football Edit

NSD: Top unsigned defensive linemen

Jordan Burch
Jordan Burch (

A healthy chunk of the nation’s top defensive linemen signed during last week’s Early Signing Period, but the available talent pool at the position isn’t shallow by any stretch. The group left on the board includes a handful of Rivals250 members, five of whom explores below.

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

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


Burch made an emotional commitment to South Carolina during ESPN’s Signing Day broadcast, but that doesn’t mean the drama surrounding his recruitment is over. Burch elected not to sign early, leaving the door open for programs like Georgia, Alabama and LSU to make another run at him. Nevertheless, South Carolina still feels very confident that Burch won’t waver and adding him to the class is just a formality in February.

TAKE TWO: Is drama over with Burch?



The Tennessee native shocked many when he committed to Auburn over Tennessee in November and all signs pointed to him signing early and sticking with the Tigers. But a late push from the Vols, combined with Hardy not being an early enrollee, was enough to convince him to wait until February. Auburn still feels very confident about their position with Hardy, but the fact that he waited allowed the Vols to reenter the mix. Other programs who missed on top targets might also make a late run to get Hardy on campus next month.



Grimes announced his commitment to Oklahoma on Thanksgiving, capping a late coup by the Sooners to nab Grimes away from South Carolina, Vanderbilt and others. Grimes had always intended on waiting to sign, even though the Sooners pushed to get him in the class officially this month.

Ironically, one of the things that helped the Sooners win Grimes over -- the coaching rumors surrounding Will Muschamp at South Carolina -- might actually be the thing that convinced Grimes to wait. Rumors about Lincoln Riley being a potential NFL coaching candidate continue to bubble up and despite Riley’s many denials, Grimes decision to wait to make sure Riley will be in Norman next season could have played a part in his decision to wait.



Clowney had been committed to LSU for months, but found himself on the outside looking in after the Tigers became one of the nation’s hottest teams on the recruiting trail. Rather than rush to find a home in December, Clowney elected to wait and reset his recruitment in the new year. He did take a visit to UCF, but the Knights will have to battle a number of schools including Tennessee, Maryland, Pittsburgh and several others to land his signature in February.


The one-time five-star had always intended on waiting until later in the process to decide and his decision was complicated further by the dismissal of head coach Matt Luke at Ole Miss. Now it will be a race to the finish to land Jackson among several SEC heavy hitters, including Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU and Georgia. Ole Miss also can’t be counted out, especially with new coach Lane Kiffin looking to make a late splash with his first class.