Bazuin Anchors Chippewa Defensive Line

MOUNT PLEASANT - When is 268 pounds per man not big enough? When you're a starting member of Central Michigan University's defensive line in 2004, that's when.

"We're not the biggest group up front, by any means," said head coach Brian Kelly. "I wonder how we'll hold up against the run, and I'm also concerned that we're not gifted as pass rushers. That's an area that has to be upgraded."

Anchoring the line is 6-3, 258-pound sophomore end Daniel Bazuin who earned second team Freshman All-America honors in 2003 by The Sporting News.

"He is an all-conference type of player," Kelly said. "He's bigger and stronger this year."

Bazuin led the Chippewas in tackles for loss a year ago with 14 for 53 yards and tied for the team lead in QB sacks with six.

William Brookshire, a 6-3, 243-pound senior, will share the other defensive end slot with sophomore Michael Ogle (6-2, 245) and redshirt freshman De'Onte Burnam (6-0, 241).

Brookshire started eight games last fall, finishing the season with four tackles for loss. Ogle and Burnam both moved from linebacker.

"William has a lot of experience and is strong against the run," Kelly noted. "Ogle and Burnam are scrappy guys who were good linebackers. The three here give us some diversity."

Junior Tony Thompson, a 6-1, 296-pounder, provides some bulk and experience at one tackle. "He's lost some weight and his body fat is down," Kelly said. "It's good to have a big kid in the middle who can hold up against the run."

The surprise of camp would have to be 6-3, 275-pound freshman Steve Friend who has grabbed the other inside starting slot. "Steven clearly established himself as a starter and has potential to be a great player," Kelly said.

Backups inside look to be a pair of redshirt freshmen in 6-3, 262-pound Eric Tunney and 6-1, 255-pound Anthony Rogers. Also seeing action inside may be junior Temirez Williams (6-1, 265) and sophomore Damon Petty (6-4, 304).

Central Michigan will not scrimmage on Saturday as was originally planned, and will take Sunday off as it will all season long.

The Chippewas will not have captains for the season. They will have game captains for all 11 games.

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