Building Defensive Line Depth

One of the keys to the 2005 Vandal football season is fortifying the defensive line. Junior college transfer <b>Ryan Davis</b>, an All-Conference 1st Team selection, could have an immediate impact on the Vandal defensive line.

To say that Idaho's needs at defensive tackle in 2005 are "epic" might be overstating things just a bit. But there were some serious depth issues in 2004 which ultimately forced several Idaho defensive ends to move inside to defensive tackle. That's fine if your defensive ends go 6-5 and 260 pounds, but since those athletes are fairly difficult to find, suffice it to say that Idaho was slightly undermanned.

That's where junior college transfer Ryan Davis, a defensive tackle out of Orange Coast College comes in. At 6-1, 270 pounds he's not the biggest or the heaviest lineman to grace the Vandal depth chart, but he is a solid prospect the unit sorely needs. At OCC in 2004 he was voted a 1st Team All Mission Conference Defensive Tackle for a season in which he recorded 53 tackles (6th on the team, #1 among defensive linemen), 4 tackles for loss, 4.5 quarterback sacks, 2 pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Ryan also earned 2nd Team All-Conference honors in 2003 as a freshman. His career stats were not "earth shattering", but he was enough of a force up front to be considered among the best in the Mission Conference 2 consecutive years.

Who will he be joining? At this point, its a little uncertain, but we're fairly confident that the Vandal interior D-Line will have a much different look to it's depth chart in 2005. Expected to be back for his sophomore season will be Siua Musika, a 6-1, 300 pound nose guard who started every game for Idaho in 2004 as a true freshman. Also expected on the interior is senior Jeff Edwards, a 2-year starter at defensive tackle who missed part of 2004 with an injury. Beyond these 2 there could be some serious shuffling as players switch between DT/NT and DE. However, the interior D-Line should get a significant boost with 2 redshirt freshmen in Alex Toailoa and Antonio Lindsey up front. Alex was battling for serious playing time at DT last fall before a season ending injury at the end of fall camp. And Antonio is big prospect.

Also in the mix will be sophomore Marcis Fennell, who started 3 games on the Vandal offensive line in 2004 as a true freshman and will be given a shot on the defensive line in the spring.

Who else will be battling for playing time? That remains to be seen, and will likely be heavily influenced by the caliber of the prospects Idaho recruits down the stretch.

ALL Vandals Top Stories