Christian Wilkins is one of the best defensive tackles in the Class of 2015.
Wilkins, out of Suffield (Conn.) Academy, stands 6'4 and weighs in at 290 pounds, and he runs a reported 4.8-second 40-yard dash. As of June, the 247sports composite lists him as the 59th-best player in America, the 10th-best defensive tackle and the No. 1 player from the state of Connecticut.
Wilkins has received interest from a number of top programs around the country. He holds scholarship offers from Clemson, Florida State, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford and Florida, among others.
Let's get this out of the way: The competition against which Wilkins plays looks awful. There's a strong chance that the vast majority of players against which he dominates would not start on varsity teams in better parts of the country. His school won eight of nine games by between four and seven touchdowns.
With that said, let's take a look at why Wilkins is one of the best players in the country.
First, Wilkins has close to college-ready size at 6'4, 290. There is value in a prospect being close to his final size, because it offers certainty to the school with which he signs.
Wilkins shows a good motor and closes strong on the ball carrier. He is actually pretty good in space, but I do wonder how many of these space plays he will be able to make at the next level against BCS competition.
Wilkins has several clips in which he comes off the ball low and knocks his blocker back. But I would like to see him dominate this level of competition a bit more, and the way to do that is via better use of his hands. Wilkins ultimately must learn to be better when surrounded by blockers and traffic. That will come with coaching at the college level.
I am intrigued by Wilkins' ability to play five technique in college. He has good length, and if he can better control blockers with his hands, he might be a really good one. If not, I think he can slide down to the inside and be a good defensive tackle.
It is hard to say if Wilkins will be an instant impact player at the college level because of the major step up in competition he will encounter. But he does seem to have a good feel for the game and makes a lot of heads-up plays. Wilkins is certainly one of the better defensive linemen in the country.
Fans can follow Wilkins on Twitter @cwilkins42.
Note: Recruits commit and decommit throughout the process. No effort is made to note commitments or decommitments in these scouting reports. All we note is claimed offers at the time of evaluation.