Gopher Football Preview: Defensive Tackle

The Gopher graduated both starters at defensive tackle. Look for back-ups Jewhan Edwards and Brandon Kirksey to step into the starting role. Who will add depth to this important position? Will Gopher fans see action from incoming freshmen?

Projected Starters:
Assuming the Gophers will run a base 4-3 defense the likely starters will be 6-foot-1, 350 pound Jewhan Edwards at nose and 6-foot-2, 294 pound Brandon Kirksey alongside him. The two junior have rotated in with the previous starters, Garrett Brown and Eric Small, and should have no problems sliding into the starting positions.

Intriguingly, there have been hints of the Gophers gravitating toward a 3-4 defense, and while the personnel might not be in place just yet, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see Edwards line up at zero with Kirksey and one of the other large defensive ends (6-foot-2, 300 pound Anthony Jacobs or 6-foot-6, 294 pound Ra'Shede Hageman) line up outside.

Projected Top Reserves:
There are only two listed defensive tackles on the Gopher football roster. However, the Gopher staff has been hinting at Anthony Jacobs moving inside. Recent Gopher prospects come in versatile enough to play several positions, and there will likely be some action for the freshman defensive linemen.

Incoming Freshmen:
The massive defensive tackle Sean Ferguson, 6-foot-6, 306 pounds, arrived on campus last winter and has had the advantage of working with the team. Look for 6-foot-4, 306 pound Harold Legania to push for playing time as well, with 6-foot-2, 281 pound Josh Tauaefa likely redshirting to add size.


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