Class of '09 Defensive Ends

The Gators have 13 offers for the 2009 class going by the numbers, five that can enroll early and an additional eight on signing day. But the class could reach 18-21 players factoring in attrition.

The Gators have done a great job of landing defensive ends over the last couple of years with players like Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham, two players who I believe will have breakout type years. This year's class is very deep with extremely talented defensive ends and more than a few are showing interest in the Gators.

These are my top five defensive ends in no particular order.

  • Dyron Dye 6'5 230 Sanford, Florida Seminole HS
  • Ryne Giddins 6'4 240 Seffner, Florida Armwood HS
  • Nick Kasa 6'7 240 Broomfield, Colorado Legacy HS
  • Devon Kennard 6'4 240 Phoenix, Arizona Desert Vista HS
  • Sam Montgomery 6'4 240 Greenville, South Carolina Greenwood HS

    All five are in the Top 300 and all but Dye are in the National Top 100 with Kennard coming in at No. 5 overall.

    In a recent interview with Jamie Newberg and Sam Montgomery the talented defensive end had some nice words on the University of Florida.

    "Florida… I know their hype and atmosphere. I have heard stories of the swamp and playing for the Gators. I love the logo, the name and they win. I would love to help out that program. I need to get to know them better." At the end of the day it will be tough to beat out the schools he knows the best which are Clemson and South Carolina but genuinely seems to have interest in the Gators at this time."

    Nick Kasa is a speed demon coming off of the edge. He has a huge frame at 6-7, but is fast enough and stays low enough to give most offensive tackles problems when he rushes the passer off of the edge. He has great fundamentals at this stage of his career but has an even better first step. Kasa was the only junior that made 5A all-state first team. He grew up in Florida and both his parents like the Gators. Kasa has been timed as low as 4.65.

    Ryne Giddins might be the best defensive end in the state of Florida and like Dye also attended the Florida junior day. He had 16 sacks as a junior and was a teammate of current Gator commitment Matt Patchan. One thing to keep an eye on might be the recruitment of Armwood linebacker Petey Smith.

    When the top defensive end in the state of Florida is discussed Dyron Dye's name has started to surface. He finished his junior season with over 60 tackles and 13 sacks on the year. With Dye, fans will need to keep a close eye on two of his teammates Andre Debose and Ray Ray Armstrong. The three have taken numerous trips together, and while they have not said playing together at the next level is a must, they are discussing it.

    I included Devon Kennard because in my opinion he is the best defensive line prospect in the nation and one the Gators might look at. He is the most athletic of the bunch and people have a very hard time not only trying to contain him but block him. He has enough speed that he lined up at tailback on occasion last year. He has great speed off the edge and even better quickness.

    Questions or comments? Contact's Jason Higdon

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