Roster Analysis: Defensive Line

Arizona has plenty of bodies on the defensive line, but also a ton of questions. Read on for a closer look at the position going into the summer.

Now that Spring football is complete, it is a good opportunity to take a look at each position and where it stands going into the summer, continuing with the defensive line.

The anchor of the defensive line is Reggie Gilbert, who was granted another year of eligibility. Gilbert is easily one of the most experienced players Arizona has and with the extra season, he will also have plenty of high expectations. If there is one spot on the defensive line that is solidified, it’s Gilbert’s.

Calvin Allen is the most likely player to back up Gilbert, but there is certainly some concern there. Allen has been nearly invisible since arriving to Arizona, though he had a decent spring.

The most frustrating aspect of what Allen brings is that physically he looks the part. At 6-foot-6 and nearly 270 pounds, Allen is also a good athlete with the mental aspect of the game really being the only thing that is currently holding him back.

Speaking of size, Parker Zellers isn’t anywhere close to being the biggest guy on the roster, but he works as hard as anybody.

Zellers is fundamentally sound and does a good job of not getting pushed around, which means that the coaching staff is fine with overlooking his size in order to get the best player on the field.

If there is a player that is going to take the nose guard position away from Zellers, it is going to be Sani Fuimaono.

Although he missed basically the entire spring, Fuimaono showed potential last season. He has to find a way to become more consistent and stay healthy and should he do that, Fuimaono is going to see the field plenty.

Defensive tackle is a bit worrisome for Arizona. Jeff Worthy is the likely starter, but missed a chunk of the spring and has some toughness issues.

If he can get past those and a mental barrier or two, Worthy is going to be just fine. If not, Arizona will likely go with numerous players here.

Luca Bruno is probably the next man in line after a very impressive spring. He finally looks to be back in shape, which was one of his biggest issues last season.

This position is also up in the air because of how Anthony Fotu will do. He had somewhat of a slow spring, but that is expected of any newcomer. If Fotu learns faster this summer, there is enough talent there for him to push for major playing time.

Arizona has the bodies on the defensive line, but the Wildcats needs more than that. Looking at the roster, it is the biggest concern and will continue to be until the players prove people wrong.


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