6’7” – 312 lbs.
Appeared in four games as a freshman, then coaches voted him a first-team all-SEC choice the following year, putting up a line of 69-10-8.5. Went 55-5.5-1.5 as a junior, and was at 45-3.0-0.5 going into the bowl season this year. Plays three-technique on the team’s four-man lines, and kicks out to the five-technique position in odd fronts. Will also play the nose tackle position on some three-man lines, usually on obvious passing downs. Very tall and well-built for a pro defensive lineman, especially compared to under tackles. Defensive scheme calls for him to read and react as a two-gap run stuffer, and does a pretty good job there; more of a reliable option than a truly disruptive force, though. Able to get low and compete in the leverage battle despite his height, and uses his length effectively by getting extension with his arms to keep blockers out of his pads. Has the lower-body strength to anchor at the line, even when scraping horizontally to flow toward stretches and tosses. Reads keys well and is rarely fooled on plays; good patience. Has heavy hands to shed blockers at the appropriate time, with a wide tackling radius. Not the fastest player but demonstrates a strong motor in pursuit, and stamina is impressive as well, as reflected in his high snap counts. Outcomes in the passing game are more mixed. Has just two sacks over the past two seasons combined, and doesn’t demonstrate the quick reaction times and explosiveness out of his stance which are characteristic of top rushers. However, is more difficult to deal with than his statistics in recent years would indicate. His strong, active hands allow him to shed blockers and create pressure on the quarterback; does a good job of setting opponents up and using rush moves, especially the swim, to get past them. Appears to have good balance, especially considering how tall he is; can bend around the edge a little bit. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes, and generally gives good effort through the snap to get pressure. Needs to develop more counters; will get stuck on blocks when his initial move doesn’t work, and doesn’t show the same tenacity he does at the beginning of the snap. Surprisingly more of a finesse rusher than bull-rusher. Looks like a high-floor prospect who comes with three years of starting experience for college football’s premier program. Has the size, length, power, and football intelligence to work his way into a two-gap front’s line rotation early on, but may never be a high-end pass-rusher. Somewhat reminiscent of 2012 first-round pick Michael Brockers.