Defensive Line: Position Breakdown

If we only had on the interior what we have on the outside. On the edges the Red Wolves have five capable players and all have been on campus at least two years. On the inside, there are two.

That tells you a lot of what you need to know. No doubt the interior play is a major concern and one reason the coaching staff tried all summer to add a player. They came close, but one did not make his grades and another opted for another school in August. That would have allowed the Red Wolves to likely redshirt two of the three freshmen. Now it looks like two of the three freshmen will play.

The candidates:
Inside – E.J Sutton (6-3, 275) Fr.; Chuks Ota (6-2, 285) Fr.; Clifford Thomas (6-2, 280) RFr; Darrius Rosser (6-3, 284) RSo.; Charles Alexander (6-4, 300) Jr; Dexter Blackmon (6-4, 268) RSr; Marcus Hudson (6-4, 265) Fr.; Hunter Shantz (6-3, 219) RSo.

Ends – Chris Odom (6-3, 234) So.; Jarrod Chandler (6-2, 205) Fr.; Ja’von Rolland-Jones (6-2, 224); Chris Stone (6-3, 252) RJr; Jonah Hill (6-3, 241) RFr.; Caleb Caston (6-2, 210) Fr.; Jabari Mathieu (6-2, 237) RJr.

The play on the defensive line goes a long way in how this season goes. Staying healthy is vital and development is huge. If those happen, it makes a defense that is strong on the ends and in the back seven that much better.

Coach speak from Blake Anderson: “I feel good on the edges.

I think we have several guys, starting to get Darrius Rosser back, Dexter Blackmon is back, this is shoring some things up. We need some of those young guys to develop inside and help create some depth. It is progressing. Going to be similar to the offensive line. It is going to be a day-to-day week-by-week thing. Marcus Hudson, Eugene Sutton, Charles Alexander and Chuks Ota, there are four guys in there we need to try and develop as fast as we can.

You’ve got several guys at each side. Chris Stone and Jabari people know. Chris Odom is a guy people know and Javon Jones. Jonah Hill has moved out there to that spot and is starting to get better and better all the time. There are enough bodies and enough experience there that you feel a little more comfortable. But we are one guy away from being concerned there was well.