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Texas Tech Football Roster Review | Defensive Line

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This is DTN's annual review of players, position-by-position, to take a look at the players that I think will be gone (graduating seniors or players possibly leaving the program), guys I know something about (these are players I've heard), guys I know nothing about (these are players that are on the roster who I have no idea who they are) and guys I think are on the way (commits to the program).

PREVIOUS ROSTER REVIEWS | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Offensive Line | Receivers | Defensive Line | Linebackers | Secondary | Special Teams

GUYS I THINK WILL BE GONE

Number Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
93 Colby Whitlock SR 6-3/294 Defensive Line
97 Britton Barbee SR 6-1/287 Defensive Tackle
47 Myles Wade JR 6-1/300 Defensive Tackle
61 Bobbie Hampton RS JR 6-4/341 Defensive Tackle

Whitlock is as close to being irreplaceable as any graduating senior on this team. His talent is not to be over-looked and the fact that he anchored the defensive line, for four solid seasons, is certainly appreciated. I don't think just one player replaces Whitlock, it's going to be a cumulative effort.

Barbee never got on the field. I seem to recall something about how Barbee was really happy about last year's coaching change as he had never really seen the field under the previous staff, but in the fall practices, he ended up tearing up his leg and he was out for the year. Barbee was a good soldier and he had been awarded scout team defensive MVP the year before last (I think).

Wade transferred to Portland State after graduating early from Texas Tech. He was apparently told by the current staff that it may be tough for him to get much, if any playing time. We wish you well.

Hampton has left Texas Tech as well. Not much explanation other than this is the second time that Hampton has left or been asked to leave the program.


GUYS I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT

Number Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
54 Dartwan Bush FR 6-1/248 Defensive End
50 Jackson Richards FR 6-3/248 Defensive End
94 Scott Smith JR 6-6/266 Defensive End
40 Aundrey Barr RS FR 6-2/230 Defensive End
91 Kerry Hyder RS FR 6-2/265 Defensive End
46 Christopher Knighton RS FR 6-1/250 Defensive End
99 Chris Perry JR 6-4/309 Defensive Line
77 Coby Coleman FR 6-2/317 Defensive Tackle
98 Donald Langley JR 6-2/274 Defensive Tackle
92 Lawrence Rumph JR 6-3/284 Defensive Tackle
95 Pearlie Graves RS FR 6-2/286 Defensive Tackle
89 Michael Odiari SO 6-4/260 Defensive Line

If we take defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow for his word, and I have no reason why we shouldn't, I'm going to expect a 4-2-5 defensive front, but there will be times where you'll see multiple fronts. Maybe a 3-4. Maybe a 4-3. Nevertheless, I think for the most part, we'll see a lot of 4-2-5 and mostly a 4-man front. The interesting thing is that I do believe that a ton of the to-be-seniors (after the jump and the last chart) are going to see quite a bit of the time, and as always, you tend to hope that the freshmen who played and the redshirt freshman who didn't play, will make some significant improvement.

So let's try to sort this out. I do think the nose guard will be manned mostly by Wesley (discussed below, I could see him see about 20 plays a game) and you'll see a fair bit of Perry, Langley, Rumph and Graves at defensive tackle. And if you had to, you could have Mackey and maybe Hyder swing to the tackle spot. I'm also not going to sleep on Coleman. He was hurt all of last year, but when I watched high school film on Coleman I was excited about having a tackle that was his size, but had a ton of athletic ability. He looked like a fluid athlete playing tight end in high school and he did it at about 290. The problem with all of these options is that none of them stepped up last year and the difference between an okay defense and a good defense are play-makers, whether it be on the defensive line, at linebacker or in the secondary. One of these guys doesn't just need to get in the way, but they need to make plays.

More after the jump.

At defensive end, you've got options. Once Smith comes back, I'd love to see Smith pair with Mackey. However, in the interim, you're going to have to hope that Mackey is the same type of difference maker (assuming he qualifies) that Smith was last year. If you made me choose based on last year's performance I think there were a lot of things to like a lot of different players. Whether it be Bush, Barr or Hyder there are options. Knighton is the one player that I don't think saw much, if any time last year, despite the injuries. That may tell us a little bit about Knighton (I'm totally willing to say that right now, I/we really don't know anything in terms of what this thing will look like next year, but we have an idea). This of course means that with Richards redshirting entirely, maybe the staff decided that the highest rated defensive player of the 2010 defensive class was worth giving him time to mature. I don't think not playing him all of last year speaks to what the coaches think of ability. I think the staff really likes Richards.  And I almost added Odiari to the list below, but I've learned enough about him since we found out that he transferred to Texas Tech that I do know a little bit about him. The only difference is that the newest roster says that Odiari is up to 260 pounds, which is a bit more than the 248 I found for him last year.


GUYS I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

Number Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
83 Omar Ontiveros FR 6-1/227 Defensive Line
80 Edward Johnson SO 6-2/250 Defensive End

Unfortunately, we don't know anything about Johnson or Ontiveros because Johnson doesn't even have a profile and Ontiveros doesn't have anything on his other than he was on the scout team last year and I did find a YouTube video from Ontiveros' senior year (look for #42) and made honorable mention Class 5A All-State football team. I couldn't find anything on Johnson as this is an incredibly common name when doing a Google search.


GUYS I THINK ARE ON THE WAY

Name Year Ht./Wt. Position
Leon Mackey JR 6-5/260 Defensive Line
Donte Phillips FR 6-3/260 Defensive Tackle
Kindred Evans FR 6-6/215 Defensive End
Dennell Wesley FR 6-3/315 Defensive Line
Branden Jackson FR 6-4/220 Defensive End
Desimon Green FR 6-5/230 Defensive End
Cooper Washington FR 6-4/225 Defensive End

Mentioned above, Wesley seems like a natural fit at nose guard and there are really only two noseguards on this team, Hampton and Wesley. If Glasgow wants to go with a traditional noseguard, then I think these are his two options (although last year's TCU squad had the starting nose guard and backup coming in at around 6-2/295). I've already talked a bit about Mackey and if he's as good as advertised then he plays at defensive end for sure, maybe tackle, from day 1.

There's so much to love about the possibilities of the incoming class. Don't even ask me to pick between which of the freshmen defensive linemen will have the biggest impact. You could make cases for each and every one of them. Evans was a bit over-looked because he committed so early, and so he may not have the hype that Green and Jackson have, especially since signing day. We were told from an Indiana fan that the same could be said for Phillips and I'm pretty excited about Phillips because there just aren't many defensive tackles to get excited about because there just weren't any (Coleman and Graves last year and Phillips this year). Washington is the surprise of the class in that it was relatively unexpected to even get his commitment. Either way, I like where this is going and like the emphasis on defensive linemen.


YEAR-BY-YEAR CHART

SENIOR JUNIOR SOPHOMORE FRESHMAN
Scott Smith (DE) Leon Mackey (DL) Dartwan Bush (DE) Jackson Richards (DE)
Chris Perry (DT) Dennell Wesley (DT) Aundrey Barr (DE) Coby Coleman (DT)
Donald Langley (DT)   Kerry Hyder (DE) Donte Phillips (DT)
Lawrence Rumph (DT)   Christopher Knighton (DE) Kindred Evans (DE)
    Pearlie Graves (DT) Branden Jackson (DE)
    Edward Johnson (DE) Desimon Green (DE)
    Michael Odiari (DL) Cooper Washington (DE)
    Omar Ontiveros (DL)