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Dante Sawyer recruit scouting report: Versatile defensive end

Sawyer is one of the top defenders in the Southeast.


Dante Sawyer is one of the best edge defenders in the country. At 6'3 and 240 pounds, he is capable of playing defensive end in a 4-3 defense or outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Sawyer stars for Suwanee (GA) North Gwinnett High School. He is a consensus four-star recruit and is rated by most as one of the 10 best defensive ends nationally.

Sawyer holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, USC, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Tennessee, Arizona, Arkansas and others, with the Tide and the Bulldogs leading the way as of early May.

Film of Sawyer can be found here, and is unfortunately not embeddable.

Sawyer has good, but not great quickness off the snap. What he does do very well, however, is convert speed to power by staying low and getting the most out of his power body. He has some pass-rushing moves, though they'll need some refinement at the next level. Importantly, he seems to have a plan. He sets up his man and works one move off another, understanding positioning and spacing.

His football smarts are also evident against the run. Sawyer shows good functional strength and is willing to fight opposing blockers. He plays low and with good balance, maintaining a good football position from which to make tackles. Sawyer really seems to have a good idea of how to play football; he is not the typical high school speed rusher who runs around at full speed without a plan.

Because of his fundamentals and understanding of the game, Sawyer could play early at a BCS school if the depth chart is right. He could eventually play at 255-260 pounds, and should be plenty productive.

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