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November 24, 2010

Category rankings: Defensive tackles


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and ranked them. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell breaks down the defensive tackles.

DT RANKINGS: Best athlete | Best pass rusher | Best run-stuffer | Quickest | Strongest

5. Desmond Jackson, Houston (Texas) Westfield
Jackson Highlights
Considering: Committed to Texas
Particulars: 6-1/278
Buzz: Jackson shows his athleticism when he splits double teams and changes direction so easily in pursuit of the ball.

4. Quincy Russell, San Antonio (Texas) Sam Houston
Russell Highlights
Committed to: Texas
Particulars: 6-3/289
Buzz: Russell is also a standout on the AAU basketball circuit.

3. Timmy Jernigan, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Jernigan Highlights
Considering: Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan lead the way.
Particulars: 6-2/275
Buzz: Jernigan's athleticism is elite and allows him to make plays all over the field and also led to a stint at running back as a senior.

2. Michael Bennett, Centerville, Ohio
Bennett Highlights
Committed to: Ohio State
Particulars: 6-3/275
Buzz: Bennett's agility and nimble feet in traffic make him a special athlete.

1. Jordan Phillips, Towanda (Kan.) Circle
Phillips Highlights
Committed to: Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-6/290
Buzz: Phillips is an all-state basketball player who averages a double-double.

BEST PASS RUSHER
5. Jordan Wade, Round Rock (Texas) Stony Point
Wade Highlights
Committed to: Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-4/293
Buzz: Wade is a tall tackle who gets a good push up the middle and disrupts passing lanes with his length.

4. Marquis Anderson, Cibolo (Texas) Steele
Anderson Highlights
Committed to: Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-3/280
Buzz: Anderson is an interior pass-rushing threat because he is quick and uses his hands so well.

3. Timmy Jernigan, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Jernigan Highlights
Considering: Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan lead the way.
Particulars: 6-2/275
Buzz: His 32 sacks combined between his junior and senior seasons speak to his ability.

2. Derrick Mitchell, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
Mitchell Highlights
Committed to: FSU
Particulars: 6-5/285
Buzz: Mitchell has emerged as one of the best pass-rushers from his position in the country.

1. Anthony Johnson, New Orleans (La.) O. Perry Walker
Johnson Highlights
Committed to: LSU
Particulars: 6-4/298
Buzz: The best of the defensive tackle pass rushers because of his speed off the ball and pursuit skills.

BEST RUN-STUFFER
5. Michael Bennett, Centerville, Ohio
Bennett Highlights
Committed to: Ohio State
Particulars: 6-3/275
Buzz: Despite less than stellar size, Bennett plugs the middle and reads and reacts well in run situations.

4. Anthony Johnson, New Orleans (La.) O. Perry Walker
Johnson Highlights
Committed to: LSU
Particulars: 6-4/298
Buzz: His quickness off the ball allows him to make plays in the backfield and blow up running plays with ease.

3. Timmy Jernigan, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Jernigan Highlights
Considering: Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan lead the way.
Particulars: 6-2/275
Buzz: Jernigan's speed allows him to split double teams as well as run plays down the line.

2. Gabe Wright, Columbus (Ga.) Carver
Wright Highlights
Considering: Auburn leads many others.
Particulars: 6-3/273
Buzz: Wright is wide and very strong and his ability to stay strong at the point of attack disrupts the run.

1. Viliami Moala, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Moala Highlights
Considering:USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and others.
Particulars: 6-2/326
Buzz: A load to move, Moala could play on the nose or in a 4-3 and require double-teams at all times.

QUICKEST
5. Desmond Jackson, Houston (Texas) Westfield
Jackson Highlights
Committed to: Texas
Particulars: 6-1/278
Buzz: Jackson's quickness off the snap more than makes up for his lack of size and is what makes him a Rivals100 defensive tackle.

4. Jordan Phillips, Towanda (Kan.) Circle
Phillips Highlights
Committed to: Oklahoma
Particulars: 6-6/290
Buzz: His athletic ability and quickness from basketball allows him to get off the snap well and run things down.

3. Timmy Jernigan, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Jernigan Highlights
Considering: Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan lead the way.
Particulars: 6-2/275
Buzz: Very athletic and pursues the quarterback and running back as well as most in the country.

2. Michael Bennett, Centerville, Ohio
Bennett Highlights
Committed to: Ohio State
Particulars: 6-3/275
Buzz: Quick off the snap and has the speed to run things down to the outside as well as downfield.

1. Anthony Johnson, New Orleans (La.) O. Perry Walker
Johnson Highlights
Committed to: LSU
Particulars: 6-4/298
Buzz: Amazingly nimble and fast for a player a biscuit shy of 300 pounds.

STRONGEST
5. Timmy Jernigan, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Jernigan Highlights
Considering: Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan lead the way.
Particulars: 6-2/275
Buzz: Despite his lack of great size at defensive tackle, he is sneaky strong and takes on blockers and double teams very well.

4. Gabe Wright, Columbus (Ga.) Carver
Wright Highlights
Considering: Auburn leads many others.
Particulars: 6-3/273
Buzz: Wright is a load in the middle, can take on multiple blockers and benches over 400 pounds.

3. Danny Shelton, Auburn, Wash.
Shelton Highlights
Considering: USC, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Cal and others.
Particulars: 6-3/300
Buzz: The massive tackle has impressive upper body strength that allows him to shrug off defenders.

2. Mickey Johnson, Covington (La.) St. Paul's
Johnson Highlights
Considering: Nebraska, UCLA, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama and others.
Particulars: 6-1/310
Buzz: As far as power numbers, it's hard to find anyone who measures up to Johnson's 450-pound bench and nearly 700-pound squat.

1. Viliami Moala, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Moala Highlights
Considering: USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and others.
Particulars: 6-2/326
Buzz: Moala is football strong, he is simply a mountain of a man who is hard to move.



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