Continuing in our Way Too Early Depth Chart analysis, we take a look at the possible starting defensive line configuration for the 2013 season.
Departures: NT Jorge Wright and DT J.B. Lageman
Returning: DT Will Clarke, NT Shaq Rowell, DE Trevor Demko, NT Imarjaye Albury, DT Kyle Rose, DE Dozie Ezemma, DL Korey Harris, DL Christian Brown, DL Noble Nwachukwu, DL Eric Kinsey, DL Jewone Snow, DL Garrett Hope, and DL James Gayeski
Recruits: DE Marvin Gross and DE Dontrill Hyman
The Mountaineers defense as a whole was awful this past season, but the defensive line was one of the stronger parts of the defensive unit. West Virginia’s defensive line was the driving force behind the Mountaineers proficiency in run defense. The defensive line was in constant flux in 2012, but really geled late in the season.
The departed Jorge Wright will be a major loss to the defensive line as he saw time at both NT and DT for the Mountaineers. Wright did eventual become supplanted by NT Shaq Rowell who really came into his own this past season, eating up the interior of the offensive line. WVU will also return starting DT Will Clarke, giving the Mountaineers a really strong core unit.
DT: Will Clarke, r-SR, 6’7″ 271 lbs; Kyle Rose, r-SO, 6’4″ 276 lbs
NT: Shaq Rowell, SR, 6’4″ 308 lbs; Imarjaye Albury, SO, 6’0″ 282 lbs
DE: Dontrill Hyman, JR, 6’4″ 265 lbs; Trevor Demko, r-JR, 6’6″ 258 lbs
The rest of the West Virginia defensive line depth chart if a bit foggy as of right now. There is plenty to change between now and the Fall, so there is quite a bit of flux in this prediction. It is pretty clear that Rowell and Clarke will return to start along the defensive line for the Mountaineers while the DE position is open at this point.
Obviously, Hyman makes sense for the Mountaineers since he has more experience than the rest of the Mountaineers back-ups from a year ago. Dozie Ezemma could be a factor in the race for the starting defensive end spot if coach Patterson decides to return him to defensive end from linebacker.
The Spring practices will start to vet the defensive end options for the Mountaineers.
For more on the Way Too Early Depth Chart series: