Just to preface: This is not by any means a substantial season preview, just merely a quick run-through of all of the key names at each position. I will try to finish off the defense tomorrow, taking a look at DE. Once the defense is completed, we will start with the WR's and work our way through the offense ending with the quarterbacks. The goal is to be done by Monday, so we can preview the nation (with me providing my Top 25 and the like) on Tuesday and Wednesday and taking a specific look at our first opponent, the Central Michigan Chippewas, on Thursday and Friday. Football season is almost here!!!!
As previously mentioned in the linebacker preview, our running defense was pretty good. 28th in the NCAA is nothing to sneeze out, especially compared to our horrific passing defense. Defensive tackles play a big role in stuffing the run, somethwing we have done well for a couple of years now. Last season's group was led by James McClinton, who was named to the All-Big 12 First Team according to Rivals and the Second Team according to the AP. Joining McClinton was mainly Wayne Wilder, who piled up 31 tackles.
Besides McClinton, Caleb Blakesley, a redshirt sophomore, and Todd Haselhorst, a redshirt junior, return to Lawrence. Neither saw a whole lot of action last season, with Haselhort expected to claim the starting job opposite of McClinton. Haselhorst is a local boy, growing up in nearby Olathe, Kansas and went to Olathe East High School. Blakesley was a more regarded recruit coming out of high school, he came out of Ottawa, Kansas, but Haselhorst's extra year of practice played a bigger part in the factor no doubt.
Only one person is coming in to fordify the DT's, and that man is Patrick Dorsey. He will likely see limited action throughout the season, likely receiving more and more as the season progresses into the winter months. He will certainly be a candidate for a starting job after the season, depending on how well Haselhorst and Blakeley perform. Looking furthur out in the horizon, we have already received two DT commitments in the class of 2008. JUCO commit Ryan Glazer figures to immediate help, where as prep Zach Stadther figures to be more of a long term answer.
Defensive Tackle Depth Chart; * denotes starter
1) James McClinton, Sr.
2) Todd Haselhorst, Jr.
3) Caleb Blakeley, Soph.
4) Patrick Dorsey, Fr.
Next Year's DT Depth Chart; * denotes starter
1) Todd Haselhorst, Sr.
2) Patrick Dorsey, Soph.
3) Caleb Blakeley, Jr.
4) Ryan Glazer, Jr.
5) Zach Stadther, Fr.
Next Up: Defensive End