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February 8, 2009

Position recruiting breakdown: Defense

MORE: Position recruiting breakdown: Offense | Top 25 recruiters | Top recruiters by conference

Rivals.com has broken down how the teams did overall on National Signing Day, and now here's a look at which teams fared best, position-by-position, on defense.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
1. LSU
Five-star defensive tackle Chris Davenport highlights this group, but Josh Downs and junior college transfer Akiem Hicks are also four-star prospects.
2. MISSOURI
The Tigers defensive tackle only features two players, but one of those two players is the nation's No. 1 tackle, five-star Sheldon Richardson. Richardson ranks as the No. 4 player in the nation.
3. FLORIDA
Five-star Gary Brown headlines this class, but four-star Edwin Herbert is also a solid prospect.
4. ALABAMA
The Crimson Tide signed three true tackles with two of them being ranked as four-star prospects. Quinton Dial and Darrington Sentimore could be special for 'Bama.
5. TEXAS TECH
The Red Raiders landed two four-star prospects on Signing Day including highly recruited junior college star Myles Wade. Wade is a four-star player that signed with Oregon out of high school.
DEFENSIVE END
1. SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks defensive end class is high in quantity, but also high in quality with four of the five ranked as four-star prospects. This includes prep school star Chaz Sutton.
2. USC
The Trojans' class only has three true end recruits, but Devon Kennard is a five-star stud. Rapidly rising Kevin Greene could be a steal, Jarvis Jones was a national recruit and if you included James Boyd from the athlete category this could be the best group in the nation.
3. TEXAS
The Horns signed four defensive ends, and one of the four is one of the nation's best. Local star Alex Okafor is a five-star player and ranks as one of the nation's top recruits. Tevin Mims also blew up as a senior and can be special, too.
4. USF
The Bulls landed one of the nation's best end classes based on star high school players and star junior college recruits. Ryne Giddins was one of the nation's most heavily recruited players on the high school ranks, and Jason Pierre-Paul was arguably the nation's best defensive recruit in the JUCO ranks.
5. WISCONSIN
The Badgers signed four defensive end recruits, including two four-star prospects. David Gilbert was a steal from the Sunshine State, and local star Shelby Harris has a big upside.
LINEBACKER
1. NOTRE DAME
Any class that features Rivals100 recruit Zeke Motta is going to be good. But when you add five-star stud Manti Te'o to the mix, it clearly becomes the nation's top group by a long distance.
2. ALABAMA
The Tide signed four talentend linebackers, including five-star recruit Nico Johnson. Tana Patrick should be a good one for the Crimson Tide, too.
3. OHIO STATE
The Bucks' three-man linebacker group features a five-star and two four-star players. Dorian Bell is one of the nation's best, but Storm Klein is a hard-nosed linebacker that will remind fans of previous great OSU linebackers.
4. TENNESSEE
The Vols landed five linebackers, and Jerod Askew and Greg King have a chance to be special at the position for Tennessee.
5. OKLAHOMA
Linebacker was the Sooners' No. 1 priority, and Oklahoma landed four high-quality players that will be expected to play soon. National top-50 recruit Ronnell Lewis has a chance to be a great one.
DEFENSIVE BACK
1. OKLAHOMA
Defensive backs have always flourished at Oklahoma and the Sooners have a strong collection heading their way, including top-50 national prospect Gabe Lynn at corner and Rivals100 safety Kevin Brent.
2. ARKANSAS
The Hawgs upgraded their speed in the defensive backfield with six true DB prospects. This group features Rudell Crim, the nation's top junior college defensive back and five-star cornerback Darius Winston from in state.
3. USC
The Trojans class would rate probably as the nation's best if you included Patrick Hall, who could be the next great safety for USC but could also star on offense. Regardless, T.J. McDonald is a five-star and Torin Harris and [d]Byron Moore[/db] are four-star recruits.
4. OHIO STATE
The Bucks' defensive back group includes five-star cornerback Corey Brown, but four-stars C.J. Barnett, Jamie Wood and Dominic Clarke should excel, too.
5. KANSAS
For the past few years Kansas has produced some of the best defensive backs in the Big 12 and now they're able to recruit on a national level at the position. Four-star Prinz Kande can be a good one. Four-star Bradley McDougald is also likely to get some major looks for KU on the offensive side of the ball and Darian Kelly was a major steal from inside the Sunflower State.



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