In the last few weeks we’ve seen two of the top three defensive tackle prospects in the country come off the board with Alabama securing a pledge from the No. 1 player at the position per the 247Sports Composite in Damon Payne and Miami keeping home the recruit at No. 3 in Leonard Taylor.
The nation’s No. 7 defensive tackle Payton Page also recently announced for Clemson.
With that, seven of the country’s top-rated defensive tackles have planted a flag with No. 5 Mike Hall choosing Ohio State back in February, No. 6 Lee Hunter giving Auburn an early pledge, No. 8 defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio committing to Notre Dame Notre Dame and No. 9 Elliot Donald, Aaron Donald’s nephew, staying local like his uncle to play for Pittsburgh.
With just a few blue-chip battles remaining at the position, 247Sports looks at what’s on the board.
Maason Smith, Houma (La.) Terrebonne
The No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 19 prospect overall recently trimmed his massive list of offers to LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Miami, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and Florida. The Tigers and Bulldogs appear to have the edge for the five-star prospect with Miami as a potential dark horse if there even is one. Smith is hopeful to take more visits before deciding.
Tywone Malone, Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic
The No. 4 defensive tackle and No. 53 prospect in the 247Sports Composite dropped a Top14 in May, but the schools that seem to continue to have the most buzz are Ohio State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Malone plans to play baseball in college as well, one of the more unique defensive line prospects in quite some time, and also has interest in the likes of Florida, Florida State and USC.
Tyleik Williams, Manassas (Va.) Stonewall
The country’s No. 10 defensive tackle and No. 159 prospect overall is trending towards Virginia Tech on the 247Sports Crystal Ball. He dropped a top six in June that included Alabama, North Carolina, LSU, South Carolina and the Hokies. A decision could come this month.
George Rooks, Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter’s Prep
Word is it’s Michigan and Penn State battling at the top of the list for the nation’s No. 14 defensive tackle and No. 196 prospect overall. Syracuse is another in the mix for Rooks who’s father starred for the Orange back in his day earning conference Player of the Year honors.
Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Gaffney (SC) High
In July, the nation’s No. 17 defensive tackle said he was focusing on Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia Tech. Back in May, the Vols looked really good in this recruitment. Georgia is in a good spot. With all that being written, South Carolina will always be in the mix and have a great track record of keeping coveted in-state targets home. Those are the front-runners.