The defensive tackles among the Class of 2007 is a really solid position, led by standouts Marvin Austin, Torrey Davis, John Brown and D'Angelo McCray. Let's take a close look at Scout.com's five-star defensive tackles. There are sevin in all.
Washington D.C. (Ballou)
Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, USC
Austin can play over the center or the 3-technique. He plays low and uses his hands well. He consistently beats the double team to disrupt plays or make the play. Austin shows good quickness off the ball, moves well laterally, and has very good speed for a player of his size. He can rush the passer or play the run. Can you imagine what he will be like once he gets to a college campus and really hits the weights and learns to play with better technique?
Austin recorded over 80 tackles including 12 for loss, eight sacks, and five forced fumbles as a junior.
Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Clemson, USC
Davis is all speed and quickness. He plays a tad high but that will come with more experience. Davis just dominates what’s in front of him. He runs things down from the backside and doesn’t give up on plays. If Davis loses his feet he gets up and chases the play down. He’s got a great frame and long arms and should get in the 320 or so range in a few seasons. Davis is strong, uses his hands well and has terrific footwork.
Davis finished his junior season with 60 tackles and nine sacks.
Jacksonville (Fla.) Jackson
Committed to Florida
McCray brings quite a bit of versatility to the football field with the strength and size to play as as a rush defensive tackle but the athleticsm and speed off the edge to play as a strongside defensive end. The biggest way to pick between the two for McCray will be the defensive system in which he plays in college.
Defensively McCray finished 2005 with 75 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He also caught 24 balls for 370 yards and a touchdown from his tight end spot.
Alabama, FSU, Ole Miss, Florida, Pittsburgh, Miami, Nebraska
Brown reminds you of a Warren Sapp type defensive tackle. Brown isn’t the biggest D-tackle out there but he makes up for it with his dominating play. He is quick off the ball, plays low, uses leverage and can take on a double team and beat them. Brown is just a disruptive force and not too many offensive linemen can handle what he has at this level. He uses is hands pretty well and plays both the run and pass very well.
Alabama, Auburn, Miami
Murphy is an active defensive tackle and a beast on the inside. He has a great combination of size, speed and quickness for a 300+ pounder. Murphy is very good against the run and as a pass rusher. He is strong enough to take on the double team. Murphy is a penetrator and is hard to handle at this level because of his size, speed and strength. He's versatile enough to play over the center or the 3-technique and is one of the south's top defensive tackle prospects.
Murphy recorded 77 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and eight sacks during his junior season.
El Paso (Texas) Andress
Committed to Texas
Jones is big and very powerful and he can beat you with speed and quickness or sheer strength. He has a surprisingly quick first step and he can over power you, use his quickness to make a move or split the double team or just run right by you. When he is blocked he will hold his own and occupy and eat up space. Jones moves well both north-south and side to side. When he's freed up he will chase things down, whether it's rushing the passer or pursuing a play down the line of scrimmage. Overall, he appears dominant against the run and pass.
As a junior Jones had a total of 76 tackles, 50 solos and 26 assists. He also posted 10 tackles for loss, eight sacks and caused three fumbles.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Committed to UCLA
Price a force in the middle that could play over the center or the three technique. Price has a big lower body and plays the run exceptionally well. He plays low and holds his ground. Price can fight his way through double teams and shows good laterally quickness for a big man. At this stage he is more of a run stopper because he’s good at penetration and disrupting a play.
An all-City section pick, and the Defensive Player of the Year in the Coliseum League, Price had an outstanding junior year, recording 117 tackles, including 22 sacks.