FNL Preview: Defensive Ends

Without question, defense wins championships and the Florida Gators had plenty of it last year with defensive ends like Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey. This year, the Gators take comfort in the return of Harvey. The Gators hauled in a tremendous defensive end class last year, and this year, two of the four commitments for the class of 2008 are defensive ends.

The first to give his commitment to head coach Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators was Earl Okine from Gainesville (Fla.). Okine does a tremendous job coming off the edge and at 6-7, 235-pounds has very long arms. He plays the run and pass extremely well. Okine recorded 86 tackles with nine sacks and three forced fumbles.

Chaz Sutton is one of two players from Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins High School to give a verbal commitment to the Gators (running back Franklin Green is the other). Sutton is extremely quick coming off the edge and does a tremendous job of putting pressure on the quarterback. He also has the ability to bull rush offensive linemen with an incredible amount of strength and leverage. Sutton, who is 6-4, 240-pounds, ended his junior season with over 80 tackles and six sacks.

William Green is from Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park High School. Green, at 6-5, 210-pounds, had 54 tackles and eight sacks as a junior. Green has an incredible first step and is extremely fast. Green is looking at in-state powers Alabama and Auburn in addition to Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU and Oklahoma.

One player that many Gator fans have in this year's class is Keith Wells. Wells, from Gainesville (Ga.) is 6-5, 225-pounds. On May 28, Wells had this to say about the Gators.

"Florida is definitely recruiting me the hardest right now," he said. "Coach Meyer is in constant communication with me as well as coach Greg Mattison and coach Billy Gonzales. There is not a day that goes by that I do not receive a text message or hand written letter from the Gators. They are looking real good right now."

Last week, Wells had this to say.

"My mom and I are still heading down to Gainesville for Friday Night Lights, but I think that Florida State is on top right now," Wells said. "It is kind of early though."

Keep an Eye On:

Chauncey Aghayere from Garland (Texas) is 6-3, 220-pounds and runs in the 4.7 range. He is the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country. Aghayere was teammates with current defensive tackle Brandon Antwine and has Florida at the top with Louisville, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas. Over the last two seasons, he has totaled over 90 tackles, nine sacks and nine tackles for loss. Aghayere will be in town to watch Florida take on Tennessee, and it is reported that he will make a decision shortly thereafter.

At 6-5, 250-pounds, Robert Quinn is the No. 12 ranked defensive end in the country. The North Charleston (S.C.) Fort Dorchester High School star is the former teammate of current Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Quinn plays with great leverage and crashes into the backfield seemingly on every play. Last season, Quinn totaled 90 tackles and 17 of them for a loss. He is looking at Alabama, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Four-star defensive end Quinton Coples hails from Kinston (N.C.) Kinston High School. He is 6-7, 240-pounds. Coach Doc Holliday is recruiting Quinn, and the staff has compared him to former defensive end Jarvis Moss. With the staff liking the taller quicker ends, Coples fits the mold perfectly. Coples has extremely quick feet and gets after the ball with a motor that never seems to stop. Playing time for Coples is very important, as he wants to see the field early to display his talents as soon as possible at the next level. Coples is looking at Clemson, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State followed by Tennessee and Ohio State.

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