FAU defensive end Cory Henry goes through a drill last season. (Owl Access File Photo)
2012 Position Preview: DL
There will be plenty of competition in training camp for Florida Atlantic's defensive linemen.
Originally published on
BOCA RATON - Brett Diersen left Nebraska at a time when the Cornhuskers had one of the better defenses in the nation.
He spent much of this spring trying to forget about how well his players performed that final season.
“As a coach, you kind of have to go back to our first year when we put (the defensive scheme) in at Nebraska and remember what it as like instead of remembering the third year when they had been doing it for three years,” Diersen said. “As a coach you want it to happen now, but you also have to be patient and make sure they keep progressing.”
Diersen and the Owls are returning to the base 4-3 defense after one year in the 3-4. Even after a reasonably solid spring by the D-line, Diersen says the line-up is not set in stone.
“It will be an open competition come fall camp,” Diersen said.
Diersen hopes the competition will breed depth along the defensive line. He's already off to a good start. Even though the Owls lost all three starters from last year's defensive line, seven of the eight players on our projected two-deep at the end of spring have seen game experience for FAU.
And when fall camp begins, the Owls will add at least a half-dozen more defensive linemen via their 2012 recruiting class, including two from the JUCO ranks who could make an immediate impact.
“There won't be just four that play,” Diersen said. “I have trust in (the reserves) that they can do the things that the quote-unquote starters do.”
Owl Access Projected Depth Chart:
Cory Henry (6-3, 238, Jr.)
FAU sack leader in 2010, was slowed by injuries in 2011 and in the spring.
Martin Wright (6-4, 250 Sr.)
Could spend much of his time playing as a DE/LB hybrid.
Jimmy Jean (6-2, 290 R-Sr.)
Impressed Diersen with his ability to pick up the new scheme.
David Baptiste (5-11, 250, R-Sr.)
Undersized tackle played in all 12 games last season, recording 23 tackles and an interception.
Matt Chaney (6-2, 260, So.)
Came on strong in the spring, but will have to fend off JUCO transfers to keep his job.
Karl James (6-1, 285 R-So.)
Has shown steady improvement during his first two years at FAU.
Andrew Stryffler (6-5, 275 R-Jr.)
If he can stay healthy, stands a good chance of being a major contributor.
Robinson Eugene (6-5, 265 R-Fr.)
North Miami product looking for his first action as an Owl.
DT Jarvis Givens, DE Kevin Cyrille, DE Jamere Johnson
Joe Henry: Played in four games last season as a true freshman.