SEC’s top 5 weak side DE signees for 2014


It’s a good argument–is any position in the SEC more important than the defensive end? Maybe not. Here are five high school players–weakside defensive ends, specifically–who are recent SEC signees who look like they’ll fit comfortably into the conference. All seem to have the build and talent to succeed at this level—and probably beyond. They’ll need to be good to go against the strong offensive lines of the SEC.

Related: 2014 SEC Football Strength of Schedule

EDITOR’S NOTE: All references to ratings come from the composite ranking

1. Myles Garrett–Texas A&M

  • James Martin (Arlington, Texas), 6-4/240
  • The skinny: He’s big, but he’s not just a clueless hulking mass–this is a kid who knows how to play this position. He was a terror in the backfield his senior season, racking up 39 tackles for loss and 21 sacks–yes, you read that stat line correctly. Look for Garrett to be an immediate impact player on a defense that desperately needs some help.

2. Lorenzo Carter–Georgia

  • Norcross (Ga.), 6-5/235
  • The skinny: This was a signing day ‘cherry’ on top for Georgia’s impressive 2014 signing class. They had to keep this guy in state, it’s a matter of pride. Carter is very athletic and camps out in the oppositions’ backfield.

3. Dante Sawyer–South Carolina

  • North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.), 6-3/265
  • The skinny: Sawyer is versatile enough to play linebacker, showing his ability to move–but he’ll most likely be at defensive end in college. His strength seems to be the intangibles of the position. He’s been coached well and it shows in how he handles every snap.

4. Justin Thornton–Auburn

  • Vigor (Mobile, Ala.), 6-5/225
  • The skinny: Thornton was born for this spot. He has the perfect build to develop into a monster at the position, and quarterbacks had better watch out. This is one of the gems of the already impressive Auburn class. The one thing that sticks out even more than most about Thornton is his quickness.

5. Keyon Brown–Georgia

  • Hardee (Wauchula, Fla.), 6-3/230
  • The skinny: Brown picked Georgia in the fall and he’s a huge pickup for the Bulldogs–especially with Lorenzo Carter also on board. “I think what makes a four-star player is they have good size and they play with a motor, and they play hard,” Brown told SDS. “Coaches always tell me they like my quickness, my motor, and my hands.”

Top 5 signees broken down by position:



Athletes & Specialists


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  • Thanks Brian, I’m really excited about seeing these names develop. Can I say that at Missouri, having Kansas City Missouri’s Shane Ray develop and score the Cotton Bowl deal sealer has been electiric. A dozen football players from that 5 county area are electrifying the newspaper, radio, and television stories of Kansas City and the whole state. The St. Louis Post Dispatch is whining about why St. Louis can’t dominate Missouri’s roster. Even people from Kansas (that’s right) are celebrating having a local program go back to the top 5 in the nation so their future NFLer s can play close to home. If you had heard the radio broadcasts from Kansas owned radio stations a year ago and now hear them talking about Shane Ray and Evan Boehm you wouldn’t believe you were listening to the same talking heads. It drawfs the great jayhawk basketball program and one of the greatest football coaches of all time Bill Snyder, K-State is looking again like ‘another’ great coach in the area.

    • That’s very interesting Wolfman. With Missouri and Kansas not being the traditional long-time recruiting hotbeds in the SEC, I’ll admit some of that is news to me. When I traveled to Springfield Mo to spend a few days around Dorial G.B., I was amazed at how low key the football was, and how much people talked about hoops — but you drove 1-2 hours south to Fayetteville and it was a whole other world. Maybe being in the SEC is changing some things in Missouri?