Scout's National Rankings are due to be updated next week for the Class of 2012 and without a doubt the deepest position is offensive line, but ironically the next deepest could be defensive end making for some epic battles on the gridiron the next 5 years.
Scout has five regions (the map), and a defensive end occupies one of the Top 2 spots in three of the five regions. Those players are Noah Spence (6'4/240) of Harrisburg, Pa. (East), Mario Edwards (6'4/240) of Denton, Texas (Midland), and Adolphus Washington (6'6/255) of Cincinnati, Ohio (Midwest).
Of those three players, I like Spence as the top player at the defensive end spot. Each of the three has elite athleticism, but what separates Spence is the nuances of the position. He reads the play and shows tremendous instincts. He's explosive off the line of scrimmage but maintains discipline in his assignments. He can make a read on an option, execute his assignment, then still have the athleticism to track down a play that has gone away from him.
He's got very good upper body strength, capable of grabbing the shoulder pads of a lineman and tossing him out of the way like a blocking dummy. If there's one thing he'll need to work on it will be his strength at the point of attack. He uses his hands well, but can sometimes give ground when a play is run right at him.
With 10 months until Signing Day, the Scout Rankings will be fluid throughout the Spring, Summer, and senior years of the Class of 2012, but Spence has a very good chance of debuting as Scout's No. 1 defensive end next week.
Here is a look at him in action in two games from his junior season.
#9 DE Noah Spence, 2010 vs Harrisburg and Cocalico