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Best of the best: Top DL classes of 2020 recruiting cycle

Bryan Bresee
Bryan Bresee (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

National Signing Day 2020 is in the books, but before we put a pin in this recruiting class let’s reflect on which teams cleaned up on the trail. We continue our position-by-position look at the 2020 class with the top defensive line classes.

MORE TOP CLASSES: Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Offensive line

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

1. CLEMSON

Clemson did not take home a recruiting title for 2020 as many anticipated, but that should not diminish just how talented the Tigers’ defensive line haul was this cycle. Of course, Rivals’ top overall prospect, Bryan Bresee, is the headliner. He’s the No. 1 overall player and the top defensive tackle. Joining Bresee in Clemson’s class is Myles Murphy, the No. 4 player in the country and the top-ranked strong-side end. The Tigers also inked Demonte Capehart, a Rivals100 prospect and the No. 6-ranked defensive tackle. We’re not even counting outside linebacker signee Trenton Simpson, who will likely have a chance to see snaps on the defensive line during his time in Death Valley.

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2. ALABAMA

Headlining Alabama’s defensive line haul for 2020 is none other than five-star William Anderson, a prospect that grabbed the entire Rivals analyst team’s attention in a major way during All-American Bowl week in San Antonio. Anderson, the No. 22 overall player in the class, finished as the top weak-side end in the country. Alabama signed another top-100 edge-rusher in Quandarrius Robinson out of its backyard in addition to Drew Sanders, who is technically an outside linebacker but is sure to see snaps rushing the passer in Tuscaloosa. The Tide also beefed up the interior part of their defensive front with top-50 prospect Timothy Smith and Rivals250 tackles Jamil Burroughs and Jah-Merien Latham.

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3. KENTUCKY

Kentucky’s 2020 defensive line crop is as impressive as any other team in the country. Our analysis begins with five-star Justin Rogers, the No. 16-ranked prospect in America and the No. 2 defensive tackle behind only Bresee. The Wildcats also signed four-stars Josaih Hayes out of Mississippi, Tre’vonn Rybka and Octavious Oxendine, which amounts to four top-30 defensive tackles in 2020. Also, Kentucky signed Rivals250 defensive end Samuel Anaele out of South Florida, a top-10 weak-side end in the class.

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4. FLORIDA

What a roller-coaster day in Gainesville on National Signing Day, but one reason for fireworks was the unexpected signing of Texas four-star defensive end Princely Umanmielen, who signed with Florida over favorites Baylor and Texas. Umanmielen is the No. 13-ranked strong-side defensive end and is a key cog in the Gators’ defensive line haul that also features five-star Gervon Dexter, the No. 23 overall player in the class, in addition to four-star defensive tackles Lamar Goods and Jalen Lee. Overall, the Gators signed a trio of defensive tackles ranked inside the top-25 at their position.

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5. TEXAS A&M

McKinnley Jackson put a ton of smiles on folks in and around Aggieland on National Signing Day and the Rivals100 defensive tackle instantaneously became the headliner of a really impressive defensive line haul for Jimbo Fisher and Co. in 2020. Jackson ranks as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country and he’s joined by New Jersey four-star Isaiah Raikes. Texas A&M also hit a home-run with its edge-rushers, signing Donell Harris out of Florida and Fadil Diggs from New Jersey. Harris and Diggs are the No. 2 and 8-ranked weak-side ends in the class.

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