Spring Review: Defensive Ends

The Wildcats look solid at defensive end. They have four good players currently on the roster and four more talented players will join the team in the fall. The Wildcats desperately need a pass rush and seem poised to get if from the bunch they have in place.

POST SPRING DEPTH CHART:
1. Marcus Smith, Sr.
1. Johnathan Turner, So.
2. Jason Parker, Jr.
2. Michael Shelton, So.

WHAT WE KNOW

*The group has size. All of the defensive ends on the roster have gotten bigger and stronger. The most noticeable is Turner who is listed at 6-3, 250 and could be bigger.

*Turner was a freshman All-American a year ago and backed up that play with a great spring.

*Parker also had a very nice spring and is solidly in the mix.

*Shelton needs to add weight, he's still very thin.

*Louis Holmes my not be on the team yet but he was front and center for a number of spring practices.

*Garrett Fields did not participate in spring drills and is expected to transfer.

*The Cats will add three freshmen defensive ends and all three have an opportunity to earn playing time.

WHAT WE DON'T KNOW:

*Will Holmes be eligible? All indications are that he will, but nothing is set in stone.

*Will Marcus Smith be healthy? He appeared to still be struggling with his injury during spring ball. He did not have the greatest spring and most assume it was due to injury.

*Will Shelton redshirt? The staff would love to redshirt Shelton in an effort to bulk him up and keep an extra year of eligibility.

*Will A.J. Simmons wind up as a defensive end? Simmons will begin his Wildcat career as a TE, but he may be too good not to eventually be a DE.

WHAT WE THINK:

*Holmes will get his eligibility this summer and begin working out with the team. He will be an instant impact player for the Wildcats and eventually play on Sundays.

*Turner will continue to improve upon the season he had last year.

*It may take a year or two, but Braylon Broughton will be a big time performer for the Wildcats.

*Smith will be 100% by fall camp and will bolster the line-up. He may also play some at defensive tackle.

*The pass rush will be the best it has been since the 1998 Holiday Bowl team.


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