Florida has a commitment from 6-4, 250-pound Jeofffey Pagan of Ashville, N.C. He is the No. 11 player in the nation. He is relentless, has great feet and explodes to the ball. He is one of the centerpieces in what shapes up as another great recruiting class at Florida.

Ray Drew, a 6-5, 245-pounder from Thomasville, Ga., is the No. 14 player in the nation. He is an ordained minister at 17. He is very explosive. Look for him to choose Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama or Auburn.

Jermauria Rasco, a 6-4, 244-pounder from Shreveport, La., is the No. 17 player in the nation. He is the top-rated prospect in Louisiana and is expected to choose LSU. He had 12 sacks as a junior, 26 as a sophomore.

Texas has a commitment from 6-6, 240-pound Cedric Reed of Cleveland, Texas, who ranks as the No. 30 player in the nation. He will fill out to 270 to 280 pounds in college.

Aaron Lynch, a 6-6, 240-pound from Cape Coral, Fla., is the No. 1 defensive end in Florida and the No. 60 player in the nation. A good athlete who also plays basketball, he is thin at 240. He is interested in Alabama, Notre Dame and Florida.

The No. 76 player in the nation is Stephon Tuitt, a 6-6, 255-pounder from Monroe, Ga. He has an NFL body and could be a defensive tackle in college.

Brennan Scarlett, a 6-5, 250-pounder from Portland, Oregon, is one of the top two players in Oregon and the No. 83 player in the nation. Very physical, he has been an All-State selection for the last two years. He also could play tight end.

The No. 86 player in the nation is 6-3, 235-pound Xzavier Dickson of Griffin, Ga., who is small but explosive and strong with quick hands. If you can't find a defensive end in Georgia this year, you aren't looking.

Two other defensive ends to watch are 6-6, 250-pound Sterling Bailey of Gainesville, Ga., and 6-6, 230-pound Kenny Hayes of Toledo, Ohio, who is headed to Ohio State.

The best defensive tackle in the nation is 6-3, 285-pound Anthony Johnson of New Orleans, La., who ranks as the No. 18 player in the country and is committed to LSU. He is super strong with a major college body and an attitude to match. I met him at the New Orleans Saints' practice facility and one of the Saints players thought he was another Saint player.

The best player in northern California is 6-3, 336-pound Viliami Moala of Sacramento, Calif., who ranks as the No. 33 prospect in the nation. He is a bulldozer type, the most dominating defensive tackle I saw on film.

Tim Jernigan, a 6-2, 275-pounder from Lake City, Fla., ranks No. 45 on my list. But he is No. 2 on Scout's list. He has great feet, dominates the middle and is strong with good instincts.

Texas has a commitment from 6-1, 278-pound Desmond Jackson of Houston, Texas, the No. 87 player in the nation. He dominated at the U.S. Army combine in San Antonio in January. He is short and powerful, perfect for the noseguard position.

Other defensive tackles to watch are 6-3, 270-pound Gabriel Wright of Columbus, Ga., 6-3, 280-pound Austin Blythe of Williamsburg, Iowa, and 6-1, 270-pound Kris Harley of Indianapolis Warren Central. Blythe is committed to Iowa, Harley to Virginia Tech.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on June 25, 2010 7:16 AM.

Nation's best guards, centers was the previous entry in this blog.

Nation's best linebackers is the next entry in this blog.

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