Commentary

Where will D.J. Humphries go?

Breaking down the finalists for the nation's No. 7 prospect and No. 1 OT

Updated: August 5, 2011, 9:39 AM ET
By ESPN Recruiting | ESPN.com

D.J. Humphries

ESPNU 150 rank: 7 | Position rank: 1 | Grade: 85 | Stars: 5
Ht.: 6-6 | Wt.: 275 pounds | High School: Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek | Evaluation
Considering: Auburn, Clemson, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee

Humphries

Why they want him

You will have a hard time finding a better pure athlete than Humphries at the offensive tackle position in the 2012 class. He is long, lean and extremely agile. He looks and moves like a defensive end. Although he isn't yet there technically, his deficiencies are coachable and Humphries can flat out run and move around with ease. He has long arms and carries his weight well. He needs to add significant bulk and strength, but when he does, he will still be streamlined and sharp, and will not lose his ability to move. His feet are his best assets. Even when he is out of position or he gets too narrow, he can recover with great agility and balance and is never on the ground. He displays the ability to get up to the second level and adjust to moving targets. He does a good job of finishing blocks and hustles around to try and make additional blocks down field. His ability and speed make him a dynamic prospect in space. We would like to see him be a little more physical at the point of attack. He does not have the weight in his pants to just engulf you at the point of attack, but in time this may change. Humphries' frame is ideal for development and he could project at either tackle spot. He is, simply, an excellent prospect.

How he fits

Auburn Tigers: The defending national champs are rebuilding their offensive line. the Tigers addressed their O-line needs by signing several signing several highly rated 2011 offensive linemen in February, led by five-star tackle Christian Westerman and No. 1 center Reese Dismukes. The haul just signed was a good start, but adding Humphries could turn the Tigers offensive line from a rebuilding project to one of the more promising, young and talented groups in the nation. It could give the Tigers' line an outstanding foundation up front with Westerman at right tackle, Dismukes anchoring the line at center and Humphries at left tackle.

Clemson Tigers: The Tigers have already assembled a strong offensive class that features four offensive line prospects, three of which are four-stars, led by ESPNU 150 tackle Patrick Destefano and No. 1 center Jay Guillermo. The addition of Humphries would put an exclamation point on Clemson's 2012 O-line class and set the table for a promising future in the offensive trenches in Death Valley.

Florida Gators: The Gators are in the process of rebuilding the offensive line after losing several starters. Landing Humphries can't help this year, but after signing only two tackles in the 2011 class, a need still exists. They do have verbals from two ESPNU 150 tackle prospects -- Jessamen Dunker and Omari Phillips -- so the Gators are already on the road to addressing the O-line, but there is always room for an athletic and promising five-star player. With young players like Ian Silberman and Chaz Green already on board, adding in Dunker, Phillips and potentially Humphries would give the Gators the pieces to build a young, athletic and talented O-line.

South Carolina Gamecocks: The Gamecocks added the premier defensive lineman in the country in their 2011 class with Jadeveon Clowney and a great follow-up for the ol' ball coach would be to add the nation's top offensive lineman in this class. The Gamecocks, who have already had some success pulling offensive line talent out of North Carolina this year with a verbal from ESPNU 150 tackle Brock Stadnik, have been one of the fastest risers in the class rankings, and landing Humphries would help them to continue to surge forward.

Tennessee Vols: Landing Humphries would give Tennessee its first five-star recruit in the Derek Dooley era, but more importantly, it would give Tennessee the pieces to have one of the elite offensive lines in college football. The Volunteers have already done well with the offensive line on the recruiting trail. Players like Ja'Wuan James and James Stone in 2010, and Marcus Jackson in this past class were excellent pickups and have already begun to pay dividends. Adding a player like Humphries, the nation's top offensive tackle prospect, could really strengthen and elevate what is already a young and talented group. With the youth in the offensive trenches, a player like Humphries may not seem like a need but the lone projected upper classmen on the Vols' line is junior tackle Dallas Thomas, so ideally a space could be available for Humphries in the near future. A line that could potentially consist of players like Stone, James, Jackson and Humphries (all ESPNU 150 prospects) could be enough of a reason for Tennessee fans (and quarterbacks and running backs) to shout a chorus of Rocky Top.