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Thread: Defensive Line 2018

  1. #1

    Defensive Line 2018

    Players lost: Lowell Lotulelei, Filipo Mokofisi, Kylie Fitts
    Players gained: Mika Tafua, Paul Maile, Jackson Cravens, David Fotu, Blake Kuithe, Simi Moala,
    Players returning: So many names...Let's stick to who we think will contribute: Leki Fotu, Bradley Anae, Nick Heniger, John Penisini, Hauati Pututau, Pita Tonga, Davr Hamilton, Caleb Repp, Maxs Tupai,

    Projected Starters:

    DE: Bradley Anae, Maxs Tupai
    DT: Leki Fotu, Pita Tonga

    Starter battles: DE: Maxs Tupai, Mika Tafua for the spot opposite Anae. DT: Penisini, Tonga, Pututau, and maybe Cravens if he is here for spring for the spot opposite Fotu.

    Rotation players: Mika Tafua, Jackson Cravens, Caleb Repp, John Penisini, Heninger,

    I know the coaches want 5 DT's. Right now, we have Fotu, Tonga, Penisini. That is three. Cravens is big and fast. It wouldn't shock me at all if he found himself in the rotation. That is 4. #5 will come from Pututau, Amaama (who moved from the OL). Not perfect, but not bad, especially knowing that Gary is the guy leading these men. Another option would be to get Tupai bigger and move him inside to help negate his shorter arms and height.

    The coaches also love to rotate in their ends. I think with the different fronts (5 DL, 3-3 and 4-2) that the superstar DE might share some of the spotlight with a LB now. That gives players like Heninger who eat up space over attack the QB some room to play more.

    I don't think we see much of Anae, Fotu and possibly Tafua this spring. I think the coaches hope that someone steps up and takes those backup reps. I also think the coaches hope that Tafua takes the starting spot early so they can ease up on his reps later in spring.

    I think the coaches will protect the upperclassmen this spring to negate injury risk and will let the players battle for the two starting spots this fall while working on getting the younger players ready to provide depth if needed.

    While our LB's have a chance to really shine this fall, I think our DL might be a little less spectacular than they have been. They should be really good (top 4 in the PAC-12), but probably shouldn't have the expectations that they have carried in year's past.

    Also, the bad news is we are losing three NFL guys. The good news is one didn't play much due to injury (Fitts), one wasn't half as good as he could be due to injuries (Lotulelei). So, while the name and talent being replaced is huge, the actual production won't be as hard to replace...hopefully.
    Last edited by Utah; 03-05-2018 at 01:42 PM.

  2. #2
    I think Anae and Fotu are the next NFL potential guys on the line. Having two at that level - both juniors - is a nice base. I also liked Penisini last year.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Utebiquitous View Post
    I think Anae and Fotu are the next NFL potential guys on the line. Having two at that level - both juniors - is a nice base. I also liked Penisini last year.
    Anae just needs to get better with his run responsibilities and heíll be a beast. He seemed to be getting better at that towards the end of the year.

    Heís switched to the other side, as we often do with our best guy, itíll be fun to watch him there.


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  4. #4
    Tweets from today:

    OC:
    Some rising names you are gonna hear a lot of Bronson Boyd (WR), Josh Nurse (DB), and MIKA TAFUA (DE) who could be a starter by fall
    Hans Olsen:
    Unpopular opinion: I felt like Leki Fotu and Pita Tonga were a better option at DT down the stretch of the 2017 regular season. Mokofisi and Lowell didn't push until the bowl game. Foot and Tonga looked great yesterday.
    Mika Tafua will start across from Bradlee Anae on the DL. Stands out like a sore thumb.
    Andrew Fronce:
    I like what I'm seeing from Tafua, Anae, Tupai, Tonga, and Fotu so far

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