CeCe Jefferson is one of the most highly heralded and sought-after recruits in the nation, and is one of a number of talented defensive lineman from the state of Florida in the class of 2015.
Jefferson attends Glen Saint Mary (Fla.) Baker County Senior High School, and is one of 38 blue-chip prospects in the Sunshine State. He is listed at 6'2 and 250 pounds, and is projected to play defensive end at the next level.
Jefferson is considered a five-star by Rivals, Scout and 247sports, as ESPN is the only one of the four major recruiting services to hold out from the highest rating, awarding him four stars. Not surprisingly, the defensive end is also considered a composite five-star. All four services consider him one of the top five players in the nation at his position, and the composite rates him as the number one strong-side defensive end in the country (and the third-best player in the state of Florida). Jefferson is also the composite seventh-best player in the nation.
Jefferson claims offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, USC, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State, among others. He can be followed on Twitter @cecejeferson7.
Why is Jefferson in such demand?
Explosion. It can be seen here on his highlight tape.
There are very few prospects who have Jefferson's blend of size and explosion. It is rare to have that level of quick-twitch in an athlete with Jefferson's frame. Jefferson's burst off the line is elite, and he can easily speed around tackles. But he is also very strong for his size, and understands how to play low with bend and leverage.
This combination of explosiveness and power is far too much for most high school blockers to handle. It will serve him well at the next level.
Jefferson shows good flexibility and can bend the edge in pass rush, and can change direction as well in run pursuit. He can quickly close ground on ball carriers, and is an aggressive striker.
He is also good at recognizing and diagnosing plays.
Jefferson may have the potential to be a hybrid end and stand-up linebacker (in a 3-4 alignment), but it will depend on how much weight he puts on in college. I do think Jefferson has the ability to add considerable weight in the lower half, and may eventually be able to play at 275 or so, but he is not the longest player. I think Jefferson can be an instant-impact defender and a multi-year starter at the BCS level.