Pickerington North High School defensive lineman Jack Sawyer highlights
Watch Ohio's No. 1 overall prospect in action during his junior year. Committed to Ohio State.
Alan Page, Aaron Donald, James Harrison, Jason Taylor, Chuck Bednarik, Bryant Young and Ron Kramer. The Great Lakes states have produced several notable defensive linemen. Below is the latest batch. Too early to tell if there are any Hall of Famers here, but the talent is undeniable.
Heading into the 2020 high school football season, these are 12 of the top defensive linemen in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All player rankings referenced are according to 247sports.com.
Who is the best? You tell us. Vote in the poll below to support your QB. Voting closes at noon (EST) on June 2. You may vote as many times as you like.
We will release additional positional "Difference Makers" articles over the next two weeks. The pieces are a precursor to the Great Lakes Preseason Football Teams, which will be unveiled in June.
GREAT LAKES REGION DEFENSIVE LINEMEN 2020
Caden Curry, Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 6-5, 250, 2022
Indiana’s No. 1 overall 2022 prospect and the nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle prospect. Had 100 tackles, 26.5 tackles-for-loss and 10.5 sacks last year. Holds eight offers, including Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Missouri and Arizona State. Elliot Donald, Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 6-3, 230, 2021
Pennsylvania’s No. 6 overall prospect and the No. 12 ranked strongside defensive end prospect nationally. Holds 18 offers including LSU, Penn state, Pitt, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio state and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 6A All-State.Mike Hall, Streetsboro (Ohio), 6-3, 290, 2021
Ohio’s No. 4 overall prospect and the No. 6 defensive tackle prospect nationally. Committed to Ohio State. First team OPSWA D-III All-Ohio. Had 68 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, four caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries last year. Owns 17 offers including Alabama, Arizona State, Minnesota, Michigan State, Tennessee and Penn state. Isaac Hamm, Sun Prairie (Wis.), 6-5, 260, 2022
Wisconsin’s No. 3 overall 2022 prospect and the nation’s No. 12 weakside defensive end prospect. Owns offers from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Jahzion Harris, Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 6-4, 215, 2021
New York’s No. 2 overall prospect and the No. 12 weakside defensive end prospect nationally. Committed to Texas A&M over LSU, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State. Elijah Jeudy, Northeast (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6-3, 246, 2021
No. 7 overall prospect in Pennsylvania and No 11 weakside defensive end prospect nationally. Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 6A All-State.Damon Payne, Belleville (Mich.), 6-3.5, 297, 2021
The No. 1 overall prospect in Michigan, the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 17 overall prospect. Holds 27 offers including Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Oregon and USC.
Darryl Peterson, Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio), 6-3, 235, 2021
Top 20 overall Ohio prospect holds offers from Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia among others. Named First team OPSWA D-II All-Ohio after setting a school record for sacks in a season (21). Had 45 tackles, 24 tackles-for-loss and three-forced fumbles. Two-year starter.Jack Sawyer, Pickerington North (Pickerington, Ohio), 6-5, 240, 2021
Ohio’s top overall prospect and the No. 3 overall prospect nationally. Committed to Ohio State. Had 17 sacks and 15 tackles-for-loss last season. Doubles as a quarterback (passed for 977 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 361 yards and six touchdowns). First team OPSWA D-I All-Ohio.Najee Story, Solon (Ohio), 6-4, 235, 2021
Northwestern commit is the No. 8 overall prospect in Ohio and the 18th ranked strongside defensive end prospect nationally. Picked Northwestern over Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan and Tennessee among others. Ken Talley, Northeast (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6-2, 220, 2022
Pennsylvania’s No. 6 overall 2022 prospect and a Top 10 prospect nationally at weakside defensive end. Penn State, Florida, Pitt, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Arizona State are among his 20 offers. Enai White, Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.), 6-5, 225, 2022
Country’s No. 8 and Pennsylvania’s No. 1 overall 2022 prospect is the nation’s No. 1 overall weakside defensive end prospect. Holds 35 offers, including LSU, Penn State, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon.