Rivals.com - Grading the active 5-star DEs in college football
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Grading the active 5-star DEs in college football

Brenton Cox (1)
Brenton Cox (1) (AP)

Five star prospects are rare in each recruiting class and, as we know, some pan out and some don’t. For the last two weeks, we have been looking at 5-stars still playing in college football and grade how they’ve been doing. Today we continue with the defensive ends.

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MORE FIVE-STAR GRADES: QB | RB | WR/TE/ATH | DT

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

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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CLASS OF 2016

ANTONNEOUS CLAYTON - Georgia Tech (transfer from Florida)

Clayton was a late five-star addition in the 2016 class and hasn’t come close to living up to that. He didn’t do much at Florida and hasn’t been a factor at Georgia Tech.

Grade: F

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CLASS OF 2017

JOSH KAINDOH - Florida State

Kaindoh started off promising with a few sacks his first couple of years and then injury derailed him. He hasn’t returned to five-star form.

Grade: C-

JAELAN PHILLIPS - Miami (transfer from UCLA)

Phillips looked like he was done for his career with concussions at UCLA but he has re-emerged at Miami as one of the most dominating pass rushers in the country.

Grade: B+

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CLASS OF 2018 - Xavier Thomas, Clemson

Thomas looked like the next big star at Clemson his freshman year but has fallen off a bit since and has actually been a bit of a disappointment.

Grade: C

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ADAM ANDERSON - Georgia

Anderson has been playing linebacker and a hybrid role as expected and he’s shown some flashes but hasn’t lived up to the hype yet.

Grade: C

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K.J. Henry - Clemson

Henry is starting to come into his own as a pass rusher but it’s taken longer than expected and he hasn’t been consistent enough.

Grade: C

BRENTON COX - Florida (transfer from Georgia)

Cox had a solid start at Georgia but is now a terror off the edge for the Gators.

Grade: B+

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CLASS OF 2019

ZACCH PICKENS - South Carolina

Pickens is still raw but starting to show some signs of being that elite pocket pusher we loved. It’s early but I like what I see.

Grade: B

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DEMARVIN LEAL - Texas A&M

Leal has turned into a monster who needs double-team attention often and he disrupts numerous plays a game.

Grade: A

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KAYVON THIBODEAUX - Oregon

Thibodeaux became one of the elite pass rushers in college football as a freshman and hasn’t slowed down. His nine sacks last year was off the charts.

Grade: A+

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ZACH HARRISON - Ohio State

Harrison had a very solid freshman season and has been effective at times this year as well.

Grade. B-

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CLASS OF 2020

MYLES MURPHY - Clemson

Murphy has been one of the best true freshmen in the nation this season and looks like a future star. Grade: A+

JORDAN BURCH - South Carolina

Burch has been an active tackler and been in the backfield a few times, so the future looks bright.

Grade: B

WILLIAM ANDERSON - Alabama

Anderson has earned a starting job from day one and has been all over the field early for Alabama.

Grade: A

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