C-USA Army Preview- Defensive Line

A host of battle-tested veterans return along the Black Knights' defensive line with no fewer than eight lettermen filling spots at the four positions listed on <!--Default NodeId For Army is 691,2004--><A HREF=http://army.TheInsiders.com>Army</A>'s depth chart. Seniors <!--Default NodeId For Will Sullivan is 1319792,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1319792]>Will Sullivan</A> (6-3, 255) and <!--Default NodeId For Trey Landry is 1312745,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1312745]>Trey Landry</A>

(6-2, 281) head the group at left end and right tackle, respectively. Sullivan paced the Black Knights in both tackles for loss (13) and quarterback sacks (3) last fall, establishing himself as a dominant player along Army's front wall. He battled through nagging shoulder and leg ailments this spring and could see playing time at either end or tackle. Landry put forth an inspired effort during spring drills and surfaced as one of the club's most improved players on either side of the ball. Both head into preseason camp listed as starters.

"Will Sullivan is a very solid player," head coach Bobby Ross mentions. "He has gotten much bigger and much stronger. Landry really had an outstanding spring. I think he is a much better player than he was last season. It's obvious he's made a strong commitment to being very good, and it showed this spring."

Junior Tommy Ryan (6-2, 266) enjoyed an excellent spring as well, splitting time between the tackle and end spots. Regardless of his position, Ryan is an emerging "play-maker" and appears poised for a "breakout" season within Army's stop unit. He boasts a tireless "motor" and brings a great deal of intensity into every snap.

"I really like Tommy Ryan,' Ross praises. "He plays hard and is a real tough guy."

Juniors Dan Evans (6-2, 275) and Doug Meyer (6-4, 250) shape up as the likely contenders to start opposite Landry at the other tackle spot. All that could change with the healthy return of senior end Odene Brathwaite (6-4, 269). An impressive physical specimen, Brathwaite has displayed flashes of brilliance throughout his West Point tenure. He battled knee and shoulder woes last fall and could provide Ross with another "big-play" specialist up front should he return to his past form. In that scenario, Ryan would move back inside to tackle, a position to which he is best-suited.

"I was very pleased with the way we worked defensively this spring," Ross explains. "Our effort was very good and we were a good ‘low-pad' team. We're not big up front, so we'll probably have to move around to protect ourselves a bit.

"My biggest concern is our lack of size. But if Odene (Brathwaite) comes back healthy and he's playing to the level to which he's capable, I think we'll have a pretty competitive defensive line."

Sophomore Cameron Craig (6-3, 236), a blossoming force on the edge, and classmate Alex Clamon (6-3, 237) line up as the top backups to Sullivan at the left end slot, while senior Ryan Johnson (6-1, 226) and sophomore Peter Harrington (6-5, 238) fill in behind Ryan at the other end position. Junior Seth Lotts (6-2, 244) and sophomores Wes Stewart (6-3, 273) and Travis Prikryl (6-3, 248) broke spring drills listed as the top reserves at tackle.

"I like some of our younger players up front," says Ross. "Cameron Craig, Alex Clamon and Travis Prikryl all had good springs. They can be solid contributors if they continue to develop within our system."


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