Position Battle: DT's

Next up in our series of "Position Battles" are the defensive tackles. Sometimes they can be overlooked, but the boys in the middle anchor the defensive line and are a critical foundation for any defense.

Unlike the defensive ends, the tackles return with plenty of starting experience for Defensive Coordinator John Thompson. In his attacking 4-2-5 scheme the tackles can be productive up the field and in backfields, or like the prototypical D-Tackle, sturdy and holding the point for the attack from the outside.

Probable Starters

Mershad Dillon 6'3" 300lbs Sr.
Dallas McClarty 5'11" 275lbs Jr.

Of the two, McClarty jumps out on the stat sheet, with 41 tackles, 7 of them for loss and 3 sacks. All that and as he's generously listed at 5'11". His quickness and first step helps him get out in front of O-lineman and he's got a knack for being in backfields despite his size. Don't let his stature fool you, he's strong and will hold his own. He knows how to use leverage to his advantage, and will get under opponents pads.

Dillon on the other hand is a bull. He won't wow you with explosiveness or eye popping stats, but he eats up space and blockers, letting those around him, defensive ends and linebackers, attack the play. Both are entrenched as starters for the Texas State defense this fall.

2 Deep and Contributors

Dondre Elvoid 6'4" 305lbs Sr.
Will Trevillion 6'1" 285lbs So.
Rusmin Nikocevic 6'4" 258lbs Sr.
Steven Eddings 6'4" 290lbs Jr.
Darius Hood 6'0" 275lbs Sr.
Josh Uluocha 6'2" 250lbs Fr.

The rest of the group does have some depth. Do not be surprised at all for Steven Eddings to get reps with the first team come fall camp. His size, quickness and explosiveness from the tackle position is impressive. When Coach John Thompson goes to a 3 down linemen package, Eddings could slide to the outside edge and turned loose in pass rushing mode.

Will Trevillion and Dondre Elvoid will also be a part of the rotation. Elvoid's size is really intriguing at 6'4" 300 plus pounds, but arriving right at the start of the semester last season put him behind the curve of learning the system. One year into the program, we'll see if Elvoid is ready to step up his contributions as a senior.

Of the high school signees, the only freshman we've been told that will be a d-tackle for sure is Josh Uluocha. Unless he forces his hand in camp and makes play after play, we fully expect Uluocha to red shirt, get bigger, stronger, and then contend to make contributions after his red shirt year.


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