Football Position Preview: Defensive Line
With just one week before fall camp starts, ODUSports.com will take a look at a position group each day this week to get you ready for ODU Football.
Defensive Line Preview
One of the youngest position groups on the roster last season, the defensive line returns all but one player from a season ago, that player being departed captain, Nate Barnes.
Everett and Reid tied amongst defensive lineman with 31 tackles, while Reid had 6.5 tackles for loss, Everett blocked two field goals, including the potential go-ahead kick against Norfolk State.
Chris Smith was one of two defensive linemen to start all 12 games last year, (Everett the other) at defensive tackle. He had 28 tackles including four for loss.
Preston Smith will move back outside to defensive end this year after playing at tackle a year ago. The senior should see an increase in production after notching just 28 tackles a season ago. He made 50 tackles from the end position as a sophomore.
Four true freshman saw significant minutes on the d-line in 2013, with three of them returning in 2014. Kanyia Anderson moves to linebacker this year but Scott Wiggins, Jude Brenya and Rashaad Coward will look for improvement after gaining a wealth of experience last year.
Brenya was the only rookie to start last year, recording three starts and adding 13 tackles and four tackles for loss.
An intimidating figure at 6-6, 300, Coward played in 10 games last year and will look to be even more disruptive than his 13 tackles and two tackles for a loss last season.
Wiggins was a stalwart on special teams but also played significant minutes at defensive end, registering 22 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks. The five tackles for loss was second on the d-line behind just Reid’s 6.5.
Sophomore Galen Evans played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2012 but redshirted last season due to an arm injury. He returns and will give ODU another big body with experience.
ODU also brings in a highly touted class of defensive linemen, starting with junior college transfer, Poncho Barnell. Barnwell was the No. 13 recruit from New York out of Nassau CC.