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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

August 5, 2009 at 5:40 PM

Position preview — defensive line

We’ll continue the position previews by turning to the defensive side of the ball, starting with the line.
PROJECTED PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
DEFENSIVE END
Starter — Daniel Te’o-Nesheim Sr.
Backup — Everrette Thompson, So.
Starter — Darrion Jones, Sr.
Backup — Kalani Aldrich, So.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Starter — Alameda Ta’amu So.
Backup — Tyrone Duncan, So.
Starter — Cameron Elisara, Jr.
Backup — De’Shon Matthews, Jr.
BIGGEST QUESTION? Can the Huskies get enough production out of the other three spots to take some pressure off of Daniel Te’o-Nesheim?
Te’o-Nesheim may be the most proven player on the roster, having earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors last season despite the 0-12 record, and having stared all 37 games he has played at UW. But he seemed to get a little more attention last season, one reason he didn’t get his first sack until the fifth game against Arizona. He’s sure to get the same kind of attention this year, and the key will be for some of the other guys on the line to step up and penalize opponents when they do focus on DTN.
As with a lot of positions on this team, there were promising signs in the spring, if just not enough past production yet to make anyone feel really comfortable. Jones had a good spring to reclaim a starting job and by all accounts is in the best shape of his career. Ta’amu and Elisara each got significant starting experience and should be better.
Thompson also got some starts last year and fell to backup duty in the spring in part due to a foot injury. That makes UW three-deep at end with guys who have seen some decent action.
The depth at tackle is a little more problematic as no one other than the two projected starters has played much. — Matthews has 11 tackles to his credit, Duncan none. But there are some other intriguing young players there, notably Craig Noble, and fall camp will be critical to get some of them ready.
COMFORT LEVEL (Again, this is on a scale of one being most comfortable, 10 being least). 7. The starters provide a solid foundation for a front four that could be improved. But depth is always critical at this position, and right now, hard to say UW has that.

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