Red-Black Spring Game Roundup // White Defense

White Defense

Defensive Line

The main defensive line participants were Richard Jones and Victor Hunter at tackles and Daniel Howard and Ryan Haliburton and Sandy Riley at defensive end. From a production standpoint, I thought that Howard was by far the best player on the defensive line. He was credited for only 2 sacks (another tackle for a loss), but it seemed like he was putting pressure on Potts for a good part of the afternoon. I've always like Howard's motor and I've got a good feeling that he's the guy that may step into that defensive end position rather than the joker position, playing occasionally in pass rush situations. Jones was solid, nothing spectacular, although he did have a sack, and that's a bonus in my opinion. I also tried to keep an eye on Hunter and although he's listed at 256, he's not 256. Hunter's put on a few pounds. The biggest concern that I have about Hunter is not playing the position for almost all of his career and will he have the strength to keep defenders off of him. I also tried to keep an eye on Haliburton to try and figure out if he's going to be a Jake Ratliff type of player (i.e. solid but not spectacular) or if he can develop into a guy with a little more speed. I think he's got the athleticism to play defensive end, but he needs more strength and to play with a little more tenacity.

Linebacker

Considering all of the press that Sam Fehoko has received this spring, I was very much interested in how well he would play on Saturday. Aside from Fehoko's play, the one thing I noticed was that Fehoko was really being coached up by Ruffin McNeill on almost every play. McNeill was paying close attention to the reads that Fehoko was making. I thought Fehoko responded well and he was aggressive in supporting the run, but looked pretty smooth in coverage as well. Could not have been more impressed, despite he only registered 1 tackle. Marlon Williams was also a guy that impressed me during the scrimmage. I kept waiting for some sort of over-pursuit or out of position play and sure enough, he didn't do that at all. Williams finished the game with 6 tackles and 2 tackles for a loss. Bront Bird had a solid game. Nothing really stood out, but that's probably because I was focusing so much on Fehoko and Williams.

Secondary

There's going to be a poll at the end of this, but I'm afraid that there's a clear White team defensive MVP, safety Cody Davis. Aside from a great hit, he also had a 100 yard touchdown interception return. I had no idea what to expect, but I am very happy to report that Davis is going to be a pretty good player for Texas Tech and he's going to make an immediate impact for Texas Tech next fall. Brett Dewhurst led the White defense in tackles with 7 solo tackles and 1 tackle for a loss and he's going to be a great nikel and dime guy for the Red Raiders. Taylor Charbonnet does have a slight build, but he can stick with opposing receivers. The guy is fast. LaRon Moore got the other cornerback start and I didn't think he did horribly, so that's a good thing. The thing that impressed me most about this group is that they didn't give up anything extraordinarily deep and I think Ruffin McNeill values that immensely in his defense.

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