POSITION: Defensive end
WEIGHT: 253 pounds
HOMETOWN: Pittsburg, Kansas
HIGH SCHOOL: Pittsburg
247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8797
NATIONAL RANKING: 404
POSITION RANK: 17
STATE RANK: 1
OTHER OFFERS: Michigan, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Penn State, Nebraska and seven others
Kent is the third-highest rated recruit in the Wildcats’ strong 2017 class, but he’s also the third-highest rated defensive lineman in the group behind Earnest Brown IV and early-enrollee Sam Miller. He boasts an impressive offer sheet though, and is one the jewels of head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s promising 2017 class.
The Kansas native played both tight end and defensive end in high school, but will play on the defensive side of the ball for Northwestern. As a pass-rusher, he has a quick first step for someone his height, and often beats offensive tackles to their spots before breaking into the backfield. In high school, he was so much bigger than most of his competition that he overpowered opponents most of the time.
The areas Kent will need to develop are his leverage and his strength. He got away with playing high in high school because of how physically overpowering he was, but that won’t be the case at the college level. He’ll need to stay low and put on some weight to compete in the running game and withstand the punishment of Big Ten football.
As far as playing time goes, Kent should see some snaps early in his career, but will have to fight through a logjam of players to see the field consistently. Xavier Washington and Joe Gaziano will likely get the two starting spots, and Trent Goens, Alex Miller and Tommy Carnifax will be in the mix. Plus, fellow incoming freshmen Earnest Brown and Sam Miller will also push for field time.
But, the future appears bright for Kent, who comes to Evanston as a part of a potentially dominant class of defensive linemen.