For a defensive lineman, The Opening is a great place to refine skills and go one-on-one with some of the best offensive line recruits in the nation.
Recruits like 5-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown and 4-star weak-side defensive end Chad Thomas stood out this year, and now StudentSports.com is giving us an early look at the 2015 defensive linemen who could have a chance to shine next year.
StudentSports.com has been releasing watch lists for each position that will be at The Opening 2014, and we here at the Signed, Sealed, Delivered blog have been following along, highlighting the best of the best.
The latest watch list to be released was defensive linemen.
Here's a breakdown of the best three players on said list.
Jashon Cornell, 5-star OLB/DE, Cretin-Derham Hall High School (Minn.)
Cornell is the No. 1-ranked outside linebacker according to the 247Sports composite, but he can also play defensive end. At 6'4'', 245 pounds, he would be a great defensive end in a 4-3, but if he ends up in 3-4 scheme he would fit as an outside linebacker.
Either way, Cornell has great ability. He has a quick first step and is fast off the edge. He has great length, is good in open space and especially good in pursuit. Cornell uses his hands well and will be an above-average pass-rusher.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Cornell said USC, Michigan and Ohio State are all standing out for him, as well as "most of the Big Ten." He's also planning on taking visits to Iowa, Florida, Florida State, USF and Ohio State (Friday Night Lights camp).
Cornell is the No. 1 recruit in the ESPN Jr 300.
Mekhi Brown, 5-star SDE, Carver High School (Ga.) *Committed to Alabama
At 6'6'', 230 pounds, Brown has exceptional length and good size. He's strong enough to play defensive end in the 3-4 for 'Bama, but he may need to bulk up a bit. That said, he uses his hands well and plays with good leverage and explosion.
Brown is quick off the edge, isn't afraid to take on blocks and is a strong tackler. He could also play outside linebacker if Alabama chooses to rep him at the position, but he'll fit best at defensive end once he puts on some more mass.
Jacob Daniel, 5-star DT, Clovis North High School (Calif.)
Daniel is a big defensive tackle recruit at 6'4'', 298 pounds. He has the size to play nose tackle in the 3-4, or be a stellar 1-technique or 3-technique in the 4-3. He's the No. 6 defensive tackle per the 247Sports Composite.
He's strong, extremely explosive out of his stance and plays with good pad level and leverage. Daniel will push back the line of scrimmage and demand double teams, but he's also quick enough to get off blocks, come down the line and make plays in pursuit.
California, Oklahoma, Stanford and Washington are on top of his 247Sports interest list.
Note: All scouting and analysis done by writer, via tape study of film provided on each recruit's respective 247Sports profile page. Star rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite.
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