Navy Signing Day Review: Defensive Line

The U.S. Naval Academy continues to attract outstanding football players. GoMids.com will now review the 2015 class, position by position. In this segment we discuss the defensive line.

Ken Niumatalolo and his staff put together a very good defensive recruiting class that included three recruits that were rated three star players by Scout.com. GoMids.com will now take a look at the projected defensive players from Navy's 2015 football recruiting class.

On the defensive line the Midshipmen have starting nose guard Bernie Sarra and defensive end Will Anthony entering their final seasons. The staff will look at this defensive line class to help rebuild their depth moving forward.

At nose guard Marcus Edwards is a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman out of Sabino High School in Arizona who chose Navy over Cornell. Edwards had an impressive junior season but suffered an ACL knee injury that caused him to miss last season. Edwards was very aggressive, explosive and showed the ability to get off blocks before the injury. Marcus's father served in the Air Force for 23 years. Edwards is expected to play nose guard at the Naval Academy Prep school this fall.

Jeremy Hodowanic (6-2, 288) was a defensive tackle at North Forney High School in Texas. Last year he made 55 tackles, six sacks, and created three forced fumbles. Hodowanic began his playing career at Harlem High School in Illinois before his family moved to Texas where he started the past two seasons. Hodowanic will compete at nose guard and he is very strong with a max bench press of 390-pounds. He was named second team All-District.

T.J. Salu is a two way lineman from Central Catholic from Oregon. Salu is a 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman who was recruited as a nose guard. Salu was highly regarded as an offensive center as well. T.J. was rated the eighth ranked center on West Coast by Scout.com. Salu served as his team's captain which won back-to-back championships. He was First team All State and All Conference as a senior. During his junior season he was named First team All-Conference and Second team All- State. Salu is an impressive athlete. He competed in the shot put and discus as well as, amazingly, running a competitive 100- yard dash. He chose the United States Naval Academy over offers from Sacramento State and San Diego.

David Tolentino is a 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive and offensive lineman from 2014 New Jersey State champion St. Peters Prep. As a senior he made 55 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, 11 quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, forced a fumble and made one fumble recovery. Tolentino was named the 2014 Hudson County Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-County offensive line and defensive line, first team All-State for the offensive line, first team All-Metro offensive line, and first team All-New Jersey offensive line. David is expected to play nose guard this fall at NAPS. Tolentino selected Navy over offers from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale

Defensive end direct admit Nick Czar (6-4", 269) of Highland high school in Illinois was a three star Scout.com recruit who originally committed to Army's previous Ellerson staff but reopened his recruiting after they were fired. Czar decided to change his commitment to Navy. Czar was his team's captain and a three year starter for Highland on both lines. On defense Czar made 42 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries in 2014. Czar was named First team St. Louis All-Metro for defensive line, first team All-Area offensive line and second team All-Area defensive line. Nick was named a St. Louis Super 30 Recruit. He was also one of the top wrestler in the state. Czar also had offers from Air Force, Ball Sate, Western Michigan and Illinois State.

Hanahan defensive end Corbin Heyward (6-4", 240) from South Carolina committed to Navy. In 2014 Heyward had 77 tackles with four sacks, seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was an All-Lowcountry pick and played in the North-South All-Star game last season. He hopes to become a naval aviator.

Vic Thomas is a 6-foot-4, 240--pound defensive end from First Academy in Florida. Thomas is a bit on an under the radar recruit with a nice upside. Thomas has a huge wingspan and the ability to create pressure off the edge.

Another defensive end who signed was Joshua Van Dunk (6-4", 265) from Lincoln College Prep in Missouri. Van Dunk was a four-year starter on both sides of the ball. In 2014 as senior, he was named Defensive Player of the Year in the conference, All-Conference for offense and defense and earned All-State honors on offensive line. Van Dunk was an impact defensive lineman but he may be an even better offensive guard. He was the the best blocker for a Lincoln College Prep team that ran for over 3,000 rushing yards. Lincoln Prep coach Henry Newell, those program has developed 15 players who ended up in the NFL, called Joshua, "the best offensive guard I have coached in 38 years." Van Dunk attracted a lot of interest from Missouri State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northwestern Missouri State, and Missouri before deciding on Navy

Garrett Wiedle (6-4", 250) is a defensive end Riverbend High School in Virginia who chose Navy over offers from Air Force and Delaware. Wiedle was recruited as a defensive end but did play right tackle last year on offense. Wiedle was a late bloomer who only played ten varsity games in his high school career. As a junior defensive end and tight end he suffered a ruptured tendon in his finger in the second game and was forced to miss the rest of the year. Garrett was switched to the offensive line as a senior. The Navy tradition of service runs deep in Wielde's family. His great-grandfather and grandfather attend the U.S. Naval Academy. His father was an officer in the Navy. His brother attends Virginia Tech but is going to the Naval Postgraduate School next summer.

Jackson Mitchell (6-5", 255) defensive end from David Lipscomb school was one of Navy's 13 commitments from the state of Tennessee. Mitchell played on both sides of the ball as a defensive end and tight end. During his senior season he tallied 47 tackles, eight for a loss, three sacks and forced two fumbles. Jackson recorded 43 tackles, 13 sacks, seven tackles for loss and was selected First team all-district as a junior. Mitchell runs well but he probably needs some time in coach Mike Brass's weight room. He has the frame to add weight. Mitchell received offers from Austin Peay, Cornell, Navy and Tennessee-Martin.

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