Looking Towards 2014 | The Defense and Special Teams

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A look forward, towards 2014, at who will be seniors in 2013 and who where there may be issues with depth moving forward.

We looked at the offense earlier this week, and now we take a look at the defense.

Defensive Line

DEFENSIVE LINE
No. Last Name First Name Position Ht. Wt. Year Experience
46 Knighton Chris DL 6' 1" 250 SR 3L
54 Bush Dartwan DL 6' 1" 255 SR 3L
91 Hyder Kerry DL 6' 2" 280 SR 3L
96 Wesley Dennell DL 6' 1" 310 SR 2L
43 Richards Jackson DL 6' 4" 275 JR 2L
53 Evans Kindred DL 6' 3" 230 JR 2L
76 Ofor Bennett DL 6' 3" 255 JR TR
51 Alston Demetrious DL 6' 3" 260 SO TR
94 Phillips Donte DL 6' 2" 280 SO 1L
98 Smith Anthony DL 5' 10" 325 FR RS


Other than Knighton, there's a lot of production and talent at the top of the depth chart for the defensive line that will graduate next year. Bush, Hyder and Wesley are all incredibly important. I am very appreciative of the fact that guys like Alston, Richards, Phillips and Smith will all get some time along front line because they'll be the guys that will need to anchor this line in 2014. We can also move Branden Jackson over here, but I forgot to do that when I organized the spreadsheet, but he's just a sophomore, along with Evans, who hasn't really played at all, but did have his redshirt removed and is already a junior. I think a guy like that can still add some good value at defensive end and we all have to realize that not every player matures at the same rate.

Linebacker

LINEBACKER
No. Last Name First Name Position Ht. Wt. Year Experience
1 Bullitt Terrance LB 6' 3" 220 SR 3L
7 Smith Will LB 6' 3" 220 SR 1L
13 Eguavoen Sam LB 6' 1" 220 JR 2L
25 Dees Blake LB 6' 0" 230 JR 2L
27 Winbush Zach LB 6' 1" 215 JR 2L
2 Ross Andre LB 6' 3" 220 SO TR
9 Jackson Branden LB 6' 4" 240 SO 1L
10 Robertson Pete LB 6' 3" 225 SO 1L
18 Awe Micah LB 6' 0" 210 SO 1L
37 Esiaba Bobby LB 6' 0" 205 SO SQ
6 Williams Kris LB 6' 1" 210 FR RS
11 Mack Jacarthy LB 6' 3" 180 FR HS
12 Barnes Zach LB 6' 3" 215 FR HS
39 Woods Kahlee LB 6' 0" 220 FR HS
41 Jenkins Malik LB 6' 2" 205 FR HS
50 Scalzi Tyler LB 6' 4" 225 FR RS


This position is the spot where the players need to establish themselves and be a force. It's time. Obviously, Bullitt and Smith will be significant losses next year, but there's a lot of guys that are returning and overall, it's a pretty young group. Kingsbury and the staff went all-in at the high school level with four scholarships handed out to freshmen linebackers (I still marvel that Mack is only 180 -- he's got room to grow). This position group should set up really nicely moving forward, although currently there's really no linebackers currently committed. I'd be fine with using more scholarship spots with the defensive line, especially JUCO's, in the 2014 class.

Defensive Back

DEFENSIVE BACK
No. Last Name First Name Position Ht. Wt. Year Experience
4 Mays Derrick DB 5' 11" 175 SR 3L
5 Porter Tre' DB 6' 0" 205 SR 3L
24 Jones Bruce DB 5' 7" 180 SR 1L
29 Falemi Olaoluwa DB 5' 9" 160 SR 1L
21 Crawford Dorian DB 6' 1" 190 JR TR
28 Hill Martin DB 5' 11" 170 JR TR
30 Stewart Austin DB 6' 0" 205 JR 1L
32 Bagley Brandon DB 5' 10" 170 JR 1L
3 Gaines J.J. DB 5' 10" 180 SO 1L
23 Reynolds Jeremy DB 5' 9" 170 SO 1L
26 White John DB 5' 10" 200 SO SQ
38 Hogue Summitt DB 5' 11" 195 SO 1L
14 Newbold La'Darius DB 5' 11" 195 FR RS
15 Ward Keenon DB 5' 9" 195 FR RS
17 Paul Dee DB 6' 0" 165 FR HS
19 Barnes Jalen DB 5' 11" 185 FR HS
20 Woodward Caleb DB 6' 0" 200 FR HS
31 Nelson Justis DB 6' 2" 170 FR HS
34 Jacobson Tanner DB 5' 10" 175 FR HS
36 Nguema Theirry DB 5' 10" 160 FR RS


This is strange in that you'll have almost two complete secondaries in two consecutive years graduate almost every player. Last year you had Davis, Johnson, Neboh and Douglas all graduate (with Jones working in as well) and in 2014, you'll maybe have three starters leave in Porter, Jones and Falemi. For me, I am concerned about cornerback, but there is significant hope that some of the freshmen will be able to step in next year. That's not to say I'm writing off guys like Reynolds or Newbold. I think the addition of Crawford and Hill were smart last year because you just weren't sure what you would have. They'll both have a chance sooner than later and I think they can both be redshirted if necessary. I do really like the athleticism of Gaines and Ward, both are guys that are really making a push. Also of note is that Stewart should be with the linebackers at the Raider spot, but like Jackson with the linebackers, I just forgot to move him around when formatting and now I'm too short on time to change.

Special Teams

SPECIAL TEAMS
No. Last Name First Name Position Ht. Wt. Year Experience
26 Erxleben Ryan P 6' 1" 190 SR 3L
48 Bustin Ryan K 5' 11" 180 JR 1L
45 Fyfe Kramer PK 5' 8" 165 JR 1L
57 Brenner David DS 6' 0" 210 SO SQ
42 Symmank Taylor K 6' 2" 185 SO SQ


Other than Erxleben, I'm good here. I don't know who the next punter will be, but I think I recall that Symmank handled both kicking and punting duties at Southern Arkansas.

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