A look at the defensive line

Group has to replace two veterans

August 6, 2009 · Athletic Communications

Key Losses:
DT Trevor Jenkins and DE Wes Hofacker.

Key Returnees: Jamari Lattimore, Chris McCoy, Emmanuel Perez, and Dwight Smith. All four played in all 12 games last year and combined for 22 starts and 24 tackles for loss.

Battle to Watch: There are two battles to pay attention to and they are the starting job at both right and left defensive end. The key player in this is junior Jamari Lattimore, who is listed as a co-starter at both positions. Lattimore, who has all the tools and is coming off a stellar Blue-White Game, is competing with Chris McCoy on the left side. The coaches have been waiting for McCoy to step up, and after a good spring he appears to he headed in that direction. On the right side, Lattimore is trying to unseat 11-game starter Emmanuel Perez. Both battles will be fun to watch, but all three will play a lot in 2009.

Spring Standout: Brandon Perry enters his senior season with a purpose. He lost weight, enjoyed his best spring as a Blue Raider, and has committed himself. Now the question is will it continue through the summer and fall camp. If it does, the Blue Raiders have a run stopper up front.

Coach Les Herrin on the defensive line
"We have enough talent to be a very successful group, but you don't always win on talent alone on Saturdays. They know it takes effort, focus, and execution on every play. To be productive this group has to play together and take care of one another every step of the way. What I like is they worry more about "we' rather than 'I" and that is what will go a long way in their success. They had a good spring, but they have to stay the course and work hard in the summer and take that next step in August."

Left End
(r-Senior) - Is coming off his best spring as a Blue Raider ... Has all the tools to be a good player ... Runs well, is athletic, and has a long wingspan ... Needs to work on being consistent from play to play.


JAMARI LATTIMORE (Junior) - Enjoyed a great spring and capped it off with the best defensive numbers of any player in the Blue-White Game (8 tackles, 4 TFLs, 3 sacks, 1 interception) ... Has good feet and can play on either side ... Really improved with his hands in the spring and has a good motor, but coaches want that motor going all the time.

Left Tackle
(r-Senior) - Was the most improved lineman coming out of spring drills ... Has lost weight and is in best shape of his career but needs to stay on course during the summer and report in even better condition in August ... Has great potential and could be a key contributor up front ... Biggest question is will his spring resurgence continue.

GARY TUCKER (r-Junior) - Has had an up-and-down career to date but possesses the ability to help team ... Can play inside or outside ... Needs to be more consistent and have a better work ethic day-to-day.

Right Tackle
(Junior) - Missed the last half of spring drills with a knee injury but is expected to be full strength in August ... Led all lineman last year in tackles for loss ... Has a great attitude with unlimited potential ... Needs to play better with his hands and understand pad level.

KENDALL DANGERFIELD (r-Freshman) - Showed a lot of improvement over the course of spring practice ... Has good strength for a young player ... Displays a ton of potential but must mature to take next step.

SACOBY CARTER (r-Sophomore) - Comes with a good attitude and work ethic every day ... Plays with great effort and has come a long way since his freshman year ... Needs to continue learning the position.

Right End
(Junior) - See left end above.


EMMANUEL PEREZ (Junior) - An effort player who has a good motor and goes all out ... Lacks size but makes up for it with determination ... Needs to improve consistency and taking care of his assignments.

PHILLIP TINSLEY (r-Freshman) - Opened some eyes with his play in the spring ... Has a good motor but is still young and learning the position ... Needs to keep focusing on what it takes to be a good football player ... Has a bright future at the position.

51 SaCoby Carter (r-So., DT)
45 Jarrett Crittenton (r-Jr., DE)
96 Kendall Dangerfield (r-Fr., DT)
11 Jamari Lattimore (Jr., DE)
98 Chris McCoy (r-Sr., DE)
91 Emmanuel Perez (Jr., DE)
92 Brandon Perry (r-Sr., DT)
47 Dwight Smith (Jr., DT)
93 Phillip Tinsley (r-Fr., DE)
94 Gary Tucker (r-Jr., DT)
49 Andre Wicker (r-Jr., DT)

97 Jadareius Hamlin (Fr., DT)
85 Omar McLendon (Fr., DE)
89 Dearco Nolan (Fr., DE)
90 Jimmy Staten (Fr., DE)
95 Derrek Upshaw (Fr., DT)

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.