Spring Practice Report Card: DT

Ryan Bass grades spring practice position by position; today he takes a look at the Defensive Tackles.

Defensive Tackle:

Depth Chart:

DT: Travis Parker, Omar Billy, LeShawn Newberry
DT: Alfred Malone, Brad Brezina, Mansfield Wrotto

There is a distinct difference in the grades I'm giving out to the two groups of ends and tackles. Our Tackles had a few more issues than did our Ends. For one, the depth is much thinner. Sometimes we need to move a more natural End over to play inside since there is a lack of bodies at the position.

That situation wasn't helped by the fact that LeRon Lee was not able to return to the team. In addition, Reggie Koon moved over to the Offensive Line in order to help out our depth at that position and to find a position where he could make more of an impact. That leaves us with 4 "true" Tackles until help arrives in fall.

Travis Parker and Alfred Malone are retuning starters at Tackles and are still fairly young players. Both had some nice moments during spring but never truly stood out. Malone probably had the stronger spring but our OL seemed to be able to get a nice push in the middle of the field too often.

Parker is really good once he breaks loose. He uses a relentless pursuit to track down the ball carrier and even cased several fumbles during spring.

Brad Brezina is a strong kid and can often times pull a back down with one arm. He is a real hustler and just needs to get better at shedding blocker so that he can continue to make plays.

Omar Billy didn't really make much of an impression on me this spring. I don't think he's quite really to be a huge contributor just yet.

I think that there is a good opportunity for incoming freshmen LeShawn Newberry and Mansfield Wrotto to make an impact in fall practice if they arrive in good shape and have worked hard over the summer on their workouts.

I'm a little concerned about this group but things should improve with freshman help (at least in regards to depth) and occasional assistance from larger Ends like Gathers and Pullen.

Grade: C

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