SPRING: BF.C Depth chart analysis - Defense

THE PASS RUSH of the defensive line was the story of the OSU spring -- but depth at both the edge and inside still raises some questions. And what about the question marks at linebacker where pre-spring injury and attrition had taken a bite? How 'bout the defensive backfield, which was green and youthful last season -- has that changed? A comprehensive rundown and the BF.C defensive two-deeps..

RELATED: Injury report

NOTE:  Injured players are not included on the depth chart


LE 99 Gabe Miller SR 6-3 249
  49 Andrew Seumalo SO 6-3 262
  94 Devon Kell RFR 6-2 228

SUMMARY: At times he was unblockable, even by the veteran Mike Remmers, and even though he is just in his second year at defensive end some say Miller has a shot at post season honors.

There is plenty of work to do behind Miller though in walk-ons Seumalo and Kell. Are they capable of spelling Miller once in awhile? That still remains to be seen.

DT 54 Stephen Paea SR 6-1 311
  98 Castro Masaniai SO 6-2 311
  77 Evan Hull SR 6-4 276
  70 Ben Motter JR 6-5 288

SUMMARY: It was already known that Paea is one of the top defensive tackles in the nation and spring practice firmly solidified this belief as fact.

Masaniai had a quiet spring, as did Hull. Converted offensive lineman Motter made the most noise as Riley says he has a chance to make the travel squad.

DT 78 Brennan Olander SR 6-1 276
  74 Kevin Frahm JR 6-2 267
  61 Tonu Tuimalealiifano SO 6-1 269
  75 Nathan Hannah SR 6-3 277

SUMMARY: Olander, like Paea, was a beast in the middle of the field, but strep throat limited his practice time late in the month.

One of the most pleasant surprises was Frahm who had a fantastic spring and will be one of the first players off of the bench.

Hannah, another converted offensive lineman, also caught the eye of Riley as the head man says he has a chance to make the travel team.

RE 91 Taylor Henry SO 6-1 240
  76 John Braun RFR 6-5 256

SUMMARY: Henry's dominating performance in the spring game -- and his overall performance this spring -- couldn't have come at a better time. The tackles couldn't contain his speed, and Riley said Henry reminded him of Slade Norris.

With Henry coming into his own it is all about developing depth.

Braun is transitioning into his role on defense nicely, but will be pushed by Mana Rosa, who will be back from shoulder surgery, and incoming junior college transfer Dominic Glover.

SAM 44 Devin Unga SO 6-1 219
  52 Keo Camat SR 6-2 238
  31 Paul Jones JR 6-2 209

SUMMARY: The extra snaps that Unga and Camat received due to Keith Pankey recovering from surgery will pay dividends during the season.

Unga proved he can play with the first stringers while Camat is a reliable backup. Riley has mentioned Camat a few times, but the senior has yet to make a significant impact.

MLB 43 Tony Wilson SO 6-1 231
  13 Rueben Robinson SO 6-1 222
  41 Kevin Unga SO 6-1 236
  48 Walker Vave SR 6-2 242

SUMMARY: The battle for middle linebacker will continue between Wilson and Robinson in the fall. Wilson appears to have the slight lead at this point over Robinson but keep in mind that the last week of the spring, Robinson was running with the 1s -- and Robinson started the spring game as well.

Don't count out Unga, though, as he was slowed down by a pelvic injury.

WLB 59 Dwight Roberson SR 6-0 232
  29 Zane Norris SO 6-2 223
  40 Michael Doctor FR 5-11 216
  55 Charlie Gilmur RFR 6-1 227

SUMMARY: Roberson, the elder statesman of the linebacking group and recently voted team captain, had a quiet, but solid spring. He is a lead by example player, so quiet or not, he was certainly effective.

Doctor caught on quickly and it wouldn't be surprising to see him slide up into the two deeps and at the very least become a force to reckon with on special teams.

CB 4 James Dockery JR 6-1 176
  14 Jordan Poyer SO 5-11 189
  38 Brian Watkins SO 5-9 179

SUMMARY: There were questions by some about the consistency of Dockery, who was recently voted one of the team captains, heading into spring, but the junior solidified his role as a starter at times showing the ability to lockdown one side of the field.

Poyer will see the field plenty though - he just knows how to make plays and is getting better with every snap.

S 10 Lance Mitchell JR 6-2 207
  26 Josh LaGrone SO 6-1 200
  12 Dax Dilbeck RFR 6-1 203
  30 Zeke Sanders RFR 6-1 212

SUMMARY: One of the deepest positions on the team is at safety. The talented Mitchell is without a doubt a starter, but LaGrone will get plenty of reps.

Look for Dilbeck to at least make a splash on special teams. It seemed like he had a pick almost every day of practice.

S 5 Cameron Collins JR 6-2 230
  28 Suaesi Tuimaunei SR 6-1 205
  47 Anthony Watkins SO 6-1 215
  15 Levi Levasa RFR 5-11 208

SUMMARY: When Banker was asked who in the secondary was having the best spring he replied, "Tuimaunei." Tui is the fastest safety on the team and after a rough season in '09, he has got his confidence back.

That doesn't mean Collins is in danger of losing his job. Collins is an absolute beast and brings that "fear factor" to the secondary.

Keep your eyes on Watkins who, like Dilbeck, seemed to have a pick or bat down each day.

CB 17 Brandon Hardin JR 6-2 219
  20 Keynan Parker SO 5-11 177
  16 Rashaad Reynolds FR 5-10 177
  18 Kaua Olds SO 5-10 190
  32 Greg Anderson RFR 5-11 176

SUMMARY: It is all about being consistent for Hardin, he has got the physical tools, the experience and the knowledge, now he just needs to do it every single play.

The coaches love Parker's speed and Reynolds athleticism, but they will have to cut their teeth on special teams as Poyer will be the first off of the bench.

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