Three weeks. That’s all that’s left before we see live football. In the next week, students will begin pouring into the Belknap campus for the fall semester.
It’s also time we discuss the defensive line for 2017. All four starters are seniors. It’s a unit that has experience, and hopefully will succeed under Peter Sirmon’s defense.
The first defensive tackle position is held by Jacksonville, Florida native Drew Bailey. The 6’5” senior emerged as a pass rusher just a season ago. He recorded 58 tackles in 2016, nine of which for a loss, and two sacks. He recorded 11 tackles against Duke, and another nine in the Citrus Bowl. Behind him are a pair of redshirt freshmen, No. 62 Derek Dorsey and No. 59 Caleb Tillman.
The next tackle moves over from Defensive end, where he was a dependable run stopper. De’Asian Richardson recorded 17 tackles in nine games last year, including four against rival Kentucky. Junior G.G. Robinson will back Richardson up, after appearing in nine games last season. In those games, he produced two tackles against Houston in a tough game. He stands at 6’4”, 305 lbs. Behind him is Henry Famurewa, whom appeared in seven games and recorded ten tackles and two sacks last season.
Trevon Young will make the move to defensive end this season. The 2015 all-ACC honorable mention finished 33rd in the nation in sacks with 8.5, but a hip injury sustained in the Franklin America Music City Bowl prevented him from playing in 2016. Jonathan Greenard emerged as a pass rusher last season, and will back up Young. Greenard features athleticism and speed, obtaining 22 tackles in his first year on the field. Fresman Malik Clark is behind Greenard.
The final defensive end position features former LB James Hearns. The 6’3” Tallahassee native ranked 46th in the nation in sacks last season also recorded 43 tackles, 11 for a loss, forced five fumbles, and became one of the top pass rushers. Finally, behind him is freshman Tabarious Peterson.
Louisville should have a good pass rush again this year. Trevon Young, if healthy, can prove to be a handful for opposing offensive lines, and will compliment Hearns and the rest of the line well.
Next week, River City Cards will look at the linebacker corps.