Without a question, the Texas State defense lost star power and will have to respond in losing program cornerstones, David Mayo, Craig Mager, Mike Orakpo. Along the line last season, no one excelled like defensive end Mike Odiarri. His speed and burst on the outside is what led him to a team high 9 sacks. Now we give you a look at who will be battling for the D-End spots come August 7th, the first day of practice. Probable Starters Roosevelt Pearson 6'5" 255lbs Jr.
Karee Berry 6'3" 225lbs So.
Jeff Banks 6'5" 212lbs So.
From last season, throughout the spring, and summer workouts, these are the three names that we consistently hear battling for the two starting spots. Towards the end of the '14 season Defensive Coordinator John Thompson started relying heavily on Berry and Banks to provide a rush opposite of Odiarri. With him gone, the sophomores could very well be your first game starters, or Pearson and a combination of Berry and Banks.
Pearson has received glowing reviews from the staff on his recovery and that he's shown that explosiveness he had before his knee injury. Now it's just about shaking off the rust or any nerves once the physical contact starts, and don't be surprised at all to see the RS Jr. stake a claim for a starting spot.
2 Deep and Contributors
Marcus Dallas Jr. 6'4" 245lbs Sr.
Brian Guendling 6'4" 235lbs Jr.
Cedric Gambrell 6'5" 270lbs Rs Fr.
Cody Casey 6'4" 255lbs Fr. (Grey Shirt)
Landon Beck 6'3" 275lbs Fr.
Dustin McWhorter 6'3" 260lbs Fr.
Kerry Walker 6'3" 220lbs Fr.
Dallas and Guendling could also fight for first team snaps. Last season Guendling was used as a 3rd down pass rushing specialist. Look for an increased role. Dallas had a good spring to position himself for some snaps and is now fully healthy.
Cedric Gambrell could very well see time at both spots, end and tackle. If he continues to put on weight he'll be making a permanent move inside. With his legit 6'5" frame, he can hold the weight. Casey is intriguing after "grey shirting", if anything he's got the size to get on the field and has been in the program since January.
Of the three true freshman, Landon Beck will get playing time and he could be a part of the "2 Deep" very soon into camp or the early season. He's got the size, strength, and motor to be an contributor from day one. Dustin McWhorter is also in that same category and both he and Beck could very well see significant snaps as true freshman. Beck arrived on campus during the first summer session, so having an extra month in workouts and getting to know the system is key.
On the high school level Walker showed a quick flash off the end. Some could say he's slotted for a red shirt and needs to add weight, but DC John Thompson is not afraid to play D-End's who are light in the pounds (Berry & Banks). Using that speed and athleticism to attack off the edge is a must in his scheme. We don't want to be too quick to say that Walker is slotted for a red shirt because of that. Realistically with nine other scholarship D-Ends, keeping all four years of playing eligibility is a real option.
Position Battle: DE's
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