Ohio State outlook: Top 5 DEs in 2014 

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
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As the 2014 recruiting class comes more and more into focus following yet another strong national signing day for Urban Meyer, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the defensive end. Though it’s a position of strength for Ohio State, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer wins championships with solid defensive lines that go two and sometimes three deep.

Here are the top five defensive ends of 2014 not committed somewhere else and with an offer from Ohio State. All five are ESPN Watch List selections.

1. Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge)

Offers: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington, Virginia Tech,

Outlook: He might have left Ohio State out of his top five, but just barely. The good news is he hasn’t picked a school yet. The other good news is Meyer doesn’t give up without a fight. It might be a big battle to get the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Hand to commit -- and a long shot -- but it’s still a shot.

Lorenzo Carter
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comESPN Watch List DE Lorenzo Carter has been vocal in his interest in Ohio State.

2. Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest

Outlook: Track season is making it tough for Carter to take visits, but he has big-time interest in the Buckeyes. Expect a visit accompanied by family members in the near future. The 6-5, 225-pound Carter is very much on Ohio State’s radar as are the Buckeyes with him.

3. Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell)

Offers: Arkansas, Baylor, BYU, Clemson, Colorado, Houston, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia

Outlook: Thomas doesn’t have a favorite, but he said schools such as Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas and UCLA are some of the higher-profile programs that could potentially be on his list. His process is wide open, but the 6-3, 265-pound Thomas is looking for the right fit.

4. Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola)

Offers: Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Syracuse, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin

Outlook: He enjoyed Michigan State quite a bit on his visit and the proximity isn’t bad either. Ditto for Michigan. It might be tough to pull him away from Notre Dame as well, as his family loves the Fighting Irish. He’s big on winning and tradition and the Buckeyes certainly have both. The 6-5, 260-pound McDowell projects as a defensive tackle, but can easily move to end.

5. Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose)

Offers: Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech

Outlook: He’s SEC born and bred, so it’ll be tough to nab him away from his favorite Georgia. Street also has Florida State near the top of his list as well. Expect the Buckeyes to lose out on the 6-2, 265-pound Street.

No. 7 OLB Jerome Baker Flips To Ohio St.
Jerome Baker, the No. 70 overall player in the ESPN 300, changed his commitment Tuesday from Florida to Ohio State. National recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton explains what prompted the move.
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