Position Preview: Defensive Line

The Texas Tech defensive line doesn't have a lot of experience, but they do have some talented young players. Can this group put the pieces together and make the improvements necessary to allow the rest of the defense to excel?

The Texas Tech defensive line enters the 2003 season with only one returning starter. Adell Duckett suffered a hand injury early in fall practices, but he should be ready to play once the season gets here. Duckett should start at one of the end positions, while senior Gathan McGinnis will probably start the season at the other end. On the inside it looks like Ken Scott and Chris Hudler, both redshirt freshman, will be starting.

The primary backups for the end spots will be Seth Nitschmann, Scott Lee, and Randall Cherry. Freshman Keyunta Dawson may see some playing time if he continues to improve in practices. With only five defensive tackles on the roster, it is almost certain that the remaining three will see significant playing time as backups. Fred Thrweatt certainly has the skills to be a starter, but he has been inconsistent in fall practices. Patrice Majondo-Mwamba and Tommie Pratt will have to battle for the remaining spot on the two deep roster.

This group has a lot of potential, but it remains to be seen how they will perform on the field. Duckett is the only proven player on the line, and he should have a good season if he can remain healthy. The tackles could make or break the defense this season. There is certainly a lot of talent, but the lack of experience and depth is a major concern. If any of the tackles get injured, the depth will become a serious issue. Barring injury, the defensive line should show a major improvement over last season.

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