If you missed yesterday's defensive end preview, click here. Next up, linebackers.
DEPTH CHART (bold indicates returning starter)
1.) Cory Grant (6-2, 305 Sr)
Second-team All-MWC in 2009, Grant was a force to be reckoned with on the inside, recording 5.5 tackles for loss including 2 sacks against BYU. Grant is being counted on in 2010 not only for his disruptive abilities but also in a team-leadership capacity, picking up the torch from guys like Jerry Hughes, Daryl Washington, and Rafael Priest.
2.) D.J. Yendrey (6-4, 262 So)
To say that Yendrey came out of the gates hot is a bit of an understatement. Not many true freshman get on the field in their first game let alone record a sack, but that's exactly what Yendrey did at Virgina by posting a sack for a 10 yard loss. He went on to play in 12 games in 2009 becoming a mainstay in the defensive line rotation. Expect more of the same in 2010, and then look for a much expanded role in 2011.
3.) David Johnson (6-2, 270 Fr)
David Johnson of Argyle, TX is sure to be a fan-favorite in the years to come, he was the first verbal commitment in the class of 2010 and had offers to Texas Tech, UCLA, Stanford, and Rice. He lives in the weight room and is easily the most physically fit defensive tackle on the roster (his father is a former TCU strength coach). Johnson possesses a unique blend of strength and quickness that makes him an absolute tasmanian-devil on the field. It would be convenient if Johnson could redshirt this year, but I imagine he will play his way into the rotation in 2010.
4.) Bryant House (6-4, 267 RS Fr)
1.) Kelly Griffin (6-1, 310 Sr)
Kelly Griffin was the first player to start as a freshman in the Gary Patterson era at TCU, he was also named honorable-mention Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. in 2009 Griffin tied with Cory Grant for fifth on the team in tackles for loss with 5.5.
2.) Jeremy Coleman (6-2, 290 So)
A member of the Rivals Texas Top 100 in 2008, Coleman was a well thought of prospect and garnered offers from Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Baylor, and Houston. Coleman has added an impressive 45 lbs to his frame since high school and appears ready to receive significant playing time in 2010, which will be important because after this season he will be counted on to anchor the line.
3.) Ray Burns (6-1, 290 RS Fr)
Named to the Texas Sports Writers Association All-State team as an offensive lineman, also a member of the aforementioned "Maud Squad."
With returning starters Cory Grant and Kelly Griffin back for 2010 the inside of the defensive line looks to be the biggest strength of the defense. The depth behind them is not too shabby either with the likes of Coleman, Johnson, and Yendrey figuring to factor into the rotation a great deal. Hopefully the strong presence on the defensive interior will help open some lanes to the quarterback for the "green-horn" left defensive ends.