Bumped - P
As we get ready for the countdown, 5 days to go before fall practice begins, I thought I would share some of my thoughts and observations on some position groups. These observations come from Spring Ball, the players voluntary work-outs and some comments from the players. I thought I would first start with a group that will be a very big surprise, The Defensive Line. Everson Griffin, has moved on to the NFL, Malik Jackson has transfered and Christian Tupou will be out with an injury. Returning lineman will be A. Armstead, W. Horton, James Boyd, and K. Greene, J. Casey, H. Fangupo, D. Simmons, DaJohn Harris, N. Perry, and in-coming freshman George Uko.
This unit should be much more experienced than last year since for many of them were just getting to play significant minutes last year. With a year under their belt I would expect some great things from these guys. The run defense should be very strong with Cassey and Fangupo. Perhaps we might even see Armstead in the middle as well as he can play both the run and is very dominant off the edge. One of the biggest surprise in spring was the play of D. Harris. He was a real play-maker and had the coaches very impressed. N. Perry should be light out off the edge as he in my opinion has the ability to be one of the premier DE in the Pac-10. He showed some real improvement from last year to spring ball. K Greene is another guy I really like. With M. Jackson leaving this should open up the door for Kevin to really get going with the defense. IMO a huge loss was when C. Tupou went down, this is a guy who really has a motor on him that just doesn't stop.
The DL will be very aggressive, play smart, and be very intense as they will be coached by one of the best in Ed O. He will have this group primed and ready for every game. I believe it will be a run stop first with a tremendous amount of pressure put on opposing quarterbacks. Tomorrow I will talk about the linebackers but as a whole this front 7 (DL+LB) will be so much more improved than last year and could be one of the top groups in the Pac-10.