National Signing Day By Position: Top DE classes
With National Signing Day in the rearview mirror, Rivals.com takes a look at which schools did the best work at each specific potion group. Today, we take a look at the nation’s top offensive line classes.
What a trio Clemson signed at this position. Thomas leads the way, and he is the top strongside end and the No. 5 prospect in the country. Henry is another five-star that signed with the Tigers and he is labeled as a weakside end. Then add four-star Mascoll and you have an elite group. The entire defensive front returns for Clemson, so these guys will have the chance to learn from some of the best in the country.
The Crimson Tide signed three of the top five weakside defensive ends in the 2018 class. Starting at the top, Anoma is the best of the best at rushing the passer. Davis and Latu are No. 4 and No. 5 in that group. It doesn’t stop there: Wynn is a different type of defensive end. A guy who will definitely play with hand in the dirt. Others in this group could too, but there are some true pass rushers here. Alabama is known for its defensive fronts and it just got better with this group.
Georgia signed the No. 1 class overall and the success at defensive end played into that. Anderson is a five-star edge rusher and he leads the way. Cox is a strongside end and he is another five-star. Then you add Rivals 250 end Ojulari to that pair and you have a group with balance and upside. The Dawgs need pass rushers in this class as they have to replace the guys that did it best for them 2017, so this trio is very important to UGA’s future.
4. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes signed the No. 3 and No. 4 strongside ends in the country. Smith and Friday were high four-star prospects in the Rivals100. The Buckeyes ended up with the second-ranked class in 2018 and those two played a big role. They were not done. Williams is another one with upside and size. He is the No. 27 strongside end in the country. Ohio State has sent many defensive linemen to the NFL and you could have a couple more future Sunday players in this group.
The Sooners inked three defensive ends and all are four-stars. Perkins is the leader of this group. He is the No. 7-ranked strongside end. Tatum is another strongside end and the Sooners kept him home. At weakside end, Redmond is the guy and he is the No. 4-ranked prospect in Oklahoma. Don’t be surprised if one or two guys at this position makes an early impact in Norman.
6. TEXAS A&M
The Aggies had a great closing on Signing Day and Brown was in the news when he flipped to Texas A&M from Alabama. He is a versatile lineman who could play inside or outside. Joining Brown in College Station are Martin, Wright and Wilson. Martin and Wright are four-stars and Wilson is a three-star. Brown was the biggest newsmaker in this quartet and he may be the one that sees the field first with his size and skillset.
7. FLORIDA STATE
Signing Day 2018 was good to Florida State. They landed in-state end Lamar and Peach State end Chatman. Both are considered strongside ends and Lamar is a four-star, Chatman is a three-star. Briggs is a Seminole and he is another four-star from the Sunshine State who is ranked as a strongside end. What Florida State got here is a great mix of power in the trenches and guys who can get up the field to attack the quarterback.
Defensive line was a big need in this class for Texas and the Longhorns added three defensive ends. Ossai is the leader of the group and he is a four-star weakside end from the Lone Star State who held out until Signing Day. Carson and Williams are both considered strong-ends and they are ranked as three-star prospects. The Longhorns did well overall up front across the defensive front and Ossai was the headliner.
Defensive end was something Jeremy Pruitt saw as an immediate need when he took over in Knoxville. The Vols signed four total, including two from the JUCO ranks in Gooden and Allen. They kept four-star Emerson home and they landed Mincey out of Georgia. Both are strongside ends. If Emerson stays healthy, he has NFL written all over him, but Allen and Gooden may have more expected from them immediately coming out of the JUCO ranks.
The Cardinal program only signed two ends, but they went across the country to get both. Fox is out of Alabama and Umerah is from Georgia. The game is fast and you need speed rushers to pressure the quarterback and these two fit that mold. Do not be surprised if these two turn into stars for David Shaw.