Varsity Preps

Tim Settle: One-Man Wrecking Crew

From the looks of the ESPN 300 list, 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the defensive lineman. Six of the top 10 spots have been locked down by some of the nation’s most elite pass rushers.

Stonewall Jackson (VA) defensive tackle Tim Settle is 10th overall on the list and ranked second-best at his position. Settle may be his last name, but that word is certainly not in his vocabulary. He’s on a mission to prove that he’s the best in the country.

“I know I can get that number-one spot,” Settle said with the utmost confidence. “Just wait until The Opening and the Under Armour All-American game; it’s a different story with pads on. Some of these other top guys gotta feel what I’m saying, so I gotta teach them.

“I’m not a cocky person. I’m humbled by getting ranked in the top 10, but I feel I can take that number-one spot, no problem.”

That top spot is currently held by Westover (GA) defensive tackle Trenton Thompson. Settle made it clear that he’s on Thompson’s heels, and his performance on the field back up his claims.

The five-star athlete recorded 92 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in his junior season and earned all-state honors. His performance at the NFTC in Washington D.C. earned him an invite to The Opening, and he will also suit up in next January’s Under Armour All-American game.

One of the most impressive things about Settle is his quickness. To be 6’3, 320 pounds, this kid can move. His quick first step combined with his strength allow him to easily burst through offensive lines, followed by him kicking into second gear to disrupt whatever is going on in the backfield with monster hits. His size-to-speed ratio is almost unfair and likely causes plenty of headsets and clipboards to be destroyed by opposing coaches.

“Growing up, I always played running back,” Settle said. “I was always the big kid outrunning everybody, so I kinda got used to making the cuts, bending my ankles and being able to be flexible. When I got to high school, I just put it all together.”

Those skills helped mold Settle into an explosive defender and earned him plenty of interest from college programs all over the country. He received his first offer from North Carolina during his sophomore season. That lone offer eventually turned into a list of more than 40 schools.

“I was shocked by my first offer,” Settle said. “When you first enter high school, you really don’t think about getting offers, you’re not really even thinking about college then. It’s a huge blessing, and I thank God everyday for this. I do this for Him and my family. It’s God, family, then football for me.

“I think I cried when UNC offered me. I think I cried when Alabama offered, too. That’s a big achievement when you get something like that because not everyone has the opportunity to play at the next level.”

Settle recently condensed his book of offers down to just a single page. Tennessee, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Texas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, West Virginia, UCLA, UNC, N.C. State, LSU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma made the cut as his top 15.

Academics will play a key role in Settle’s final decision. He has aspirations to be a boss both on and off the field.

“I want to have my own complex buildings when I get older; I want to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “Majoring in entrepreneur business, I can have multiple concentrations in finance and accounting. That’s my main focus, and sports management is my secondary.”

The big man also stressed campus atmosphere and relationship with coaches as other important factors. He wants to be somewhere that’s active after football season and be around coaches “that will really get on me, push me to do better and not baby me.”

But that final decision won’t come for a while, and Settle currently has tunnel vision on one event—The Opening.

“I’m just ready to go to The Opening to represent my state and do what I do,” he said. “I need to show people what I’m really about; this is gonna be on ESPN. I can show everyone what I can do and show them that I’m that top dog. I can do things other people can’t do at this size. I’m 6’3, 320 flat, there’s not a lot of guys like that. I give other guys their respect, but a lot of people don’t really see what I can do. I just gotta show them.”

Tim Settle’s Junior Highlights:




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