2014 DE Recruits Ready to Make an Immediate Impact
Defensive ends are always in high demand, as a team's ability to rush the passer is critical to its success.
The 2014 recruiting class has many solid defensive end prospects, but only a select few appear ready to make an immediate impact. It's not easy to come from high school directly into college to play in the trenches, but the players on this list have a chance.
A few may not be ready to play every down, but they can help on passing downs. Also, several defensive ends could be ready to assist with stopping the run.
Playing in the SEC is not for everybody, especially in the trenches. While Denzel Ware is not the strongest defensive end in the country, the 4-star prospect has the talent to immediately help Kentucky next season.
At 6'3" and 220 pounds, the Florida native can stand up or put his hand in the dirt to rush the passer. He possesses a quick first step to attack the pocket before using a burst to finish on the passer.
Ware could be ready to contribute to the Wildcats' defense in sub-packages in 2014.
At 6'4" and 230 pounds, Jesse Aniebonam is a 4-star defensive end who is committed to Maryland. He has solid strength, but Aniebonam has even better athleticism and quickness.
He can crash off the edges to bend around blockers when pressuring passers. Aniebonam also has great range, evidenced by his ability to chase down running backs in pursuit. The talented defender can play defensive end, but he would also make a good 3-4 outside linebacker.
Another reason Aniebonam is on this list is because head coach Randy Edsall is not afraid to play true freshmen at Maryland.
Kentavius Street is one of the strongest players in the 2014 class. He's physically ready to play college football now, as he has a chiseled frame that possesses excellent strength.
Street, who is nearly 6'3"and 265 pounds, is outstanding at the point of attack. He has no issues punching blockers at contact before dropping his weight to anchor on the edges. Street is an above-average pass-rusher, but his ability to stop the run is what will get him recognition in college.
The 4-star defender is expected to sign with North Carolina State, according to the experts at 247Sports.
Chad Thomas is a 4-star defensive end who could be the most talented player at his position for Miami as a true freshman. At 6'5" and 240 pounds, the South Florida native has an ideal frame for playing on the edges.
Thomas has terrific first-step quickness, which he uses to jump on top of rushers at the snap. His long arms allow him to stay clear of blockers during his rush, plus he possesses an outstanding burst to close on quarterbacks.
Finally, Thomas has above-average strength to combat running plays. It would be a surprise if he didn't receive significant playing time next season.
Armed with a ton of potential, Myles Garrett should make some noise right off the bat for Texas A&M. The 5-star defensive end is 6'4" and 240 pounds, plus he displays a tremendous amount of athleticism in the trenches.
Garrett, who is from Texas, comes off the ball hard every snap. He has good strength to fight blockers at the point of attack, plus his speed allows him to play with range in pursuit. Garrett's quickness and ability to close in on the ball in short areas also allow him to pressure passers down after down.
The Aggies' defense isn't exactly stout, so Garrett may have to play a big role in 2014.
Da'Shawn Hand may not become as dynamic of a pass-rusher as several other defensive ends on this list, but the 5-star prospect may become the most complete.
Hand, who will head to Alabama from his home in Virginia next season, is 6'4" and 254 pounds. He is an athletic defender who has fantastic strength and toughness. In fact, Hand could very well grow into a 5-technique defensive end in a few seasons.
His strength and power allow him to set the edge versus running plays, as he can disengage from blockers at an impressive rate for a high school player. Hand uses his hands well at this stage in his career, plus he has an adequate burst to finish on the ball.
Although 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter may not be ready to be a full-time starter as a true freshman, he'll certainly be primed to rush the quarterback on passing downs.
The Peach State pass-rusher is 6'5" and 232 pounds. He has great first-step quickness, plus he's one of the best athletes in the country, regardless of position. Carter has impressive range, as he can chase down running backs all over the box.
With his ability to terrorize the pocket with athleticism and speed, Carter should make an impact at wherever he lands next year.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Several defensive ends who appear ready to make an impact next season can be found on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!