Denzel Ware, 2014 defensive end recruit scouting report: versatile edge defender

Denzel Ware - Bud Elliott (SB Nation Recruiting)

Denzel Ware is one of the top potential pass rushing prospects in the 2014 recruiting class. Let's see why he is in such high demand.

Denzel Ware is going to be a hot commodity in the 2014 recruiting class.

Name: Denzel Ware

High school and hometown: Ware hails from Opp (Ala.) High School and was at Crestview High School in Florida from 2010-2012.

Position: Ware is considered a consensus four-star defensive end.

Height and weight: Ware is 6'2 and weighs 215 pounds.

Ratings by the four major services: 223rd-best recruit in the 2014 class by Rivals; 44th overall and is the fourth-best weakside defensive end for 247Sports. Ware is ranked as the third-best outside linebacker on Scout and is part of the ESPN Watchlist.

Offers: Ware currently holds offers from 10 schools, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Texas and USC. Ware originally committed to Florida State but decided to follow Stoops to Lexington. Ware verbally committed to Kentucky on Feb. 12, but verbal commitments are not binding, so expect his recruitment to pick up steam throughout the year.

Twitter account: @Juiceman_18

Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Denzel Ware stands only 6'2 and weighs just 215 pounds, which has many believing he will play linebacker in college. But having seen Ware in person, I can tell you that he is a long 6'2, and has the frame to add considerably weight. He will likely never be a 6'5, 270-pound strong-side defensive end, but he can certainly play at 6'2 and 250 pounds, rushing off the weak-side. Or, he could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Ware's film shows him lining up in a five-technique position at times, which is definitely not what he will play in college. Still, there are some things that can be gleamed from the tape. First, Ware is asked to engage the opposing offensive lineman quite often, which is refreshing compared to what many edge rushers do in high school. Ware shows active hands and good power for a player of his stature, but he needs to attack with his hands more consistently, as opposed to throwing a shoulder into the blocker. Second, Ware does a good job of keeping his head up, disengaging from the blocker and finding the runner. However, he makes too many arm tackles. That won't work in college, and he'll need to wrap up and bring his feet. Ware also does a good job of not overpursuing, though it is unlikely that the maker of his highlight film would show plays in which he lacks discipline.

Ware's greatest asset is his quickness at the snap. He shoots gaps inside and is also able to speed around tackles. When he uses his hands, they are pretty effective. And he makes a lot of hustle plays simply by remaining active and not quitting.

Ware is capable of being a multi-year starter for a major conference defense, but he could benefit from a freshman year dedicated to adding bulk.

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