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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Noles 2013 snapshot: Ira Denson

By Corey Dowlar

With national signing day now beyond us, NoleNation takes a closer look at the next crop of Seminoles.

Vitals: Offensive guard Ira Denson, 6-foot-4, 320 pounds

Committed: May 31, 2012

ESPN.com grade: 84, four-star prospect

ESPN.com rankings: No. 4 guard in the country, No. 55 prospect in Southeast region, No. 25 player in the Florida and 121st in the ESPN 150

Picked Florida State over: Florida, South Carolina, USF and Miami

Ira Denson
ESPN 150 guard Ira Denson likely won't be needed immediately, but he projects as a starter down the line.
State of the position: The Seminoles offensive line returns four of five players in 2013. The only player that won't return is tackle Menelik Watson who declared for the NFL draft as a junior. Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson, the starting guards, will be juniors in the fall. Behind them there isn't tremendous depth, but there is enough to get by. Guys such as Ruben Carter, Bobby Hart, Henry Orelus and Sterling Lovelady could all play inside. Offensive line will continue to be a major recruiting priority in 2014.

ESPN.com scouting report: Denson possesses the upper-body playing strength to dominate as a run-blocker once contact is made. He has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition, but he must manage his present weight before adding additional body mass. Playing out of both a two- and three-point stance we detect some lower body stiffness. However, this doesn't limit his ability to play on his feet in space. He demonstrates the balance to adjust his feet and handle quick change-of-direction movement. Has strong hands, which allows him to control and maneuver defenders on contact. He flashes the explosive surge needed to knock defenders off the ball, but there is the need to lower his pad level coming off the ball. He doesn't roll the hips but is able to sustain due to his base, balance and leg drive. ... Denson finishes with the nasty effort we look for when evaluating offensive linemen. His long arms and nimble feet should be assets in pass protection. ... He plays too tall at times and will need to improve his ability to slide to the deep set point. ... Denson does not appear to be an immediate starter at the BCS level of play and some time and a redshirt year may be necessary to polish his skills.

Expected impact: Offensive linemen don't typically play right off the bat. Denson probably needs a year to reshape his body, too, so the Seminoles might want to put a redshirt on him if they can. The question of depth and injuries along the offensive line will be the question. If Denson slims down upon arriving in Tallahassee, continues to work hard and shows consistency, perhaps Rick Trickett would rotate him in during mop-up duty to gain some experience.