Saturday, August 13, 2011

Defensive Line


The difference in this years two deep defensive line and last years is 168 pounds, give or take a cheeseburger or two, that’s an average of 28 pounds per player more than last season. Granted, most of that is the addition of Jonathan Jenkins but the effect of the new strength and conditioning program will likely show the greatest dividend on the DL.

Nose Tackle

DSC_8281Kwame Geathers (99) had a tremendous spring and was named the defensive MVP, he is still listed as the starter at nose tackle. The 6-6, 350 pound redshirt sophomore became the dominate player that has been characteristic of his family’s football heritage. Geathers appeared in eight games last year, if he continues to play like he has since the spring, he may exceed his season total of seven tackles in the first game.

Jonathan Jenkins is big, (6-4, 351 pounds)
and fast, (sub 5 second 40), he is expected to rotate with Geathers at the nose position. Jenkins’ size enables him to dominate the middle, his speed may put him in the Dawgs offensive plans a few times this year. The junior college transfer is quickly learning the 3-4 defensive system and will be critical to the Dawgs defensive success.

Redshirt freshman Mike Thornton (6-1, 287 pounds) will be utilized as a third and long specialist at the nose position this year, his quickness is an advantage in obvious passing situations.

Defensive End

DSC_6011Senior DeAngelo Tyson (94) has played in every game (39) since stepping onto campus as a freshman in 2008, he started 12 games last year at the nose tackle position. The emergence of Geathers and the addition of Jenkins has allowed Tyson to move to his natural position of defensive end. He’s added 16 pounds since December and at 6-2, 306 pounds, is in the best condition of his career. He has recorded 59 tackles, 10 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and forced one fumble in his first three seasons.

Derrick Lott (6-4, 305 pounds) played in three games last year, recording seven tackles. The redshirt sophomore has the size and speed to become a dominate player, he will back-up Tyson on the right side of the defensive line.

DSC_5998Abry Jones (93) has a firm hold on the starting left end position, the 6-3, 309 pound junior has appeared in 25 games for the Dawgs, starting 6 of them. He has 42 tackles, 6 sacks, 16 tackles for a loss and has forced a fumble. Jones added 14 pounds since last season and has shown the speed to pressure opposing quarterbacks.

Garrison Smith appeared in seven games as a true freshman last season, recording 3 tackles, one for a loss. The 6-3, 294 pound sophomore will back-up Jones at the left end position.

The emergence of Geathers and the addition of Jenkins elevated this group to above average, the two will demand double teams on the majority of snaps and prevent the offensive linemen from reaching the linebacker level. Tyson sliding over to end and Jones already having considerable experience should enable the Dawgs to not only do a better job of stopping the run, but pressure the quarterback without wholesale personnel changes.

The only thing keeping the defensive line from maxing out the grade system is the availability of just seven players. This personnel group is a step up from last season’s smaller lighter front three.



No comments:

Post a Comment