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Commitment predictions for top 10 uncommitted defensive ends

David Hicks Jr.
David Hicks Jr. (Rivals.com)

Summer visits are taking shape and recruits are coming off the board all the time. Here's a recruiting breakdown of the top 10 uncommitted defensive ends in 2023 as we continue a two-week series looking at each position.

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Oklahoma and Texas A&M continue to battle it out for the No. 1 defensive end in the 2023 class and the second-best player overall. The back-and-forth will continue when Hicks recently visited Oklahoma again as the Sooners make him a top priority in this class.

After signing an incredible haul along the defensive line in 2022, the Aggies have not backed down for Hicks, who recently moved from Allen, Texas, to Katy (Texas) Paetow. Now being in the Houston area could give Texas A&M a little edge since College Station is just a little over an hour away. Oregon cannot be discounted in this race, either, as the Ducks have made big in-roads recently.

Prediction: Texas A&M

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The five-star is mainly focused on two options: Play in the SEC or go down the road and play for coach Dan Lanning and defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi at Oregon. Georgia would lead among the SEC schools as the Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln standout continues to visit Athens and like it.

Visits to Alabama and LSU are coming up over the summer as well. Miami and Michigan State are also in the running and a trip to East Lansing is happening this week.

Prediction: Georgia

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Three important visits are coming up for the four-star who can also play tight end, with USC, Oregon and Ohio State on the schedule. The Buckeyes have been involved with Uiagalelei for a long time and the interest level there is serious but this feels like it’s headed toward a Pac-12 battle.

USC offers Uiagalelei an opportunity to stay close to home, play for coach Lincoln Riley and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and to pursue his music career, which is a serious consideration.

Oregon has done a great job recruiting him and that coaching staff, the facilities, uniforms and Nike backing could be significant.

Prediction: USC

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A top 10 of Washington, USC, Oregon, Miami, Florida State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn and Clemson still stands but over the last few weeks the Volunteers and Aggies have emerged as the frontrunners in Bradley’s recruitment. Visits are going to happen through June and that could clear up Bradley’s status. But a weekend visit to Tennessee for Rocky Top Palooza stood out and could have given the Volunteers a big edge in his recruitment.

Texas A&M signed a monster defensive line class in 2022 but Bradley is intrigued by playing with those guys, not scared off by it.

Prediction: Tennessee

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Alabama and Georgia are the main contenders battling it out for the high four-star from Montgomery (Ala.) Carver and while he has been to Tuscaloosa numerous times it feels like the Bulldogs are still right in this recruitment.

The expectation is Smith stays in the Southeast but Ohio State could get an official visit and then Auburn, Miami, Texas A&M, USC and others cannot be counted out yet.

Prediction: Alabama

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A top five of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina have emerged for Collins, who will take his first official visit to Gainesville in the coming days. Visits will be crucial but the strong feeling here is that the Crimson Tide might be nearly impossible to beat.

Collins is an in-state recruit, many members of his family are Alabama fans, he’s close with defensive line coach Freddie Roach and when the Crimson Tide want a top prospect - especially those in the Southeast - there are not a lot of losses.

Prediction: Alabama

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A peculiar rumor has been floating around for a couple weeks that Woods is seriously considering his offer from Jackson State and that the job Deion Sanders has done there, especially recruiting some elite players, is making a big impact on the four-star from Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson.

Until I see it, I won’t believe it, as Alabama has been the clear frontrunner for some time and the Crimson Tide continue to pursue the standout in-state prospect.

Prediction: Alabama

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An important stretch of visits are underway as Tennessee, Michigan State, Georgia and Ohio State will all get officials in the coming weeks and then a trip to Clemson during the fall will also be crucial in the decision-making process. The feeling is that Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee are the standout schools right now, with Ohio State having a chance to move up once he visits Columbus.

While the SEC schools definitely have a draw and his weekend visit to Knoxville went really well, it could be Clemson that has the edge heading into June.

Prediction: Clemson

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The Venice, Fla., standout is one of the more unpredictable prospects on this list because he hasn’t taken a ton of visits or figured out much when it comes to official visits yet. Alabama has definitely made him a priority, Ohio State intrigues him and Miami is recruiting him the hardest at this point. He wants to visit Georgia while South Carolina is trying to get him to take an official there. Others have poked in and out of his recruitment in recent months. There might not be a frontrunner yet, but the Crimson Tide do want him.

Prediction: Alabama

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What’s interesting about Russaw is that he takes a bunch of the same visits as his Montgomery Carver teammate James Smith – and many feel they will end up at the same college. But while Smith seems to be leaning toward Alabama right now, Russaw seems to have Georgia at the top of his list.

Smith and Russaw are not a package deal, especially since those rarely work out, so Russaw is definitely doing his own thing and it seems like Georgia leads Alabama, with Auburn and others remaining in the picture.

Prediction: Georgia