A Deeper Look: Defensive Line

The RaiderPower.com spring practice preview continues as we review the defensive line. With the talk of moving Keyunta Dawson from DE to LB, there could be some big changes on the D Line going into next year.

Strongside DE

The Players:

91 McKinner Dixon, true SO (6’3, 245), started 1 game, 2005 recruiting class

Blue chip prospect who played well as a true FR fighting nagging injuries that started in summer workouts. He is probably over 250 now. This is a guy we are all comfortable with. STARTER

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int BPU QBH FR FF Big
2005 11 17 12 29 6 2 2 1

 

77 Jared Williams, RS SO (6’5, 220) 2004 recruiting class

Recruited to play LT but was never going to gain the 100 pounds needed for that position and was switched to DE. He is probably 240 – 245 now. He was visible when he played generally. PROBABLE FIRST BACKUP

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int BPU QBH FR FF Big
2005 7 4 2 6 1 9

 


The Unknowns:

94 Philip Jones RS FR (6’4, 244) 2005 recruiting class

Mid level recruit from Lewisville Hebron athletic and has the size. He should be 250 or more by now.

 

Sean Estelle, true FR (6’3, 245) 2006 recruiting class

Mid level recruit from Missouri City Marshal HS.

 

Rush DE

The Players:

92 Seth Nitschmann RS SR (6’4, 257) Started 23 at SDE, 2002 recruiting class

Seth has been a solid contributor, but the level is often debated. Some posters feel is he fine as a starter while others feel he is would make a great backup. He is moved to RDE this season to help him get to the QB more. Seth didn’t play last season due to injury and had zero sacks at SDE in 2004, so moving to RDE could really help him. STARTER

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int PBU QBH FR FF Big
2005 DNP
2004 12 27 17 44 4.5 2 1 1 7.5
2003 11 15 6 21 5 2 1 1 1



89 Tyler Yenzer RS JR (6’4, 234) 2003 recruiting class

Mid level recruit who led TX HS in sacks as a SR and I think a JR. He has just not been able to make the jump to D1. Expecting Tyler to be a Big 12 sack leader was setting the bar too high, but expecting him to contribute some sacks in 2 seasons was not. He needs to step up this season or be left behind. POSSIBLE FIRST BACKUP

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int BPU QBH FR FF Big
2005 5 5 1 6 5
2004 No Stats



95 Rashad Hunt RS FR (6’2, 260) 2005 recruiting class

Low level recruit who impressed the coaching staff. We keep hearing he will make us happy. POSSIBLE FIRST BACKUP


The Unknowns:

Brandon Williams
, true FR (6’3, 229) 2006 recruiting class

He is a mid level recruit from Fort Worth South Hills HS. He will RS if Hunt is what the coaches promise.

 

Jonathan Hollins, true FR (6’3, 224) 2006 recruiting class

He is a mid level recruit from Baton Rouge Redemptorist HS. He is one we are waiting on August to get too excited about.

 

Nose Tackle

The Players:

93 Chris Hudler, RS SR (6’3, 290), Started 25 games, 2002 recruiting class

Chris emerged as a team leader for Mesquite in the playoffs during their 15-0 state title team. He was thrust into starting as a RS FR due to injuries and poor recruiting. Chris emerged as a solid player during the 2004 regular season finale and the 2004 Holiday bowl. Last season, Chris played well and was easily one of our better DL. STARTER

 

90 Brian Jones, RS SO (5’11, 282) 2004 recruiting class

Brian played OK when he played, but needs to emerge this season to avoid being passed on the roster. PROBABLE FIRST BACKUP

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int BPU QBH FR FF Big
2005 6 2 2 4

 

The Unknowns:

Richard Jones, true FR (6’0. 270) 2006 recruiting class

Richard is a mid to high level recruit from La Marque.  He probably RS to bulk up a bit and get ready.

 

Rajon Henley, true FR (6’2, 245) 2006 recruiting class

He is a mid to high level recruit from Galveston Ball. He claims to be 260, but even then he needs to RS.

 

62 John Knust, SO (6’1, 247) WO

Probably not going to play much if at all

 

Defensive Tackle

The Players:

99 Ken Scott, RS SR (6’2, 316) Started 26 games, 2002 recruiting class

He was thrust into starting as a RS FR due to injuries and poor recruiting along with Chris Hudler. Ken was the guy most of us picked as the most likely to step up at DL in 2003 because he showed up as a FR at 307 wearing size 22 shoes and could slam dunk. He improved each year and is a solid DT for us. STARTER

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int PBU QBH FR FF Big
2005 10 25 12 37 3 1.5 3 2 7.5
2004 12 11 5 16 2 1 1
2003 13 16 11 27 3.5 1.5 2 1 6



51 Dek Bake
, RS SR (6’6, 263) Started 4 games, 2004 recruiting class

JUCO DE we converted to DT and played aggressively but hobbled all 2004. He missed all last season injured. PROBABLE FIRST BACKUP AND COULD BE FIRST BACKUP AT NT AS WELL.

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int PBU QBH FR FF Big
2005 DNP
2004 11 16 11 27 2.5 1.5 1 4



98 Jake Ratliff
RS SO (6’6, 237) 2004 recruiting class

He looked OK in limited action last season. He was a low level recruit from Lawton, OK. Tall and athletic, could also play DE if needed.

GP Solo Ast Tot TFL Sack Int PBU QBH FR FF Big
2005 12 3 2 5



The Unknowns:


DanTay Ward
, true FR (6’3, 295) 2006 recruiting class

He is a mid level recruit from Waco HS, we need to wait until August before getting too excited. He is physically ready to play as a true FR.

 

Broderick Marshall, true FR (6’4, 260) 2006 recruiting class

A mid level recruit from Austin McCallum HS, we probably shouldn’t get too excited about in the near future.


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