The Candidates: 42 Chris Stone (6-3, 260 RSr.), 93 Chris Odom (6-3, 257 Jr.), 92 Darrius Rosser (6-3, 284 RJr.), 85 Chase Robison (6-4, 234 RJr.), 11 Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (6-2, 231 RSo.), 54 Caleb Caston (6-2, 234 So.), 48 T. J. Harris (6-2, 225 Fr.), 33 Griffin Riggs (6-3, 235 Fr.), 34 Carderious Dean (6-3, 240 Sr.).
The Breakdown: BANDIT, Chris Stone, Darrius Rosser, END, Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, Chase Robison.
The Numbers: Arkansas State could get after the passer in 2014, finishing second in the conference with 37 sacks and grabbing 86 tackles for a loss. That was led by Freshman All-American Ja'Von Rolland-Jones who finished with 8 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss. Chris Stone finished with 7.5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. The problem was that Rolland-Jones finished the season on the shelf with a season-ending injury, thrusting Caleb Caston into a role at DE as a true freshman and moving Carderious Dean from linebacker to DE.
The Analysis: With the return of Rolland-Jones and Stone also coming back for his senior campaign, the Red Wolves look like they could be strong again at the ends.
Add in the ability to move Darrius Rosser out from inside and move Chris Odom back to a more natural defensive end position, and the depth of the end positions should be much better suited for the season. Also, Auburn transfer Chase Robison's eligibility adds even more talented depth to a strong position.
Freshman Griffin Riggs has shown very good strength and ability to play the run and rush the passer earning the title as the most “violent” player in camp, while T.J. Harris is built and plays like Ja'Von Rolland-Jones. Caleb Caston also returns at the defensive end position.
This group should be able to get after the passer and with the increased depth and size, they also should hold up against the run.
Position Analysis: Defensive End
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