Ball State’s defense was much maligned last season, but one group did hold up pretty well – defensive tackle.
The interior of the Cardinals Defensive Line is already filled with solid, productive athletes, but as they say, games are won in the trenches, so having plenty of depth and skill in the interior is a must.
Ball State welcomes back its top 5 DT from a season ago, and added two players in the Class of 2016 both of whom were early enrollees:
Chris Crumb, 6-0 262, Lewis Center (OH) Olentangy – Crumb is a workhorse. A high motored kid that is hard to block because his stout, strong, quick and plays with good leverage. Crumb was massively productive in high school, posting 136 tackles, 29 of which were for a loss and 15 sacks. Crumb’s ability to attack a gap quickly and get skinny between blocks with his quickness is the key to his game. Crumb will need to bulk up, but his talent is evident already.
John Swisher, 6-1 277, Des Moines (IA) Iowa Western CC – Swisher was a third-team All-American selection a season ago at Iowa Western, one of the top junior college programs in America. Swisher plays mean and with an attitude. He gets penetration quickly and attacks gaps and disrupts the running game. He also will get to the QB, something that lacked from the interior of the Cardinals defense a season ago. Look for Swisher to be impactful early, especially as a pass rusher in passing situations, where he can play the nose and pressure the 1 gap where he will demand a double team.