Army Spring Depth Chart Review: Left DT

Army was the first in the FBS to complete spring drills. ArmySports.com's Jim Lawler will review each Black Knight position to project a starter, a backup and a player to watch. Today he'll discuss the left defensive tackle position.

LEFT DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Starter: Bobby Kough #99 Jr.
Back up: Jacob Owens #13 So.
Third String: Mike Ugenyi #92 Jr.


Bobby Kough is the best returning defensive lineman from last year. He will man the left defensive tackle or defensive end position in the double-eagle flex his junior year. Kough started all twelve games in 2012. Kough struggled during his first three career starts when he was pushed around and recorded only three tackles. Bobby then began to use better technique, watch his pad level, split gaps and get up field more effectively. As the season wore on his play improved. Kough ended the year with 42 tackles, was second best on the team with 9 ½ tackles for a loss, posted 1 ½ sacks and three quarterback hurries. Kough weighs just 239 pounds and had trouble in some games holding up against the run. He earned honorable mention All-Independent team based on his play in the second half. Kough's move out to wider should make him more effective rushing the passer.

Sophomore Jacob Owens (6-4, 230) earned the backup left defensive tackle job this spring. The staff likes his potential despite the fact he is very raw in term of technique. Owens is a big strong player with 4.9 speed in the forty-yard dash. He saw time on the JV team last fall. He was scheduled to be a member of the incoming 2011 class but broke his ankle leaping a wall on the obstacle course during Beast Barracks. Jacob had to wait a year before joining the program last fall. Owens started at defensive tackle in 2010 at the United States Military Academy Prep school ahead of Mike Ugenyi. Owens is a coach's son who understands the game. He is a good athlete who is can run and is strong for his size.

Junior Mike Ugenyi hasn't been productive and was dropped to third string. Last year Ugenyi played in eleven games, started six, including the first five games of the year. He made just 13 tackles and recovered a fumble over the entire year. Mike is the younger brother of former Army defensive line standout Victor Ugenyi (2006-2009). While both members of the family were late bloomers, Victor was a lot more talented. Mike Ugenyi has worked hard from his days being a back-up at USMAPS. He has added nearly sixty pounds since his senior year in high school. At 257 pounds, Ugenyi is technically one of the "bigger" defensive linemen but he doesn't possess core strength. He lacks ballast and strength in his lower body. He has a tendency to play with his pads too high allowing bigger, stronger opposing offensive linemen to easily turn and or seal him.

Jonas Niusulu (6-0, 225) is a sophomore who is next in line behind the top three on the depth chart. Jonas had trouble staying healthy since he first attended USMAPS in 2011. Niusulu, who is undersized but mobile, has flashed some ability when healthy enough to play. He may help down the road if he can stay on the field. Senior Clayton Keller (6-1, 230) missed spring practice recovering from an undisclosed injury. He was originally hurt against Eastern Michigan and forced to miss the rest of the 2012 season. After being moved from defensive end to defensive tackle last year he appeared in five games. Keller recorded a sack against Stony Brook and provided some pass rush pressure against Boston College.

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