25?Dee Liner???6’3/325 RJr
47?Robert Mondie???6’2/321 RSr
57?Jake Swalley???6’2/286 Sr
87?Javier Carbonell??6’2/297 RFr
91?Donovan Ransom??6’1/304 So.
92?Darrius Rosser???6’3/276 RSr
94?Waylon Roberson??6’2/341 Sr.
98?Clifford Thomas??6’2/291 RJr
Another group on defense that didn’t lose much in the way of production, got even stronger with the re-addition of tackle Robert Mondie, who was granted a sixth year by the NCAA.
The additions of Mondie, Waylon Roberson, Donovan Ransom, and Jake Swalley to the 2015 roster took a team weakness and made it probably the strongest area on the team.
The Red Wolves held opponents to 151 yards per game on the ground, a huge improvement over the 2014 version of the AState defense.
With that entire cast of characters back, the losses in offseason of three tackles didn’t hurt as badly.
At nose, Waylon Roberson is back for a second year, and his 2015 performance garnered preseason All-Sun Belt Conference honors. The big Texan made 38 tackles last year, in a position that doesn’t make a lot of tackles.
Following him is Donovan Ransom, who was having a good freshman campaign until an injury ended his season. Ransom had seven tackles filling in for Roberson.
Javier Carbonell has moved from the three-technique to the nose, after putting on 15 pounds in the offseason. A knee injury during fall camp last year put Carbonell on a redshirt tract, but the Bentonville native looks ready to contribute in 2016.
Clifford Thomas, a former walk-on from Marion, has also moved over and put on mass. The hard-working Thomas registered a half sack last year.
At the three-technique (outside shoulder of the offensive guard), the return of Robert Mondie has really solidified the position and made the line even deeper. Mondie was a disruptive force last year, with 4.5 tackles for loss. Even after having to wait on the NCAA decision, defensive line coach Brian Early says that Mondie is in pretty good shape.
The big addition on the defensive line is Alabama transfer Dee Liner. A top recruit coming out of high school, Liner, a Muscle Shoals, Alabama native, is a different animal. He moves like a defensive end in the body of a running refrigerator. His work with new defensive line graduate assistant and former Red Wolf Brandon Joiner has really paid off. He and Mondie will see a lot of time at the three-technique.
Also returning is Swalley, who after playing last season with multiple nagging injuries, is back at full strength. Swalleycontributed 2.5 sacks last year and figures to see time as a pass rushing tackle.
Rosser is a physical specimen, who runs like a tight end, and will probably see time in pass rushing downs as well as in possible 3-front packages.
This group will continue to haunt the running games of most teams that the Red Wolves play, as the talent level may have improved and the experience from last year will do nothing but help make this the strength of the defense.
Possible depth chart
Waylon Roberson????Dee Liner OR
Donovan Ransom????Robert Mondie
Javier Carbonell????Jake Swalley
Clifford Thomas????Darrius Rosser