Five That Flashed: Defense

From a corner with a knack for the end zone to a host of emerging defensive linemen and more -- a look at five defenders that stood out in Saturday's spring game.

- V'Angelo Bentley - It doesn't happen all that often, but good things happen when Bentley gets the ball. The junior returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown in the first half, ending a potential Orange scoring drive and giving the Blue squad a 21-7 lead. Bentley also recorded a tackle and a pass break-up.

- Paul James - Think about the sixth time you've done something. Anything. Ever. That's how many times James has practiced with the team after missing all of last season and most of spring due to academics. He showed Saturday why his presence has been anticipated and sorely missed. James posted four tackles, all for loss and two for sacks and recovered a fumble.

"This is the most snaps he's gotten all spring," defensive coordinator Tim Banks said. "He really made the most of it, I think. He made some plays and showed his athleticism, but he also showed that he had some work to do."

- Kenny Nelson - Finding a disruptive pass-rusher was high up on the list of needs this offseason. Nelson could be the guy. The 6-6, 245-pound junior had five tackles, two sacks and a pass break-up.

- Mike Svetina - Back at middle linebacker after spending last season at Star, Svetina recorded an Orange team-high eight tackles, 1.5 for loss. In the hunt to start alongside Mason Monheim, Svetina has as much experience as any other candidate.

- Zeph Grimes - The move to Star paid off, at least on Saturday. Grimes picked off a Wes Lunt pass, a rare event according to defensive coordinator Tim Banks.

"We haven't picked off Wes Lunt very often, I can tell you that," Banks said. "I was happy to see Zeph make a play. He's a kid who wants to. You can see that. He works hard."

Of Note:
Taylor Barton - Seven tackles, 0.5 for loss.
Ralph Cooper - Eight tackles.
Zane Petty - Seven tackles, pass break-up.
Davontay Kwaaning - Seven tackles.
T.J. Neal - Six tackles, one for loss.
Joe Fotu - Four tackles, one sack.


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