Season Preview: Defensive Line
Depth Chart: Bruce Miller (RE), Torrell Troup (DT), Travis Timmons (DT), David Williams (LE), Jarvis Geathers (E), Darius Nall (E), Chris Martin (DT), Wes Tunuufi Sauavo (DT), T.J. Harden (DT), Robert Prichard (E), Troy Davis (DE/OLB).
Strengths: UCF's front four is as good a group you'll see in the conference. The Knights are loaded up front…Troup is arguably the best player on the team and if he has as good a season as expected, he'll continue the Knights' run of getting players drafted. Troup consistently draws double teams and has been working on his agility too. He is a high-character person who is motivated to show the nation what he can do…Miller is a fireball who is as feisty as they come. He never gives up, consistently jaws towards his opponents and always finds a way to make big plays. He also has the versatility to move inside on passing downs…Williams is a mild-mannered hard worker across from Miller. He is stout against the run and has gotten bigger every year he's been here. He is a solid option on first and second downs for UCF…Timmons is an excellent athlete when motivated and has pro potential…Geathers has fed off the good will he earned after finishing last season extremely strong. He has gotten bigger this offseason and might be one of the best pass rushers in the conference…Nall looks like he's ready back in shape after sitting out the past season when a tumor was discovered in his chest…Martin and Sauavo are big bodies and should provide decent depth…Harden is pesky, undersized tackle who can play outside or inside…Davis might get reps as a pass rusher as a true freshman, he has excellent size and mobility.
Weaknesses: The depth at defensive tackle is iffy. Martin didn't earn the staff's confidence this spring and looked only slightly better this summer. He has the potential to get better and be a top player for the Knights. Sauavo has been shuffling positions since he arrived at UCF and was slated to be on offense before the summer. The team will likely move Theo Goins back to DT to help with depth…Timmons has the ability to be great, but he had what he called a disappointing season last year and actually lost his spot in the starting lineup at times. He needs to stay motivated, which he should do as a senior…There will be a lot of pressure on Troup literally be the key clog in UCF's defense. He will have to be on the field more this year than ever before.
Overall: This is the strength of the team. Aside from depth amongst the tackles, the line is loaded and its front four might be unmatched in the conference. Sauavo and Martin actually picked things up as camp went on and that may not even be that big of a concern anymore…Miller and Troup are All-Conference performers and Geathers might join the club too if he can continue to make plays in the backfield.
Prediction: Will a young secondary be picked on? Maybe, but the front four should create unmanageable third and longs for opponents, which will help out the defensive backs. Troup and company will force teams to become one dimensional more often than not and as long as these guys are in good shape and don't stay on the field too much, the group will be dominant.
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