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Canes Football 2024 DE Class

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Credit: Canes Football

We have finally come to the last installment of the Canes position group targets for the 2024 class. As stated before, the Canes are looking to bring the best defensive line class in the nation this year and that cannot be accomplished without elite defensive ends. Once again, the Hurricanes have cast a wide net similar to most of their position groups. Mario Cristobal and staff are in constant evaluation, which make it very likely that some players who end up eventually signing are not mentioned below and there will certainly be fast risers during their senior season that are not yet on our radar. With that being said, here are the top DE that the Canes are after right now:

Dylan Stewart
At the very top of the board stands Dylan Stewart, a blue-chip and top-ten nationally rated product from Washington D.C. Stewart is the complete package on the defensive line. Stewart is 6’5, has speed, can cover and has great bend. As a junior he had double digit sacks and has a frame where he can add 20lbs with ease. Stewart took an official visit to Miami on the weekend of June 9-11th and was blown away by the Hurricanes program. He has offers from many top schools including UGA but Miami’s top competition appears to be OSU. Despite positive OSU buzz, I like where Miami stands in this recruitment heading into July.

Colin Simmons
If Stewart is considered the number two ranked defensive end, Colin Simmons is considered the number one ranked defensive end in the nation. The Texas standout took an official to Miami in the month of June and was impressed with the detailed plan Miami had in place. The Canes moved up his board significantly but as of today, LSU is still the leader to land his commitment.

Elias Rudolph
Another fast-rising edge is Elias Rudolph from Deerfield Beach. Rudolph is one of the best edge rushers in the state with 24 offers including the likes of Florida, OSU, Michigan and Pittsburgh. Rudolph recently cancelled an Ohio State visit this month and has set a July 3rd commitment date with Miami, Pitt and Michigan as his three finalists. Although Michigan has a slight lead in this recruitment do not underestimate the Canes here. Miami absolutely loves Rudolph and they view him as one of the best players at his position and will go all out for him till the end.

Marquise Lightfoot
The 6-5 220lb defensive end will officially visit Miami this weekend. Another elite prospect with 39 offers, he is a top-75 nationally ranked recruit with offers from Texas, USC, OSU, and Alabama, among others. As things stand today, OSU is the leader in this recruitment as he has received a crystal ball from 247 to join the Buckeyes. Miami will try to cut into the Buckeye’s lead this weekend as Lightfoot is one of the most talented edge rushers in the nation. Lightfoot finished his junior year with 122 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles.

Kendall Jackson
Jackson is a versatile defensive lineman that can play both inside and outside. Jackson has the versatility that the Canes are looking for this cycle and will now have the opportunity to convince the Gainesville standout this upcoming weekend during his official visit. Jackson had a monster junior season totaling 65 tackles with 12.5 sacks and two interceptions, one of which was a pick six. The Canes are playing from behind in this recruitment as Florida is the crystal ball leader.

Wyatt Gilmore

Haling from Minnesota, Gilmore is a four-star edge- rusher who visited the Canes in the first weekend of June. Gilmore is quick, explosive and athletic with a 35-inch reported vertical leap. The Canes are competing with Oregon, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Kansas State for Gilmore, who Miami views as one of the top defensive ends this cycle. The Canes see Gilmore as a priority and “Plan A” type of recruit and will continue to recruit him as such.

LJ McCray
McCray is one of the top players on the defensive line in the nation. A multi-sport athlete, McCray stands at 6-6,260lbs and is another versatile DE/DT that plays everywhere across the line of scrimmage. As of now, this is shaping up to be a big three battle between Miami, UF and FSU. McCray took an official visit to Miami on the June 9th official weekend, but his recruitment has been low key and it has been hard getting a read on what he will do. Miami will continue to try to chip away as they view him as a five-star talent. McCray’s recruitment will go into the season, expect Miami to stay deeply involved in this one until the end.

*All Rankings are based on the 247 Sports Composite rating


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