Playing time outlook: defensive end

IT's position-by-position capsule look at the probable fall playing time rotation as well as a glimpse at possible freshman contributors for the Horns continues. Today's installment: defensive end.

Defensive end rotation pattern: Veteran starters Cory Redding on the left side and Kalen Thornton on the right side are, if healthy, 50-60 snap per game players at DE. Mentioned on numerous All-America teams, senior Redding will see the bulk of the game-on-the-line snaps, although a returned-from-injury O.J. McClintock will be counted on to provide 15-20 high quality snaps in relief of Redding. Thornton, who had off-season knee surgery, may need to ease back into his previous 50-60 snap role, giving spring standout Austin Sendlein the early season opportunity for up to half of the right DE snaps each game. True freshman Chase Pittman, who enrolled for the spring semester and participated in spring ball, could also provide depth on the right side, but his snaps would probably be limited to the 15-20 range on the high end unless either Thornton or Sendlein are substantially limited because of injury. Redshirt freshman Kaelen Jakes worked at both end spots in spring but did not make a run at significant playing time and projects as a late game substitute heading into two-a-days. True freshman PT? Very likely. Along with fellow freshman Pittman, Larry Dibbles brings the size, strength and athletic ability to play immediately. Whether he does so will obviously depend on his performance once on the Forty Acres in August, but a game-on-the-line back-up role (15-20 snaps per game) is not out of the question for the former Lancaster standout. Bryan Pickryl, who like Pittman enrolled in January, did not participate in spring drills due to injury and his small-ish size (210 pounds) suggests that a redshirt year is in order. Tully Janszen could also get a look at DE, but, based on what the coaches told him during recruiting, he is more likely to line up on the inside of the DL.

Horns Digest Top Stories