Yesterday I highlighted the three four-star wide receivers committed to the Huskies in the Class of 2013. Well, there is one more position group that boasts a trio of unanimous four-star talents: the defensive line.
The highest-profile individual of the three is 6’1″ 282 pound defensive tackle Elijah Qualls of Petaluma, California. Also a running back in high school, Qualls boasts impressive athleticism for a guy of his size. All three scouting services list him as a top-20 recruit at his position, and ESPN has him as the 2nd best DT on the West Coast behind five-star Washington target Eddie Vanderdoes. Out West, where elite linemen are much rarer than in the South, Qualls will be a huge asset if he does indeed sign with the Huskies. His verbal is considered soft, with just about every Pac-12 program in pursuit, but I do not seeing him flipping to another program at the last moment.
Strongside defensive end Joe Mathis of Upland, California is arguably just as impressive, and his 6’4″ 255 pound frame totally reasonable for a d-end in the NFL. For a senior in high school, it’s extraordinary. Even more frightening? The 4.69 fourty-yard dash, 415 bench-press, and 605 pound squat listed by Rivals. I’m sure Tosh Lupoi is incredibly excited to have a player with those sorts of physical tools, and though he is still hearing from plenty of other programs, I expect Mathis to sign without any problems.
The third four-star? In my opinion, the most intriguing. While Qualls and Mathis are both pretty much physically college-ready (I’m sure they’ll put on my weight, but there are plenty of smaller players on Pac-12 defensive lines), Lancaster, Texas defensive end Daeshon Hall is still growing into his lanky 6’6″ frame. So much so that even his weight is tough to pin down. Scout has him listed at 220, while Rivals indicated that he comes in at a more prototypical 240. Whether he has actually put on 20 pounds, I don’t know, but the point is that he is still filling in his frame, and he has plenty more muscle to add. Already an explosive edge-rusher, a year or two of college strength and conditioning and player development and I think Hall has a good chance of becoming the kind of 6’6″ 255 pound sack-specialist that NFL GMs draft by the handful.
Earlier in the year, only one or two of the recruiting services had him as a four-star guy. Now, it’s all three, and I believe that he still may not be getting enough credit for his vast potential. The only problem? After already committing to Texas before he switched his verbal to Washington, Hall is reportedly very soft on his commitment, and it’s very possible he ends up staying in his home-state at either TCU, Baylor, or Texas A&M. He’s still committed, so I believe the Huskies have an edge and should probably be favored to sign him, but do not be at all suprised if he jumps ship before, or on, National Signing Day.
While those three are the jewels of the d-line class, there are three other defensive linemen committed from the Class of ’13. Marcus Farria, a 6’4″ 240 pound defensive end from Peoria, Arizona has great potential but is considered a little raw. Rivals is highest on him, and has him as a four-star recruit, but both Scout and ESPN have stuck with three.
The final two commits are local products. Andrew Basham of Lynnwood is a three-star defensive tackle with terrific size at 6’4″ and 304 pounds, while Jaimie Bryant of Tumwater is only considered a two-star defensive tackle (except for three stars from Rivals) and will need to add some weight to his 6’5″ 260 pound body.
Overall, the class is stunning. One of the best 2013 defensive line groups in the conference. If Eddie Vanderdoes does come to UW, which is unlikely but possible, it would be one of the best in the nation. As always, it’s likely at least a few of these guys don’t end up meeting expectations, but if the Huskies have a dominant defensive line by 2014 or 2015, don’t be surprised if it features two or three guys from this article.