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Now we move on from offense to defense, and it doesn't get any more wide open then at the defensive line position. To me, there isn't one returning lineman that has a starting position locked up.
Many people think Anthony Chickillo should, but not me. After a great true freshman season, Chickillo ran into the vaunted sophomore slump and really wasn't a factor the entire season. I am hoping he comes to play this spring and drastically improves over a sub-par season.
Defensive tackle Curtis Porter could very well be the best defensive lineman but has to prove he can stay healthy before I give him that honor. This spring should be a deciding factor. If he is healthy, he should be the starter and a very good one at that.
The other defensive tackle should be open, although Olsen Pierre started all 11 games he was in last season. But overall the tackles didn't perform very well last season, so I expect a lot of pressure from Corey King, Earl Moore and Luther Robinson for either Pierre's or Porter's spot.
The other starting defensive end position could be kept by Shayon Green—the Hurricanes' leading tackler last season—but I really like the play of sophomore Tyriq McCord. McCord is a much better pass-rusher than Green but was a little small (236 pounds) to be an every-down end.
This spring I would not be surprised at all if McCord beats out Green or Chickillo for a starting position heading into the fall session.
Besides the above-mentioned players, there are several others that could steal a starting role—Jacoby Briscoe, Jalen Grimble, Jelani Hamilton, Dwayne Hoilett, Dequan Ivery, Jake O'Donnell and Ricardo Williams.
The positon played so poorly last year that the spring session should show the coaches who can actually help turn the defense around come fall.
True freshmen Hunter Knighton (DT) and Alex Figueroa (DE) have enrolled at Miami already and should be participating this spring.
*Alquadin Muhammad and Ufomba Kamalu are not enrolled and will not be participating this spring.