Alabama may have the top dog when it comes to the nation’s top strongside defensive ends, but LSU and Tennessee have two apiece when you take a look at the SEC’s top five.
Here’s a look at the best five strongside defensive ends in this year’s SEC recruiting class (high school recruits only):
EDITOR’S NOTE: All references to ratings come from the 247Sports.com composite ranking
1. Da’Shawn Hand–Alabama commit
- Woodbridge (Va.), 6-4/265
- The skinny: He’s big, he’s mobile and he’s a very intelligent player. That’s a great combination for the next level, and one can almost definitely pencil in Hand’s name for the NFL draft in a couple of years. He has everything going for him.
2. Dewayne Hendrix–Tennessee commit
- O Fallon (Ill.), 6-5/255
- The skinny: The Big Ten really didn’t want to see this kid escape its backyard, but he wanted to play in the SEC. Hendrix has room to grow, body wise, and when he does–watch out. He’s just coming off competing in the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl in California.
3, Davon Godchaux–LSU commit
- Plaquemine (La.), 6-4/265
- The skinny: There was little doubt that this U.S. Army All American would leave his state. He’s been on board for several months and brings another big body to an LSU class that is already incredibly dominant. Look for him to grow into his frame even more with the Tigers.
4. Deondre Clark–LSU commit
- Douglass (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 6-3/240
- The skinny: This is certainly one guy Oklahoma and Oklahoma State hated to see leave the state. And those coaches haven’t given up yet, so stay tuned. But this is one of the quicker strongside defensive ends, and he packs a little less weight than some of his top peers.
5. Derek Barnett–Tennessee commit
- Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.), 6-4/265
- The skinny: Tennessee is really doing a nice job these days of keeping the talent home (and in some cases, away from Vandy), something that was a problem under the previous coaching staff. One thing for sure about Barnett–he can scoot, not in an all out 40-yard dash way, but in quickness.
Here are the SEC’s top ranked commits by position prior to National Signing Day:
- Dual-Threat Quarterbacks
- Pro-Style Quarterbacks
- Running Backs
- All-Purpose Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles
- Offensive Guards
- Offensive Centers
- Weak-Side Defensive Ends
- Strong-Side Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles
- Inside Linebackers
- Outside Linebackers