Fall Camp Preview: Defensive Tackles

Fresno State's defensive tackle position lacks the prototypical size and depth compared to years past. Jason Shirley is the only defensive tackle taller than 6-4 and the only who tops 300lbs. A number of freshmen look to make an impact in fall camp.

Sr. Jason Shirley (6-5, 330) and former Bulldog Louis Leonard (6-4, 335) were mammoth tackles, who made it almost impossible for opposing teams to run up the middle. Leonard has departed leaving Shirley as the only defensive tackle with game experience taller than 6-2.

Shirley had a good spring and looks great this summer. He is arguably in the best shape of his career heading into fall camp. He is one of the top tackles in the WAC. The defense will look to him to clog up the middle in most games at nose tackle.

Jr. Jon Monga (6-2, 280) lacks the size to be a dominant tackle. Nonetheless, he is at his best in pass coverage. He will enter fall camp the favorite to occupy the spot along side Shirley.

Sr. Charles Tolbert (5-11, 265) was a two-time Nevada all-state standout in high school. Despite being undersized, he has been a solid contributor his first three seasons. His starting experience gives him a slight edge for the starting defensive tackle spot.

Fr. Cornell Banks (6-3, 290) originally signed in 2005 but sat out to fulfill academics. He redshirted last season and was expected to make a huge splash this past spring. Banks is not a great practice player per se. He struggled in drills but came alive during scrimmages during spring. Coach Pat Hill called him the most dominant tackle he saw in the Valley during the 2004 season. Banks has to have a decent fall camp if he expects to shine during the season.

Fr. Mark Roberts (6-2, 290) has been compared to former Bulldog Jason Stewart. Unlike Stewart, Roberts is big enough to contend for playing time as a true freshman. He did not have the best spring but has worked hard this summer. His size and athletic ability give him a chance to emerge as a contributor in camp.

True freshman Porter Hill (6-4, 280) is expected to add much needed size to the defensive front. He is very quick and agile for a size. He has the talent and frame to make an impact as a true.

Fellow true freshman Bryce Harris (6-6, 261) moved to defensive tackle after one week in the summer at offensive tackle. He was a high school defensive end but his future was expected to be on offense. Harris has quick feet but will likely redshirt to bulk up.

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