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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Assessing the 2014 defensive linemen

By Brad Bournival

Who says you can have too many defensive linemen?

Certainly not Urban Meyer. After signing 11 in the last two recruiting classes, the Ohio State coach is at it again for the 2014 class.

He’s already offered 12 defensive ends and five defensive tackles. While Ohio State lost defensive end Lawrence Marshall three days after he committed, the list of juniors with offers is a who’s who among the 2014 class.

ESPN Watch List defensive ends Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), Garrett Dickerson (Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic), Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola), Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), Denzel Ware (Opp, Ala./Opp) and Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian) already have Ohio State offers.

Watch List defensive tackles Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith), Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna), Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) can lay the same claim.

Da'Shawn Hand
Watch List defensive end Da'Shawn Hand is among the most coveted prospects in the country.
The star of the defensive linemen is undoubtedly Hand, who recorded 110 tackles --- 40 for loss -- and added 16 sacks with three fumble recoveries as a junior. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Hand was one of only three juniors invited to The Opening last year and should be toward the head of the class when the first ESPN 150 is released.

After that, Shaw (157 tackles, 14 sacks), Thomas (89, 8) and Carter (124, 18) fall in line.

McDowell (70 tackles, 19 for loss, 15 sacks) and Brown (82 tackles, 12 for loss, four forced fumbles) are the biggest options after that.