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Depth Charting // The Defensive Line

Defensive Line

Left Defensive End Nose Tackle Defensive Tackle Right Defensive Tackle
Rajon Henley (91)
SR; 6-3/244
Colby Whitlock (93)
JR; 6-2/287
Richard Jones (99)
SR; 6-1/281
Daniel Howard (53)
SR; 6-3/240
Ryan Haliburton (48)
RS FR; 6-4/245
Victor Hunter (52)
SR; 5-11;275
Chris Perry (94)
SO; 6-4/300
Brandon Sharpe (92)
SR; 6-3/254
Aundrey Barr (89)
FR; 6-3/238
Myles Wade (47)
JR; 6-2/340
Britton Barbee (97)
JR; 6-2/296
Sandy Riley (46)
SR; 6-0/228

Defensive End: Unquestioned starter, especially after losing what seems like 20 pounds is Rajon Henley. This was the best move for Henley because he was an undersized defensive tackle, although I feel like I need to see it for myself if he's going to be quick and strong enough to get to the quarterback. Daniel Howard should be fine at the other side and I've always thought that Howard has a great motor and if we're talking about whether or not Texas Tech should still go after JUCO players, Howard is proof that you can get a skilled player and a hard worker all at the same time. Expect to see plenty of Brandon Sharpe in the mix as well and you could see a constant rotation of Sharpe being subbed in for either Henley or Howard. I do not see Sandy Riley as being the type of player that can play on a consistent basis. If something happens to either one of these three players (Howard, Henley and Sharpe) I think Texas Tech is in serious trouble. Ryan Haliburton should be ready to play, but I just haven't seen enough of him to make a decision as to what type of performer he's going to be. There's a reason why Ruffin McNeill signed so many defensive ends, including the listed Barr, Chris Knighton and Kerry Hyder. Although I think that Hyder gets the nod ahead of Knighton as it appears that Knighton will need to put on some weight during the season. The long and short of it is that the top three are great and Texas Tech will need to replace their top three defensive ends again next year. After 2010, the Red Raiders should have a fairly solid rotation.

Defensive Tackle and Nose Tackle: This is a pretty solid and varied group. Colby Whitlock will be solid as a rock this year. I don't know what else to say about him other than I'd love to see him get more penetration along opposing offensive lines this year, like that fateful Texas game. We all know it's in him, it's just a matter of doing it on a more consistent basis. Victor Hunter, a converted linebacker, will have a slight learning curve, but when you're 5-11 and playing nose tackle, so long as he's got some strength behind those 275 pounds then he will be an incredibly big pain in the rear for some opposing offensive linemen. Myles Wade is much hyped, but he also hasn't played football for a year. His workouts were something to behold, but it's still not football shape. I'll go ahead and lump Wade in with Howard (and Barbee below) in that as long Wade continues to work hard, he'll get his time. And I have no doubt that he'll work hard. I will admit that Richard Jones is one of those incredibly solid players, but he's not great, nor does he have the potential to be great. He is what he is. Behind him is Chris Perry, a highly regarded recruit a couple of years ago who apparently found the weight room last year as he learned that perhaps we do things differently at Texas Tech that the U. In any event, if Perry can even remotely play like his recruiting ranking then he's going to be a solid, but I get the feeling that this is a situation where Perry wasn't accustomed to working hard, and he's had to learn how to do that at Texas Tech. If he chooses not to play with a high motor then I think you'll see the staff not hesitate to plug in Britton Barbee. Barbee is a lot like Jones in that he is what he is, but he's also like Howard in that he plays with high energy and I like players like that.