2012 Defensive Line (And Beyond)

facebooktwitterreddit

Having a solid defensive line is probably the number one recipe for success in the SEC. Defense rules in the conference, and line of scrimmage play is always where the game is won. If you can stuff the run, your safeties can stay in coverage making the pass easier to defend. If you get a good pass rush, sacks, pass deflections, off-balance throws and turnovers happen. Teams that have good D-lines have good defenses. Mississippi State is loading up on talent for this all important unit. Here’s a look at where we were, where we are, and where we are going (assuming those committed do sign with MSU).

2011 D-Line:

DE – Kaleb Eulls, RFr
DE – Sean Ferguson, Sr
DT – Fletcher Cox, Jr
DT – Josh Boyd, Jr

MSU had the 5th best scoring defense in the SEC at 19.9 points per game. That is also 5th best in the last 19 years at State.  There will be some attrition as 1st team All-SEC player Fletcher Cox will enter the NFL draft, Sean Ferguson graduates, and Trevor Stigors will forego his senior year in favor of the business world.  Nevertheless, next year’s line could be just as productive..

Probable 2012 D-Line:

DE – Denico Autry, Jr
DE – Kaleb Eulls, So / Devin Jones, Sr
DT – Quay Evans, Fr / Kaleb Eulls, So
DT – Josh Boyd, Sr

Mississippi State is loading up on talent on the line. Out of the 25 commitments in this class, there are seven defensive lineman. Autry and Evans are rated as 5-stars by Scout, then there’s 4-star Nick James from Long Beach. Add to it Jordan Washington, A.J. Jefferson, Nelson Adams, Torrey Bell, Ryan Brown and MSU is officially stacking up on D-line talent. State is ranked #3 in the nation for this unit, 1st in the SEC.

The future looks bright too, even though Fletcher Cox left early for the NFL draft. State should be able to redshirt most of the incoming freshman and they’ll be valuable pieces of the MSU D-line for years to come.

2013 D-Line:

1. Denico Autry, Sr
2. Quay Evans, So
3. Kaleb Eulls, Jr
4. Curtis Virgis, Jr

2-deep:

P.J. Jones, Jr
Preston Smith, Jr
Nick James, RFr
John Harris, So

2014 D-Line:

1. Quay Evans, Jr
2. Kaleb Eulls, Sr
3. Curtis Virgis, Sr
4. P.J. Jones, Sr

2-deep:

Nick James, So
Preston Smith, Sr
John Harris, Jr
Jordan Washington, So
Nelson Adams, So
A.J. Jefferson, So

Having great talent is good, but having depth is even better. If these players pan out, State will be able to rotate the 2-deep in keeping players fresh. What’s more, the skilled offensive lineman of the SEC will figure out how to block you by the 2nd half, so a constant rotation of the D-line keeps those O-lineman on their toes. By seeing different techniques and skill sets coming at them throughout the game the performance of the unit as a whole will improve.

Things look good for this unit.  MSU’s defense should be solid for years to come.