Meet the Terps Defense: #12 A.J. Francis

College Park, MD. - TSR gets you acclimated with the 2012 Terps, first looking at the offense.

Player: A.J. Francis

Hometown: Severn, Md.

Class: Senior

Height & Weight: 6-foot-5, 305 pounds

Projected Position on Depth Chart: Starting defensive tackle

The rundown: Francis is a strong defensive tackle who is one of the senior leaders on the team. He has played in 37 consecutive games and has started 23 games in his collegiate career. Last season, Francis played in all 12 games, started four games and finished with 31 tackles, 11 solo tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup. His best game came against Georgia Tech when he had a season-high nine tackles and a pass breakup. Against N.C. State, Francis recorded five tackles and a sack. Francis has good size to play nose tackle in the 3-4 defense.

Expectations for 2012: Francis will be the starter at the tackle position to start the season. With the switch to a 3-4 defense, Francis will be playing the nose tackle position and will start over Darius Kligo, Alex Walker and Nate Clarke. Francis is the most experienced of the group and will be looked upon by the coaches to lead the younger players both on and off the field. A respected defender, the fifth-year tackle should improve his numbers from last year and should also help the other players in the front seven pressure the quarterback more effectively given that his streak of games continues.

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