Spring practice in review: Defense

Posted by Guy Cipriano on April 26, 2012 

 

Defensive line

Projected starters: Pete Massaro, Sean Stanley, Jordan Hill, DaQuan Jones

Riser: C.J. Olaniyan

Overview: Massaro is healthy after missing last season with a knee injury and Stanley appears motivated after some erratic play earlier in his career. Olaniyan, who had three sacks in the Blue-White Game, Deion Barnes and Kyle Baublitz are other factors at defensvie end. Hill should be a force at defensive tackle. Jones is the leading candidate to replace Devon Still at the other defensive tackle.

Linebacker

Projected starters: Gerald Hodges, Michael Mauti, Glenn Carson

Riser: Mike Hull

Overview: The coaching staff moved Hodges from the weak to the strong side. The move means Mauti, who didn't participate in spring drills for precautionary reasons, will likely play the weak side. Mauti tore his anterior cruciate ligament last year against Eastern Michigan. Carson should be one of the Big Ten's top middle linebackers. Khairi Fortt missed a large part of the spring with a knee injury. James Van Fleet suffered a serious knee injury in the final week of spring drills. Hull is good enough to start for almost any other Big Ten team.

Secondary

Projected starters: Stephon Morris, Curtis Drake, Malcolm Willis, Adrian Amos

Riser: Jacob Fagnano

Overview: Depth issues resulted in Drake moving from wide receiver to corner back, and he spent the spring practicing opposite Morris. Amos moved from corner back to safety late in the spring. Wherever he lands, Amos should have a big impact. Willis and Fagnano were the starting safeties in the Blue-White Game. Stephen Obeng-Agaypong is another contender at safety.

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