Scouting The D-Line

The football recruiting regional managers break down the top defensive linemen from around the country in the Class of 2011.

Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe |
SIZE: 6-5/235
EVALUATED: In Person Practice, Game Film, Highlights
SCOUTING REPORT: Clowney makes plays that only special players make. He gets up field in a hurry and really explodes off the ball. He is still a little light, but he has added nice over the past year and should play at around 260 pounds on the next level. He has great range, long arms to get into passing lanes, and he does not have many weaknesses. He is just such an explosive player, that is what stands out the most and a lot of athleticism. - Chad Simmons
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Elite
RECRUITING: Lists his favorites as Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

#1 DT - Tim Jernigan
Lake City (Fla.) Columbia |
SIZE: 6-2/275
EVALUATED: In Person Game, In Person Practice, Film
SCOUTING REPORT: Jernigan has all the tools you look for in an elite defensive lineman. He is very powerful, he moves extremely well, and he has a high motor. He can work on the use of his hands, his pad level, and his moves off the ball, but he has great size, great feet, great quickness, great change of direction, and ideal size to play defensive tackle on the next level. When he learns to play lower, fire off the ball lower, and keep his pad level down, he will be an even better in the trenches. He has NFL written all over him. - Chad Simmons
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Lists favorites as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, South Florida, Tennessee, and USC.

Houston (Tx.) Westfield |
SIZE: 6-1/275
EVALUATED: Game Film, Highlights, In-Person Camp
SCOUTING REPORT: The five-star defensive tackle dominates in the middle of the field and can get in the backfield early and often. Plus he has the ability to rush the passer. He is also good at backside pursuit, he puts a lot of effort into his play and because of his athleticism on the interior he sometimes requires double teams to keep him somewhat in check. He understands how to use his hands well and has an understanding of how to use his technique to cause offensive linemen big problems. The knock on him is his size, but he plays bigger than he actually is, much like the freshly drafted Gerald McCoy. - Greg Powers
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Committed to Texas.

Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian |
SIZE: 6-4/251
SCOUTING REPORT: Rasco is an elite defensive end and he is only going to get better. He is a very disciplined football player that can rush the passer and stop the run. He knows how to use his hands to disengage and he has speed to chase the ball down on the other side of the field. He can improve his first step off the ball and learn more moves to help his pass rush, but he has good speed, he pursues the ball well and he has shown nice leverage. He is not a true rush end, but more of a balanced end and you do not see a lot of those in high school. - Chad Simmons
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Holds over 20 offers and says he talks to coaches from Alabama, LSU, and Texas every week.

New Orleans (La.) O.P. Walker |
SIZE: 6-2/296
EVALUATED: In Person Combine, Films
SCOUTING REPORT: Johnson is a physical defensive lineman that loves to bull rush through his opponent. He is not one that uses a lot of moves, so he relies on his pure strength to overpower the man in front of him. He needs to work on using his hands more and moves coming off the ball. He's such a dominant force in the middle with so much room to improve. He has good feet, he gets off the ball well, and he will demand a double team on the next level. - Chad Simmons
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Committed to LSU.

Sacramento (Ca.) Grant Union |
SIZE: 6-3/340
EVALUATED: In Person Game, Highlights, In Person Camp
SCOUTING REPORT: The most dominant defensive player I saw in person in all of 2009's season was Moala. Moala was just an absolute force for a Grant defense that shut out six opponents. The first time I saw him was at the CIF State title game his sophomore year, where he wreaked havoc all night for Long Beach Poly and helped Grant win the open division title. Then I saw him in September against the vaunted Bellevue (Wash.) Wing-T, and the Wolverines had no answer for him. A constant double-and-triple team didn't really do much, and Moala just had his way with the Bellevue OL. He's a big kid, at 6-4, 330, but he's also pretty agile and athletic. He's a good pass rusher, but his specialty is just stuffing the run. Moala is an early impact guy in college. - Brandon Huffman
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Elite
RECRUITING: California and USC are the two early favorites, but most of the Pac-10 has offered plus Florida and Alabama.

#3 DE - Colt Lyerla
Hillsboro (Ore.) |
SIZE: 6-5/225
EVALUATED: Game Film, Highlights
SCOUTING REPORT: Lyerla has developed a reputation as a big game clutch player. He can play numerous positions, receiver, tight end, outside linebacker or defensive end, but with his size, speed and athleticism, defensive end is where he'll likely end up in college. He may be the best prospect to come out of Oregon in a decade, certainly defensively. At 6-5, 230, and with a 4.5 forty, he's blessed with tremendous agility and a nose for the ball. One of the best big athletes in the West in this class. - Brandon Huffman
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Offers from all over the country, but Oregon will be tough to beat.

#4 DE - Steve Miller
Canton (Ohio) McKinley |
SIZE: 6-4/230
EVALUATED: Game Film, Highlights, In-Person Game
SCOUTING REPORT: Miller has a great frame. He has the length and athleticism you want in a defensive end. I see a lot of ends that have his relative build and size, but what separates Miller is his explosion, motor and discipline. He plays the game hard, and plays fast, but without getting out of control. He has a great feel for the game and keeps himself in good position while diagnosing plays. He has done some filling out, but needs to continue that to reach his full potential. - Allen Trieu
CEILING: Excellent | FLOOR: High
RECRUITING: Committed to Ohio State.

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman |
SIZE: 6-4/255
EVALUATED: Game Film, Highlights, In Person Camp
SCOUTING REPORT: Grimble has high upside at the next level and is intriguing because he's still pretty young for his grade, not yet 17. He plays defensive end and while his frame could say defensive tackle, his quickness off the ball and ability to rush the passer make him a more likely candidate for a big pass-rushing end. The top player in Nevada in the 2011 class, Grimble just needs to add a little more strength, because the quickness and athleticism is already there. - Brandon Huffman
CEILING: Excellent | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Committed to USC.

#6 DE - Ray Drew
Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central
SIZE: 6-5/248
EVALUATED: In Person Game, In Person Combine, In Person Practice, Film
SCOUTING REPORT: Drew is an elite pass rusher who plays with a lot of energy. Not too often do you see guys of his size make plays on special teams, but he does not come off the field much when he can attack the football. He still needs to add weight and just play more aggressive. He likes to get up field, but he needs to hold his ground better against the run. He has the ideal frame to add weight and he has an elite package as a pass rusher. - Chad Simmons
CEILING: Elite | FLOOR: Excellent
RECRUITING: Holds 23 scholarship offers as of early May and has not narrowed his list as of yet.

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