The Arizona Wildcats' defensive front seems to be a big concern for a lot of people, and the 3-3-5 has been heavily criticized this season. While Arizona will be losing Reggie Gilbert, Jeff Worthy, and lost on 4-star recruit Josh Allen, Arizona will be gaining a few new defensive line prospects in 2016. Although, there's a pretty good chance Arizona gets Josh Allen back.
A few weeks ago, I broke down 3-star DT Justin Holt. Now, it's onto 3-star strong side defensive end, Jake Burton. He has big time size at 6-6 250lbs, and is ranked 41st overall in his position, and 86th in the state of California, hailing from Granite Hills (El Cajon, CA). This is a guy on defense that I'm very excited for. He turned down Vanderbilt and UCLA this summer, opting to play for Rich Rodriguez instead.
At Granite Hills, he accumulated 63 tackles, 22 of which were for loss. He also recorded five sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles, one of which went for a touchdown. He also blocked a field goal.
He was also used on offense quite a bit, or so it seemed. He would come in at tight end and bowl over the defensive end or linebacker to give his running backs some room, but also had five receptions for 62 yards and touchdown. Unfortunately, Granite Hills lost in the Division II San Diego Section Football quarterfinals, finishing with a 9-2 record.
Burton is big time pass rusher, and that's exactly what Arizona needs. Next year, he will come in as arguably Arizona's biggest lineman. He doesn't necessarily excel as a pass rusher or run stuffer, but he's suited as more of an all-around defensive end.
He's a relentless pass rusher, and he's got some speed to try and run down the quarterback as well.
Now, the red team that Burton is going up against in these screen shots probably isn't very good, which is why they make a frequent appearance in the highlights. Take it with a grain a salt, but Jake Burton is a bull when it comes to getting into the backfield.
I'm not sure Burton is an immediate impact guy, but he certainly has the potential to be a better Reggie Gilbert, Sione Tuihalamaka, or Dan Pettinato. In two years, Burton would likely be a redshirt freshman, and a lot of guys on the defensive line now will be making their way out, which could clear up a path for Burton to step in as the premier defensive end for a long time coming.