Spring Preview: DL

Spring football starts at the University of Miami today so it's time to take a look at the team heading into the month-long session.

The Canes have lots of depth and experience along the defensive line and now the key will be finding consistency and getting them to play up to their ability level.

The best one of the group is senior defensive end Allen Bailey. The former five-star recruit has played both end and tackle in his career but is expected to play end this season. He finished last season with 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and two caused fumbles while emerging as one of the best defensive linemen in the conference.

The Canes will welcome back junior Adewale Ojomo, who started as a freshman in 2008 but missed all of 2009 with a broken jaw. He had five tackles for loss and three sacks in 08 and can make things happen on the edge.

Competing with Ojomo for a starting spot opposite Bailey will be senior Steven Wesley, junior Andrew Smith, junior Marcus Robinson, and sophomore Olivier Vernon. All four have starting experience.

Robinson's been the most productive of the four, registering four sacks last season. Wesley had three and made three more plays behind the line of scrimmage. Vernon showed promise and had a couple sacks. Smith didn't have any sacks.

Freshman Dyron Dye, a former four-star recruit, and sophomore Gavin Hardin will also look to break into the rotation this season.

Six defensive tackles will be competing for the starting spots this spring and none have separated themselves from the rest of the pack yet. The most experienced one is senior Josh Holmes, who had six tackles for loss and a sack last season.

Sophomore Marcus Forston, a former five-star recruit, has drawn high expectations but missed all of 2009 with an injury. Junior Micanor Regis was active at times last season. Sophomores Curtis Porter and Jeremy Lewis both played sparingly last season. Porter might have the most upside of all of them after Forston.

Freshman Luther Robinson will also be looking to break into the rotation after redshirting in 2009.


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