Defensive line preview

Jun 23, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson on June 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Updated: June 23, 2014 3:02 pm

Remington Peck

On some of the emerging players on the defensive line:

“First I’d say Travis Tuiloma and Graham Rowley who played before their missions. As they’ve matured on their mission and grown I think they’ll be better than they’ve ever been. Kesni Tausinga, he’ll be a true freshman, I see him playing and helping. Theodore King, he seems more mature and ready to play. Another one coming off a mission is Tanner Balderree. He is a bit undersized but he’s really strong so I can see him helping.”

On the nose tackle position:

“That’s the most important position on the defense. A lot of people might not give it a lot of credit because they might not make the most plays, or they might not be in the newspaper, but that’s the key especially in Coach Mendenhall’s defense. This year right now I’d say the two main guys will be Marques Johnson and Travis Tuiloma. Marques has a bunch of experience and Travis did before his mission. Kesni Tausinga just got back from his mission and showed great things during the spring so I definitely think he’ll see some time there as well. “

On his role this year:

“As far as my role goes, I’ve been able to get a lot bigger and a lot stronger this year. Last year I only played at 245 pounds and I’m like 270 pounds now so I’m stronger and that will help me a lot. The biggest thing for me this year is to try to emerge as a leader on the defensive line. I have experience and I just gotta try and help those young guys come along.”

On where the defensive line can improve from last year:

“I’d say on first and second down. Last year on first or second downs we averaged 3.3 yards per carry. If we could cut that down just to allow us to get to the pass quicker and make the opponent have more difficult third downs especially with how good our defensive backs will be this year, I think that would help a lot.”

On the defensive line as a unit this year:

“I think one of the biggest challenges from last year was there was no depth. There were four guys that played sometimes 80-90 snaps a game and that’s just too much so I think the biggest thing this year is we have depth. It will allow us to give the starting guys a rest. I see around six guys rotating and playing during the game.”