Season in Review: Defensive Line

Florida State finished 9-4 in the regular season after a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game. NoleDigest takes a look the Defensive Line position for the season and a brief look to the future.

The Players

Defensive End

Markus White: 58 tackles, 8 sacks

Brandon Jenkins: 55 tackles, 13 sacks

Bjoern Werner: 19 tackles, 3 sacks

Dan Hicks: 16 tackles, 2 sacks

Jenkins put together a terrific season and was FSU's most explosive pass rusher in 2010. This was a position that had many question marks heading into the season, Jenkins was a big part of the answer.

White started slowly, but came on down the stretch and had a solid senior season. He will certainly garner attention by the NFL scouts leading up the draft. Another season with Coach Eliot would probably have done a lot of good.

Ideally FSU would like to rotate four DE's in about a two to one ratio. We saw that with the freshmen Werner and Hicks. Werner, in particular, flashed a big-time tool set and his ceiling is such that he should be a difference maker down the road. He arrived with terrific size and should really flourish this off-season.

Neither Jamar Jackson(jr) nor Toshmon Stevens(soph) made an impact.

McDaniel has gained valuable experience the last two years
Steve Chase,

Defensive Tackle

Everett Dawkins: 35 Tackles, 2.5 sacks

Jacobbi McDaniel: 30 Tackles, .5 sacks

Amp McCloud: 29 Tackles, 1.5 sacks

Demonte McAllister: 16 Tackles, 3 sacks

The loss of Moses McCray for the season opened up playing time for four youngsters. Each had their moments.

The one thing that became apparent was the lack of size. Only McCloud tips the scales at 300(302) and there were times that the Noles were pushed around inside. The hope is that each can add 10-15 pounds this off-season.

These were coveted players on the recruiting trail and essentially each has had a bigger role than perhaps they should have due to a lack of upperclassmen depth. FSU needs to get more push from the DTs, Dawkins gets the most pressure right now.

The Future

The DE position will remain a work in progress with the loss of White. Jenkins is certainly going to be one starter and the early edge would look like Werner on the other side. Hicks returns and is a solid #3 entering the Spring.

Verbal commit Aaron Lynch is one of the most coveted Defensive End's in the country, he will enroll early in January and is expected to immediately contribute. At 6'6, 265+ it is just a matter of picking up some of the finer points of the position for Lynch. Cornellius Carradine is deciding on Wednesday, the JUCO would also enter the mix immediately, although it is unclear if he can enroll in January. Carradine is highly regarded and has NFL potential.

A second verbal, Giorgio Newberry, may also arrive early. He is similar to Lynch in size, but figures to need a little more seasoning.

It would be a surprise to not see the same top four at DT. There is a desire to get bigger here and FSU is actively recruiting some "big bodies" from the JUCO ranks including Gilbert Pena(deciding this week).

Cameron Erving is a big body and Derrick Mitchell is a verbal commitment; each possess elite frames and will likely fill that big body role down the road.

A wildcard is Darious Cummings. He should push for playing time in the Spring. Nile Lawrence-Stample is also a verbal commit.

Adding Tim Jernigan would be a home run.

Bottom line, the defensive line is on the upswing in both talent and depth and has the potential to be one of the best in the country 2011 and certainly by 2012.

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