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February 4, 2012

Position recruiting ranking: Defense

MORE: Position breakdown: Offense | NSD Central

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 and at the athlete position.

Defensive Position Recruiting Rankings
DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Mario Edwards
Eddie Goldman
Justin Shanks
Dalvon Stuckey
1. FLORIDA STATE

The Seminoles signed the nation's top two players at the position in five-star prospects Edwards and Goldman and rounded out the class with Army All-American Shanks and three-star in-state prospect Stuckey. This is one of the top hauls at any position in the country.
Paul Boyette Jr.
Malcom Brown
Brandon Moore
Alex Norman
2. TEXAS

Brown has incredible upside as the five-star Under Armour All-American is one of the quickest at his position in some time. Norman was also an Under Armour All-American while Moore is one of the first junior college prospects to sign with the Longhorns in some time so Texas is obviously excited about his upside.
Dakota Ball
Korren Kirven
Darren Lake
Alphonse Taylor
Dalvin Tomlinson
3. ALABAMA

The Crimson Tide landed its two top prospects at the position on signing day when four-star Kirven announced for Alabama and four-star Tomlinson chose the Tide over Georgia Tech. Ball, Lake and Taylor provide solid depth at the tackle spot.
Matthew Godin
Willie Henry
Ondre Pipkins
4. MICHIGAN

The Wolverines scored a huge get at the position with five-star Army All-American Pipkins, who has a chance to play very early. Three-star prospects Godin and Henry are solid as well.
Damien Jacobs
JaFar Mann
Dante Phillips
5. FLORIDA

Four-star Jacobs is the nation's No. 3 junior college defensive tackle while four-star Phillips is in the top 10 at his position in the high school ranks. Mann turned down offers from most of the SEC to sign with the Gators.
DEFENSIVE END
Jonathan Bullard
Bryan Cox Jr.
Dante Fowler Jr.
Alex McCalister
Quinteze Williams
1. FLORIDA

The Gators had an excellent defensive line haul all-around and ended up with two five-star ends in Bullard and Fowler Jr., a signing day flip from rival Florida State. Cox Jr. could be the real sleeper of the bunch though.

Se'Von Pittman
Noah Spence
Adolphus Washington
2. OHIO STATE

Like the Gators, the Buckeyes also managed to grab two five-star defensive ends in Washington and Spence. Four-star Pittman is no consolation prize, though, as he is a Rivals100 prospect himself.
Arik Armstead
Alex Balducci
DeForest Buckner
Cody Carriger
3. OREGON

Armstead and Balducci are Army All-Americans and while many think the former could be an All-American offensive tackle he will get his shot on defense at Oregon. Four-star Buckner was a nice pickup from the state of Hawaii.
Luke Kaumatule
Nathanael Lohn
Aziz Shittu
4. STANFORD

The Cardinal received huge news on signing day when five-star Shittu announced for Stanford. Like Shittu, Kaumatule is also an Army All-American and Lohn is a power lifter from the Midwest.
Josh Dawson
James Deloach
Leonard Floyd
Jordan Jenkins
5. GEORGIA

The Bulldogs only finished a single point behind Stanford in the position rankings with Rivals100 member Jenkins being the crown jewel of the list. Dawson and Floyd are both four-star prospects as well.
LINEBACKER
Ryan Anderson
Denzel Devall
Tyler Hayes
Dillon Lee
Reggie Ragland
1. ALABAMA

Every single one of the five Crimson Tide signees at the position is a four-star prospect and three of them are ranked among the nation's top five inside linebackers. Ragland is the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country while Lee is No. 4 and Devall No. 5. Anderson was one of the biggest risers in the final rankings.
Timothy Cole
Torshiro Davis
Alex De La Torre
Peter Jinkens
Dalton Santos
2. TEXAS

The Longhorns picked up two big pledges in the last week when Under Armour All-American Santos switched from Tennessee and Army All-American Davis from LSU. Cole was also an Army All-American while Jinkens played in the Under Armour game.
Kwon Alexander
Ronnie Feist
Trey Granier
Deion Jones
Lorenzo Phillips
3. LSU

Alexander helped lessen the sting of losing Davis to Texas when he committed on signing day. Feist was an Under Armour All-American while four-star Phillips was a one-time Florida commit.

Deon Clarke
Trey Edmunds
Ken Ekanem
Dahman McKinnon
4. (Tie) VIRGINIA TECH

Three of the Hokies' four signees in Clarke, Edmunds and Ekanem are Rivals250 prospects. Ekanem cemented a top five ranking for the class when he committed on signing day.
Joe Bolden
Royce Jenkins-Stone
Kaleb Ringer
James Ross
4. (Tie) MICHIGAN

Bolden was one of the most impressive performers at any position during the Under Armour All-American game. Jenkins-Stone and Ross were both Army All-Americans as well.
DEFENSIVE BACK
Deon Bush
Antonio Crawford
Vernon Davis
Nate Dortch
Ladarius Gunter
Larry Hope
Tracy Howard
Rayshawn Jenkins
1. MIAMI

The Hurricanes' class is more about quantity overall but five-star Tracy Howard was a huge grab on signing day when he spurned Florida and Florida State for the local program. Miami also managed to keep hometown four-star prospect Bush from getting away.



Deion Belue
Landon Collins
Travell Dixon
Geno Smith
2. ALABAMA

It seemed an impossible task to pull five-star safety Collins out of the state of Louisiana but the Crimson Tide was able to do it. Dixon is the No. 3 overall junior college prospect in the country while Smith was an Army All-American.
Brandon Beaver
Shaq Thompson
Cleveland Wallace
Darien Washington
3. WASHINGTON

The Huskies got a huge surprise the week of signing day when five-star Thompson, the No. 1 safety in the country, switched to Washington. Four-star cornerback Beaver, a signing day pledge, joined Thompson as an Army All-American.
Willie Bailey
Rhaheim Ledbetter
Marcus Maye
Brian Poole
4. FLORIDA

The Gators may have lost Howard to Miami but Florida's defensive back haul is still impressive. Rivals100 cornerback Poole turned down late overtures from Notre Dame while Rivals100 safety Maye stayed true as a longtime commit.

De'Van Bogard
Najee Murray
Tyvis Powell
Armani Reeves
5. OHIO STATE

Four-star safeties Bogard and Murray were longtime Buckeye commits while Rivals250 cornerback Reeves committed just days before signing day. Three-star cornerback Powell stayed home to play for Ohio State.
ATHLETE
Adrian Colbert
Daje Johnson
Jalen Overstreet
Kendall Sanders
Orlando Thomas
1. TEXAS

Rivals100 prospect Sanders was named by Rivals.com was the West MVP at the Army Bowl after picking off two passes from his corner spot. Four-star Johnson switched from TCU the weekend prior to signing day while four-star Thomas could star at receiver or corner.
Cyrus Jones
Eddie Williams
2. ALABAMA

Though the Crimson Tide only signed two prospects classified as athletes, they were two very big ones. Five-star Williams was one of the top players in Florida while Rivals100 prospect Jones was the No. 3 player in Maryland.
Sheldon Dawson
Josh Harvey-Clemons
3. GEORGIA

Like Alabama, the Bulldogs only signed two prospects listed at athlete. Five-star Harvey-Clemons played out the drama until after signing day but eventually faxed his letter-of-intent on Thursday morning while three-star Dawson could be the big sleeper of the class.
Devin Fuller
Kenny Orjioke
Paul Perkins
4. UCLA

The Bruins pulled off one of the bigger surprises of the recruiting cycle when Rivals100 prospect Fuller from New Jersey chose UCLA over Rutgers, Arizona and Nebraska. Orjioke and Perkins could make an impact as well.
Beniquez Brown
Deonte Evans
Brandon Holloway
Adarrius Perkins
Will Redmond
5. (Tie)MISSISSIPPI STATE

The Bulldogs loaded up on versatile players in this class. The best is Redmond, a four-star prospect and the No. 8 overall player from the state of Tennessee while Brown is a top 20 prospect out of Alabama.

Marcus Allen
Dennis Andrews
Travin Henry
Micheal Summers
Justin Thomas
5. (Tie)GEORGIA TECH

The Yellow Jackets pulled a big steal when Rivals250 prospect switched from his longtime pledge to Alabama when told he would have a shot to play quarterback for Georgia Tech. They also went into Florida for a very good player in Allen.

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