The 2010 defensive line will arguably be the most interesting position group to cover this upcoming season. It is an odd mix of veterans and new faces…in a few cases, both adjectives would apply to the same player. This year’s Wolfpack Dline will be somewhat of an enigma and is an uncertainty heading into the fall.
To give you an example of what I mean, the starting defensive line could very well could consist of 2 red-shirt seniors defensive ends, one senior defensive tackle and one red-shirt junior defensive tackle. Typically, a line that “age” would be a dominating, experienced force. In this case, that same defensive line would have a combined 1 start at NC State and only a total of nine years on campus between them.
Frump it to see my thoughts on how this scenario will play out.
Here are quick links to previous breakdowns for your reading pleasure.
Day 4 – Receivers
Day 3 – Offensive Line
Day 2 – Backfield (RB and QB)
Day 1 – Overview
DE Rs Sr Michael Lemon 6-4 267 (pictured on the front page)
Michael Lemon is a 2nd year transfer into NC State after being dismissed from UGA several years ago. Lemon arrived to fall came late but immediately cracked the depth chart, eventually starting one game. Lemon’s play-making ability was immediately on display when he opened the season with an interception versus USC. He has a penchant for rushing the QB and despite not having played for two years was fourth in the team last season with 12 QB hurries
DT Rs Sr Nathan Mageo 6-3 285
A JUCO transfer last season, Mageo spent the year backing up Alan-Michael Cash and finished the season with 2 TFL and a sack. Nageo will have to replace Cash’s tenacity and ability to get into the backfield. In this writer’s opinion, Cash was the best DT to play at NCSU in the past decade (maybe you could argue a motivated John McCargo, but I would take Cash) and Mageo’s play will be crucial to NC State stopping the run.
DT Rs Jr JR Sweezy 6-5 293
Sweezy is in a spot of trouble at the moment, but Frump’s prediction is that it will be cleared up for the majority of the season. Pack fans should hope so….Frump has heard that the staff were expecting big things from Sweezy this season. Sweezy w0uld be an enormous loss just in the numbers game if he is not able to play. With him, NCSU has a solid 4-man rotation at the DT spot.
DE Rs Jr Jeff Reiskamp 6-3 235
This DE spot is up for grabs and I think Reiskamp gets the nod…Reiskamp’s aggressiveness was missing from the Pack last season and he really fits the mold of a TOB-type player. He can both rush the passer and stop the run. He really played well as a freshman and I think he emerges as a solid starter this season, although he will need to add a little weight to hold up over the course of the season.
In the rotation at DT will also be Rs Jr Markus Kuhn 6-4 300 and So Brian Slay 6-3 290. Kuhn is a physical presence and Slay plays more in the mold of a Michael-Alan Cash….he is quick with his hands and seems to have a knack for getting off the ball and getting into the backfield. He will need to get more physical and the point of attack to be most effective.
Backing up the DE’s will be Sr Audi Augustin and Sr David Akinniyi. Augustin has been a career back up and really played well before being injured last season vs Virginia Tech. Akinniyi is a 3-year starter and transfer from Northeastern. Both will see the field. A name to keep in mind is Rs Fr Darryl Cato-Bishop 6-4 281 who has been turning heads since arriving on campus last season as an unknown. He is big, fast and athletic…he could be the Pack’s next star at DE.
(Thanks to Pack Pride for the pic)