Sunday, August 17, 2014

Position Profile: Defensive Line

Today, our preview of the defense is completed by a look at the defensive line, a group that looks to be slightly more mature than some other areas on this side of the line of scrimmage, but not without its newcomers.

Here's the preliminary depth chart on the defensive line:
Boston Bryant
Steven Cornellier
Tarek Odom
Tyler Vaughan
E.J. Speller
Chris Boudreaux

Tarek Odom recorded 47 tackles last season,
thirteen for loss.
Courtesy Southern Conference
Tarek Odom leads the way at defensive end. The 5-10, 258 lb. senior out of St. Augustine, Fla., recorded 47 tackles (thirteen for loss, which was third in the Southern Conference) in his ten starts last season. Odom will obviously be a major power up on the line for the Terriers.

He is joined on the other side by Boston Bryant, who started in three games last year, while also seeing action in seven others. Bryant, a native of Williamsburg, Ky., is entering his sophomore year after making an impact on the line as a true freshman.

Top backup candidates look to be redshirt freshman Tyler Vaughan and sophomore Steven Corneiller, who was honored on the SoCon Academic Honor Roll, as was Boston Bryant. Neither have seen any game action.

Junior Darius Burton saw action in every contest last season, including a lone start. The Durham, N.C., finance major made sixteen tackles (eight came against Georgia Southern) and forced a fumble.

Jordan Pope, who recorded a single tackle last season, returns with fellow junior Ethan Gaskins, who saw slightly more action in 2013, and thus made two more tackles than Pope.

Marcus Isom could be a potential difference maker for this line. The government major out of Winter Garden, Fla., notched six tackles in his six games played, without a start.

We'll most likely be without Tom Bove, at least for the time being, but we're adding some talent like true freshman Chase Mills, and we will have a pair of redshirt freshmen, Tyler Vaughan and Brandon Curtis to add depth to the line.

Finally, junior E.J. Speller will be the strength at nose tackle, as he started in all eleven games last season, making twenty-three tackles at his post. His best bet for backup comes in the form of Chris Boudreaux, a sophomore out of Mobile, Ala., who has yet to see game action as a Terrier.

In conclusion, Tarek Odom especially helps to bring the vigor to this stout defensive line. Like always, that is where the backbone of this resourceful defense lies, although we're not necessarily short of durability or talent anywhere else on the defense. There are some holes, and there is much to learn for this young squad (not so much on the line, of course), but the words, albeit slightly altered to the tune of the football program, that were typed here back in May, originally as an allusion to the growing state of our baseball program, still ring true:
"We may not be there yet, but
[down by down, quarter by quarter]
We'll get there." 
[Some statistical data courtesy]

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