Football

Texas Tech Football | Chapter X: Clarity on the Defensive Line

There appears to be some clarity at defensive line, maybe because there aren’t a lot of options.

  • Yesterday, I think we got some more clarification on how the Texas Tech defensive line is going to play out this next year. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has continually discussed a handful of players and I think we have some clarification on where guys are going to be lined up and where players will play. Over the course of the spring, Kingsbury has mentioned the following guys: Ondre Pipkins, Kolin Hill, Broderick Washington, Breiden Fehoko on the line with Zach Barnes and Gary Moore at the rush end.
  • There is part of me that’s ridiculously excited about the fact that Gary Moore is actually at the rush end and NOT at the strongside defensive end spot. I’ve been beating the drum about Moore being out of position trying to play the strongside defensive end position that Branden Jackson played last year. I’m a big proponent of playing guys that are close to being the right size and if Moore is close to his weight, at 235, then surviving at the SDE spot seemed to be a futile proposition. However, if Moore is playing the weakside spot that Pete Robertson played last year then yes, sign me up. Sign me up very much. To continue at the rush end . . . Zach Barnes is playing that spot with Moore, and Barnes is bigger than you might think. Barnes plays 6’3″/229, which could be slightly bigger, but I’m okay with that. Barnes was a version of Pete Robertson in a way and the primary back-up to Robertson. He didn’t really stand-out to me all that much, played okay at times, but he really didn’t get a lot of time.
  • It would appear that Kolin Hill if your strongside defensive end and I don’t really know who is backing him up. Hill is listed at 235, but from the recent pictures of Hill, he’s got to be 250 or so, which is just fine for defensive end. The problem is that I’m not sure who backs him up and it very well could be one of the other defensive linemen.

    If I had to guess as to the other defensive end spot, I’d probably guess Lonzell Gilmore, but Kingsbury hasn’t mentioned him. Gilmore is also said to have added significant weight in his redshirt year and is up to 250 or so, but haven’t seen that confirmed. He’s certainly bigger than when he arrived, which was 220.

  • It ocurred to me halfway through this post that the reason why Kingsbury has only mentioned Pipkins, Washington and Fehoko at the defensive line spots is because they are the only scholarship defensive tackles current on the roster. Perhaps the most interesting thing about how this will play out will be if Fehoko starts at defensive tackle or if Pipkins is ready to go at nose guard. Even then, I think that Washington is nose guard as well and both will play the one-technique, while Fehoko plays at the tackle spot. I think that’s the thought. **Aside: I think Talor Nunez is on scholarship, but I’m not sure.**
  • When the coaches told the incoming defensive linemen from the 2016 class that there would be playing time available, they weren’t lying. There’s real opportunity for them to play and make an impact. I could see three, maybe four, of those players receive significant playing time, especially at tackle. My favorites are still Nick McCann, Mychealon Thomas and Noah Jones, but we won’t really know until they all get here.
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