Olsen Pierre (Jr) ended last season as the team's best interior defensive lineman. He finished last season with 27 tackles, five for loss, and 1.5 sacks. At 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, he's the most athletic of the Hurricane defensive tackles and was often praised by Al Golden as the most improved player on the entire defense. After an excellent spring, he could be in line for a big season.
The competition to start next to Pierre was intense during the spring. Seniors Curtis Porter (6-1/315) and Luther Robinson (6-3/290) both have starting experience. Porter is considered the more talented of the two and is better designed to play the nose. Unfortunately, he's battled injuries throughout his career. He turned in a good -- and healthy -- spring should he could be ready to take his game to another level.
The competition for the fourth defensive tackle spot was wide open throughout the spring and the one who emerged as that guy was sophomore Corey King. At 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds, he played in nine games last season. He was a lightly recruited player from Palm Beach County who will look to add depth to this unit in 2013.
Sophomores Earl Moore (6-1/300) and Dequan Ivery (6-1/310) both saw action as true freshmen last season. While they have the size to compete and showed flashes of being able to contribute last season, both were unable to pass King on the depth chart this spring. That is probably an indicator that they're a year away from really being able to make a difference.
Jalen Grimble (6-2/295) was a five-star recruit coming out of a Las Vegas high school a few years ago. Now a junior, Grimble has bounced between end and tackle but seems buried on the depth chart at this stage of his career. Any meaningful minutes the Hurricanes can get from him this season would be a plus.