Under Armour All-America Football Game 2013 Day 1 practice evaluation: defensive end

Bud Elliott (SB Nation)

The defensive end position is loaded at the Under Armour All-America Game.

As I wrote Sunday, defensive end is an excellent group at the Under Armour All-America Game this year. That is one of two spots on which I focused my attention Monday, and most of the recruits shined on day one.

  • Robert Nkemdiche: the nation's top prospect is an incredible physical specimen. He is so well put together and moves like a prospect much smaller.

    On one play, the opposing QB dropped a shotgun snap, and Nkemdiche had pushed his blocker so far in to the backfield that the QB didn't even have room to reach down for the football.

    Now, that is a bit of hyperbole, but not much.. at least from a physical standpoint. In addition to my duties as national recruiting director, I also cover the Florida State Seminoles for Tomahawk Nation. And in doing so, I've had the opportunity to interview three of the best college defensive ends in the country, all of whom will be playing in the NFL next season. While the trio is much more experienced and advanced than Nkemdiche, he is just as impressive physically as any of the three. Nkemdiche recently narrowed his list to Ole Miss and LSU.
  • Carl Lawson: when he wasn't struggling with migraines, Lawson was dominating opposing offensive linemen all day. Lawson isn't very tall, but he is explosive and powerful, and gets under opposing offensive tackles. He set the tone for the early drills as he pursued down the line, beat his blocker and crushed the running back. Auburn needs to do whatever it takes to keep Lawson, as he could immediately be a 300+ snap contributor for the Tigers as a true freshman.
  • Elijah Daniel: Daniel, a one-time Clemson commitment, really looks the part. Continuing the trend of powerful ends, Daniel checks in at a listed 6'3 and 249 pounds but appears to be bigger than that.
  • Demarcus Walker: power, power and more power. Walker, who is committed to Alabama but is visiting Florida, was far too strong for most of the blockers he faced on Day 1. Some think he can play outside linebacker at the next level. I think he'd be better with his hand in the dirt, perhaps as a five-shade.
  • Chris Jones: I've long thought that Mississippi State got a steal in Jones, and his appearance in person did nothing to change my mind. Jones stands out physically at 6'7 and 260 pounds, and honestly looks like he could add more good weight. Impressively, Jones is able to play low despite his great height, which is often something that takes time for young players to learn. He reminds me of former Miami Hurricane and Arizona Cardinal Calais Cambell, though he has much better size as a recruit than Campbell did. James Smith of the New Orleans Times Picayune told me today that Jones has reached out to LSU, and that would be a huge steal for the Tigers and a loss of equal size for the Bulldogs if it does happen.
  • Ebenezer Ogundeko: the New York end has great quickness off the edge, but has enough size at 6'3 and about 235 pounds to not be a liability against the run once he adds more weight. Ogundeko will announce Friday between the Clemson Tigers and the Syracuse Orange.
  • Tim Williams: When a prospect that plays on LSU's campus (literally, at the LSU magnet school) is supposedly an elite player, at a position of need for the Tigers, but doesn't hold an offer, something is up. And indeed that is the case with Williams. Williams is a good player, but his long-term potential, at least as a true defensive end, seems limited by his narrow frame. And he doesn't have the crazy quickness to compensate for his lack of size in order to justify the extremely high rating given to him by some recruiting websites.

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