JUCO defensive end Devonte Lambert wants to play in the SEC, or at least that's what his top four would suggest.
Radi Nabulsi of ESPN.com is reporting that Lambert has narrowed his interest list down to four: Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia.
All four are interesting options, but according to Nabulsi's report, one program in particular presents a unique opportunity for the defensive end, Georgia:
“Georgia wants me to be a standup, like Jarvis Jones,” Lambert said. “They want me on the line, but he told me I will be playing where Jarvis Jones was playing and he was a standup end. So I don’t know if I will have my hand in the dirt or be standing up.”
Georgia plays a 3-4 defense, but with the standup defensive end it could technically be considered a 4-3 "under."
What this means is that the defense basically slides over to account for the "strong side" of the formation. The strong-side linebacker will move down outside of the tight end and basically play as a strong-side defensive end. The normal strong-side defensive end would then play the 5-technique outside of the tackle, and the nose tackle will play the strong-side A-gap.
The defensive end on the weak side will then slide over to a 3-technique between the guard and tackle,a and the weak-side linebacker will come down to the line where the defensive end was with primary pass-rush responsibilities (Jarvis Jones).
Finally, one of the safeties will come down to linebacker depth and therein lies the basic premise of the 4-3 under. At the high school level it's often called the 5-2 or "Eagle" front, and it's great for accounting for the extra blocker on the strong-side—the tight end.
trojanfootballanalysis.com has a good graphic of the 4-3 under, so here's a visual of the formation:
Lambert would be able to fit in well in Georgia's scheme, and considering that he's from Waynesboro, Ga. and goes to Georgia Military College, the Bulldogs have to feel good about their pitch.
Lambert is the best JUCO player from the state of Georgia and he's the No. 1 JUCO strong-side defensive end in the 2014 class, both according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's 6'3'', 275 pounds and he looks like he can be a stud at the D-I level.
He's big and naturally strong and he possesses a tremendous bull rush off the edge. That said, Lambert has a great deal of quickness to his game as well as a good dose of athleticism and aggressiveness. He'll be able rush the passer at a high level, but he can also rip inside, shoot the B-gap, come down the line and make a play in weakside pursuit.
Lambert could play the "Jarvis Jones position" and thrive, so keep an eye on Georgia in this recruiting race.
That said, he had good things to say about all four schools on his interest list and he hears from multiple coaches every day, per Nabulsi:
“I talk to coach [Todd] Grantham pretty much every day,” Lambert said. “He messages me on Twitter. I also hear from Florida almost every day -- coach [Brad] Lawing. Also coach [Steve] Stripling from Tennessee.”
Florida is poised for a dominant defensive year in the SEC and Butch Jones is doing great things with Tennessee on the recruiting trail. Speaking of the recruiting trail, Mississippi State has been using some unique strategies as of late, so all four schools in the running have something to feel good about.
Either way Lambert could end up being a huge JUCO addition for one of these four SEC programs that seem to have the edge for his commitment.
Note: All scouting and analysis of Lambert done via tape study of film provided on his 247Sports profile page.
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