football

FlaVarsity ranks the top defensive linemen in FL

Dantefowler d 3 point 200
The key to a great defense starts with the defensive line. If you can win the battle at the line of scrimmage, it makes everyone on your defense better. The defensive tackles free up room for the defensive ends, who free up room for the linebackers, which allows the players in the secondary to hold their ground and stay in coverage.
The defensive linemen who made the FlaVarsity Top 160 are a combination of big, strong, fast, and agile ball players. There are prospects such as Jelani Hamilton, the 6-foot-5, 250 pound end from St. Thomas Aquinas, who are extremely quick off the ball and have a variety of moves to attack the quarterback. There are also prospects such as Dalvon Stuckey, the 6-foot-4, 305 pound defensive tackle from Walton high school, who are run stoppers that fill holes and command double teams, all due to their immense size.
There are also some very underrated prospects from this defensive line class that have yet to hit their recruiting peak. Tyler Drake, the 6-foot-2, 210 pound end from St. Thomas Aquinas, led his team in sacks last year, yet only holds one scholarship offer. Jordan Hinojosa, the 6-foot-3, 270 pound tackle from Miami Central, is someone that uses his hands well and is very quick off the snap, yet he only has 3 scholarship offers.
The top prospect on the defensive line is Dante Fowler Jr., the 6-foot-3, 232 pound end. He is very explosive off the ball and is very tough to slow down off the edge. His spin move is extremely impressive and he has the athleticism and versatility to even play linebacker.
The 2012 defensive line class is very, very good. There are at least 5 names on this list that I expect to be called in the NFL Draft, a few years from now. Let's take a look at which defensive line prospects made the FlaVarsity Top 160.
Dante Fowler Jr.
Defensive End
6-foot-3 | 232 | Lakewood
Buzz: Fowler is explosive off the ball. He's very athletic and has plenty of moves to get to the quarterback. His recent injury will have no effect on his senior season or current ability.
College Decision: FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Jelani Hamilton
Defensive End
6-foot-5 | 250 | St. Thomas Aquinas
Buzz: There are few defensive linemen with his athleticism, quickness, and size. He really has a terrific motor and plays hard all game. He's college ready now.
College Decision: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Leonard Williams
Defensive End
6-foot-5 | 254 | Mainland
Buzz: Williams has the potential to be a top defensive end in the country. He's big, powerful, and very athletic. He uses his hands well and is very consistent with his effort.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Penn State, Southern Cal
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Tyriq McCord
Defensive End
6-foot-3 | 225 | Jefferson
Buzz: McCord has terrific size and a great frame to add more weight. He has plenty of moves off the edge and is very smooth when dropping into coverage. Look for him to rise this year.
Schools in the mix: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Dante Phillips
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-6 | 268 | Venice
Buzz: Although light for a defensive tackle, Phillips is strong and powerful, which leads to his success. His athleticism will allow him to play offense line or defense line in college.
College Decision: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Dalvon Stuckey
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-4 | 305 | Walton
Buzz: Stuckey is a run stopping machine. He clogs the middle and forces backs to run outside. He is quick off the ball and really uses his size well.
College Decision: FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Trent Taylor
Defensive End
6-foot-3 | 245 | Lake Gibson
Buzz: Taylor's athleticism is truly scary. He is a terrific pass rusher off the edge, but can drop back to linebacker and play in coverage with ease.
College Decision: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
James Hamilton
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-4 | 325 | Olympia
Buzz: Hamilton has impressed this off-season. He has dominated the camps and shined in 1-on-1 drills. He has a terrific burst off the snap, which will help on both sides of the ball.
College Decision: FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Eric Kinsey
Defensive End
6-foot-3 | 240 | Miami Northwestern
Buzz: Kinsey can and will play both defensive end and linebacker, which points to his athleticism. He also has room to add weight to his already thick frame.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Teko Powell
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-3 | 258 | Miami Norland
Buzz: Powell has a thick frame and carries his weight well. He gets low and has good leverage against the offensive lineman. He also as a very good burst off the ball.
Schools in the mix: Florida, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, USF, Wisconsin
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Earl Moore
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-1 | 280 | Hillsborough
Buzz: Moore is very aggressive and tends to use strength and power, more than finesse. I'd like to see him add some moves, but his bull rush works well.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Dwayne Hoilett
Defensive End
6-foot-3 | 220 | Vero Beach
Buzz: Hoilett is a DE/LB tweener, but with added weight, can be a dominant end. He has long arms and gets to the QB with ease.
College Decision: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Jordan Hinojosa
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-3 | 270 | Miami Central
Buzz: Hinojosa is very impressive as a pass rusher and uses his hands very well. He keeps his body low to get leverage against lineman and is more than just a big body.
Schools in the mix: Boise State, FIU, Florida State, Miami, Minnesota, West Virginia, Wisconsin
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Mike Minns
Defensive Tackle
6-foot-1 | 285 | Dwyer
Buzz: Minns has a motor that never quits. Surprisingly for a man of his size, he gives relentless effort throughout the game. His strength is also a major asset to his game.
Schools in the mix: FIU, Louisville, Miami, Marshall, Samford, West Virginia
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
Tyler Drake
Defensive End
6-foot-2 | 210 | St. Thomas Aquinas
Buzz: Drake gets overshadowed playing alongside Jelani Hamilton, but he just gets it done. He led STA in sacks last year and has an incredible burst off the ball.
Schools in the mix: Boston College, Iowa, Miami, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Yale
College Decision: UNCOMMITTED
If you have any questions or comments, Tom Loy, FlaVarsity.com Recruiting Analyst, can be reached at tomloy2006@hotmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter - @tomloy2002.
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