The best of the high school defensive linemen is a mix of experience and youth, but also of geography and abilities.
The list covers the valley from Henderson to North Las Vegas and includes run-plugging defensive tackles to quick rush ends and some who can do both.
Here are the Review-Journal’s top five defensive linemen entering the season:
1. Sir Mells, Liberty — The senior Oregon commit had 33 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles at defensive tackle in 2019.
2. Ike Nnakenyi, Coronado — The senior defensive end, who has nine scholarship offers, recorded 42 tackles and three sacks in 2019.
3. Ryan Henderson, Canyon Springs — The senior three-star recruit has scholarship offers from five Mountain West schools. He can play defensive end or tackle.
4. Aiden McComber, Bishop Gorman — The junior defensive end got a taste of varsity ball in the Gaels’ two games in the spring, recording a sack and a fumble recovery.
5. Idge Dean, Desert Pines — The junior steps out of the shadow of former Jaguars defensive ends who play at Division I colleges — Gabriel Lopez (Washington State) and Jonathan Pickett (North Texas).
High school top 5
This is the fifth in a series listing the top five high school football players in the valley at their positions:
■ Saturday — Wide receivers
■ Sunday — Defensive backs
■ Monday — Linebackers
■ Tuesday — Running backs
■ Wednesday — Defensive linemen
■ Thursday — Offensive linemen
■ Friday — Special teams
■ Saturday — Quarterbacks