Position Breakdown: Defensive Line

The 2011 football season is quickly approaching and Louisville begins fall camp next month. Today, InsideTheVille.com breaks down the defensive line, expected to be the strength of the defense.


Greg Scruggs, 6-4, 285, SR
Marcus Smith, 6-3, 251, SO
Deiontrez Mount, 6-5, 219, FR
B.J. Butler, 6-2, 264, SO
Malcolm Mitchell, 6-2, 230, SO
Brandon Dunn, 6-3, 310, SO
B.J Dubose, 6-5, 238, FR
William Savoy, 6-1, 248, SR
Roy Philon, 6-3, 274, SO
Lorenzo Mauldin, 6-4, 225, FR
Randy Salmon, 6-3, 291, JR
Jamaine Brooks, 6-4, 328, RS-FR
Jamon Brown, 6-6, 327, FR

OVERVIEW: A weakness going into last season, Louisville's defensive front figures to be the strength of Charlie Strong's defense this season. Senior end/tackle Greg Scruggs leads a group relatively short on experience, but long on talent. DE B.J. Butler and DT Brandon Dunn earned their stripes as true freshmen and appear poised for breakout sophomore campaigns. Look for Marcus Smith, a converted linebacker, to make a name for himself at defensive end this season.

GOING, GOING, GONE: Rodney Gnat enjoyed his best season as a Cardinal under Charlie Strong's guidance and led the team in sacks. Though Gnat had a solid season, Strong has plenty of talented defensive ends waiting to pick up the slack.

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS: FR DE B.J. Dubose has the pedigree to make an immediate impact, especially as a pass rusher. One of the top prospects in Florida, Dubose, a former Miami commitment, has big-time size and athleticism and could be a star of the future. Lorenzo Mauldin, a former South Carolina commitment, needs to add strength, but possesses the speed and athleticism to become one of the league's top defensive ends. Freshmen tackles Jamaine Brooks and Jamon Brown possess ideal size to become run stoppers in the middle.

MAJOR STORYLINES:

Can Greg Scruggs become a productive, every down player, presumably at defensive end, while proving leadership for the Cardinals young linemen?

Will Brandon Dunn and B.J. Butler emerge as super sophomores after gaining valuable experience as true freshmen last year?

Marcus Smith appeared a star in the making during spring practice after moving from linebacker. Will the sophomore end make his presence felt this season?

Will true freshman B.J. Dubose have a similar impact on the defensive line as B.J. Butler and Brandon Dunn last season?

Freshman tackles Jermaine Brooks and Jamon Brown are imposing physical specimens. Are they ready to clog the middle for the Cardinals?

Is defensive tackle Randy Salmon ready for a breakout season after transferring from junior college last season?


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