Carolina State - Chuck Amato is at it again
Tallahassee to Raleigh, Amato is well known for recruiting top
defensive linemen. The Pack gave up a stingy 102.4 ypg on the
ground last fall while yielding only 6 rushing TDs. Reading
into things deeper, this group was never offered much help,
with the offensive ineptitude State practiced. Led by future
NFL bookends Mario Williams and Manny Lawson, this unit returns
all four of its key personnel. Keep an eye on backup DeMario
Pressley, who was rated the nation's No. 1 DT out of high school
by just about every major recruiting service.
- Physicality and toughness once were considered a problem
in Austin. Ostensibly, the thrashings dished out by Oklahoma
in the Red River Rivalry have forced Mack Brown to reevaluate
his front units. With two potential all-Americans at tackle
- in seniors Larry Dibbles and Rodrique Wright - "The
Eyes of Texas" are looking for another trip to Pasadena
this time around.
State - The SEC's No. 1 rush defense returns three
top-notch performers in seniors Claude Wroten, Kyle Williams
and Melvin Oliver. Each was recruited from adjacent towns
near Baton Rouge, keeping that magical, local flavor to fall
Saturdays. Only the departure of first-round pick Marcus Spears
(the DE went 20th to Dallas) keeps this unit from sitting
atop the list.
Tech - The essence of "Beamer Ball" starts
with defense, and this group will carry on the tradition of
bringing intense pressure on QBs. DE Darryl Tapp is a NationalChamps.net
first team Preseason All-American, and rated as one of the
top two pass rushers in I-A. These Hokies were responsible
for holding Auburn's vaunted two-headed rushing attack to
a meager 2.6 ypc in the Sugar Bowl, and three of those Techsters
will return to defend their ACC crown.
- The re-emergence of Tennessee as a favorite in the SEC East
has to do with better production from its defensive front
seven, which will be just as menacing with three starters
back on the line. Small-but-quick rush end Parys Haralson
is one of the best defenders in the SEC. (300-lb.) Hawaiian
native Jesse Mahelona leads our site's first team Defensive
Tackle preseason list. Depth exists as well, giving Phil Fulmer
a major leg-up early in the SEC (East) race.