November 23, 2010

Category rankings: Defensive ends


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and ranked them. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell breaks down the defensive ends.

DE RANKINGS: Strongest | Against the run | Best pass rusher | Quickest first step

5. Ray Drew, Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central
Drew Highlights
Considering: Georgia, Auburn, FSU, LSU, Alabama and many others.
Particulars: 6-5/243
Buzz: Pound for pound one of the strongest players in the country when it comes to explosion and leverage.
4. Anthony Zettel, West Branch (Mich.) Ogemaw Heights
Zettel Highlights
Considering: Michigan leads Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, USC and others.
Particulars: 6-4/254
Buzz: Uncanny power from a frame that still has plenty of room to fill out.

3. Stephon Tuitt, Monroe (Ga.) Area
Tuitt Highlights
Committed to: Notre Dame
Particulars: 6-5/260
Buzz: Big body allows him to dominate and overpower opponents when he wants to.

2. Jadeveon Clowney, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Clowney Highlights
Considering: South Carolina, Alabama, FSU, Ohio State, LSU and others.
Particulars: 6-6/247
Buzz: The nation's best player has the strength and power to play inside if needed in college.

1. Aaron Lynch, Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast
Lynch Highlights
Committed to: FSU
Particulars: 6-6/245
Buzz: A weight room warrior who tosses opponents aside like bowling pins at times.

BEST AGAINST THE RUN
5. D.J. Pettway, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic
Petway Highlights
Committed to: Alabama
Particulars: 6-3/255
Buzz: A very active lineman, Pettway sheds and shocks as well as anyone.

4. Todd Barr, Lakewood, Calif.
Barr Highlights
Considering: Cal, Florida, Oregon and others.
Particulars: 6-3/265
Buzz: Nearly 100 tackles as a junior for a 265-pounder shows his ability as more than a pass rusher.

3. Ishaq Williams, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln
Williams Highlights
Considering: Penn State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Syracuse and others.
Particulars: 6-6/220
Buzz: Williams uses his impressive burst and becomes skinny in the hole to make play after play against the run.
2. Jermauria Rasco, Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian
Rasco Highlights
Considering: Texas and LSU lead others.
Particulars: 6-3/227
Buzz: Reads and recognizes well and runs things down to the outside with ease.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Clowney Highlights
Considering: South Carolina, Alabama, FSU, Ohio State, LSU and others.
Particulars: 6-6/247
Buzz: Clowney's backside pursuit in the run game is better than anyone's in recent years.

BEST PASS RUSHER
5. Jeoffrey Pagan, Asheville, N.C.
Pagan Highlights
Committed to: Florida
Particulars: 6-4/272
Buzz: A freaky athlete, Pagan is just learning how to pass rush but still dominates when he's allowed to cut loose.
4. Aaron Lynch, Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast
Lynch Highlights
Committed to: FSU
Particulars: 6-6/245
Buzz: Lynch uses raw athleticism to disrupt the passing game.

3. Todd Barr, Lakewood, Calif.
Barr Highlights
Considering: Cal, Florida, Oregon and others.
Particulars: 6-3/265
Buzz: One of the best run-pass combo defensive linemen around, Barr moves well and is an excellent pass rusher.
2. Anthony Zettel, West Branch (Mich.) Ogemaw Heights
Zettel Highlights
Considering: Michigan leads Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, USC and others.
Particulars: 6-4/254
Buzz: There is no better motor in the country than the one on Zettel, hands down.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Clowney Highlights
Considering: South Carolina, Alabama, FSU, Ohio State, LSU and others.
Particulars: 6-6/247
Buzz: Clowney runs like a wide receiver despite his massive frame and engulfs quarterbacks every game.
QUICKEST FIRST STEP
5. Nathan Hughes, Klein (Texas) Klein Oak
Hughes Highlights
Committed to: Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-6/263
Buzz: Despite his big frame, Hughes is explosive in his first step even at linebacker where he played some this season.
4. Norkeithus Otis, Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook
Otis Highlights
Committed to: North Carolina
Particulars: 6-3/200
Buzz: Likely projects as a linebacker in college, but his first step will allow him to be a menace off the edge anyhow.
3. Anthony Chickillo, Tampa (Fla.) Alonso
Chickillo Highlights
Committed to: Miami
Particulars: 6-3/226
Buzz: His get-off is matched only but his motor and desire to get after the quarterback.

2. Curt Maggitt, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer
Maggitt Highlights
Considering: Florida, FSU, Alabama, LSU, Wisconsin and others.
Particulars: 6-3/200
Buzz: The undersized end is often in the backfield at the same time the quarterback gets the snap.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Clowney Highlights
Considering: South Carolina, Alabama, FSU, Ohio State, LSU and others.
Particulars: 6-6/247
Buzz: If Clowney doesn't know the snap count ahead of time, it sure looks like it on every play.



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