Quick look at 2012 Troy D-line (UPDATED)
Published 8:32 pm Saturday, January 14, 2012
After Johnathan Massaquoi announced his departure for the NFL, I received a text from a friend asking if Troy would have enough depth on the D-line to even play a 3-4 next year. The Trojans lose a lot on the line and have only one lineman signed thus far in the offseason.
Troy returns only D.J. Johnson (So.) and Deon Lee (So.) at the end position, neither of whom played a snap last season and will probably get a redshirt, but expect to see Tony Davis make the move from tackle in the spring. Davis started at end against Arkansas State and played a good bit there against Navy. Troy does have one defensive end signed in Brandon Timmons (6-3, 250 – Northwest Mississippi CC) and he’ll probably play right away.
The defensive tackle position looks to be in a little better shape. Davis aside, the Trojans return Shermane TeArt (Jr.), John Clark (Jr.) and Aaron Williams (Jr.). Clark played in all 12 games and registered nine tackles. Williams saw action in 10 games and TeArt in eight.
Tyler Sizemore (6-1, 295) was also on the roster last season.
It appears Troy will need to move some guys around and hope to pick up another JUCO end.
Experience will be a problem on the front line next season. With the removal of defensive line coach Mo Crain last week, Troy will have a totally revamped line.
Overall, Troy’s recruiting class looks good. Several of the JUCO guys will help right away especially at the linebacker position. Expect to hear names like Mitchell Roland and Wayland Coleman-Dancer often next season. Eli Canton (Northeast Mississippi) is one guy that Troy coaches are high on.
The front seven will have a (much-needed) new look in 2012. Hopefully, the results will different as well.
After talking to defensive ends coach Randy Butler, I got a little better feel for how Troy defensive line might shape up next season.
Obviously, losing Massaquoi (NFL), Xavian Evans (academics) and Tony Gillespie (left team) will force Troy to dig deeper onto an already thin depth chart. Look for D.J. Johnson to make a move to defensive tackle. He weighed in at 245 pound before last season but has jumped to a robust 295. At 6-4, he could really help add some athleticism to the interior line.
A name that I forgot to mention in he previous post is Jauan Jones. Jones is a walk-on that Troy looked at as a scholarship guy last season. He decided to join the program anyway and Butler seems to think he has a chance to make an impression this season.
Tony Davis will definitely make the move from tackle to end and Brandon Timmons will have a great shot at starting next season as well. The thing to remember is Troy lost not only Massaquoi but all four ends that traveled with the team last season (Massaquoi, Evans, John Robles, and Brandon Boudreaux).
Troy did have a high school defensive end commit in Garrett Peek (Stanhope Elmore) but it will be unlikely to see a true freshman at such a difficult position.