Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green both started every game for the Hurricanes last season. Chickillo was the team's most consistent performer there last season. He finished the year with 45 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and four sacks. He's a high motor guy who turned in a solid spring. He continues to emerge as one of the main leaders of this team. Green has played in 18 games for the Hurricanes, including starting 12 of them last season, but he's still looking for his first career sack. He's another smart player who will play hard and defend the run well but his pass rushing skills are extremely limited.
Jelani Hamilton and Kelvin Cain emerged as the primary backups after spring ended. Hamilton, a rising sophomore, got hurt during the last week of spring and was unable to play in the spring game. The fact that he was still able to be listed at number two on the depth chart just goes to show far much further along he was than the others behind him. Cain has bounced between defensive end and outside linebacker but started to show some consistency in his work habits and his overall play this spring.
Dyron Dye, a tight end the last couple seasons, was injured in one of the earlier scrimmages and was forced to miss a lot of the spring. David Perry, another converted tight end, seems to be buried on the depth chart. It doesn't seem like he'll be counted upon anytime soon to make any type of impact.
Keep an eye on Dwayne Hoilett. The Hurricanes need pass rushers in the worst way and he offers some upside there. He's probably the number five defensive end right now, and could see a role there this fall.
Ricardo Williams hasn't seen the field in his first two seasons here and had a relatively quiet spring so don't expect a big impact from him anytime soon.
Lots of help will arrive over the summer at this position. Tyriq McCord, the team's most explosive pass rusher last season, worked with the outside linebackers this spring but could end up getting moved back to defensive end. He could also be an edge rusher in a 3-4 alignment if the Hurricanes go to more of that this fall. Devante Bond and Alquadin Muhammad are two talented pass rushers who will arrive over the summer as well.