JJ Perez, InsideRunnerSports.com

UTSA Football Spring Preview: DL

UTSA Football Spring practices began Monday. InsideRunnerSports takes a look at the Roadrunner Defensive Line as workouts begin.

By JJ Perez
For InsideRunnerSports.com

OVERVIEW
Having fully transitioned to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, UTSA’s d-line enters this spring as one of the areas of strength for the team. The unit returns two starters and several other players that played key roles. The unit is poised for a big season.

BIG QUESTION
How good can UTSA’s DL be?
Talent abounds along UTSA’s defensive line this spring. At end, there are a handful of players on the roster who could vie for significant playing time. This group includes the likes of Marcus Davenport, Kevin Strong, Solomon Wise, Eric Banks, and others. At the tackle position, Baylen Baker and King Newton return. With a slew of quality depth, this unit figures to be one of the best on the team. But how good can the DL be in 2017?

OUTLOOK
For players like Marcus Davenport and Baylen Baker, they enter this spring working with their third position coach in as many years. But do not overlook the addition Bo Davis as UTSA’s new DL coach. Considered one of the best position coaches in the nation, Davis’ addition should help bolster the play of UTSA’s d-line. Davenport should be considered an All-Conference type of a player. Having bulked up in the offseason, the San Antonio-native is a physical presence that has the potential to dominate games. Kevin Strong gets another spring to work at the end position. A converted DT, this spring will be important to Strong’s continued development. At the tackle position, Baylen Baker and King Newton both had terrific seasons clogging up the middle in 2016. Baker and Newton, both sophomores, are two of the young talents that have the capability to become future cornerstones along the d-line. Baker and Newton should have a terrific battle for the starting spot this spring. At the other end position, youngsters Solomon Wise and Eric Banks figure to battle for playing time. The first team of UTSA’s DL is stout. With players like DeQuarius Henry, Jarrod McLin, and Franklin Uesi in reserve roles, the potential for UTSA’s defensive line is off the charts. And that’s before three-star DT Morris Joseph joins the group over the summer. 

PROJECTED SPRING DEPTH CHART
Starting DE: Kevin Strong
Starting DT: King Newton, Baylen Baker
Starting DE: Solomon Wise, Eric Banks
Starting Sam DE: Marcus Davenport
Backup DEs: DeQuarius Henry, Jarrod McLin, Franklin Uesi



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