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A look at the defensive line

Lattimore, Smith, Perez back to lead line

August 1, 2010 · Athletic Communications

Headlines
Key Losses: DE Chris McCoy and DT Brandon Perry.

Key Returnees: Jamari Lattimore, Emmanuel Perez, and Dwight Smith. All three played in all 13 games last year and combined for 25 starts and 17 tackles for loss and eight sacks.

Battle to Watch: The biggest battle along the defensive line will be adding depth, especially in the middle. SaCoby Carter and Dwight Smith are the starters in the middle, but Coach Palermo needs at least a four-man rotation so it will come down to Kendall Dangerfield, Derrek Upshaw, Jarrett Crittenton, and Jimmy Staten to see who can move up the depth chart and get on the field. All four guys are talented but need to commit themselves to being good players.

Spring Standout: Jamari Lattimore and Dwight Smith both enjoyed great springs leading the defensive line. The two competed, played with a purpose every day, and bought in to what the coaches wanted them to do. Both are all-conference type players and need to play at a high level for the Blue Raiders to be successful.

Coach Palermo on the defensive line
"Right now, we have five football players who are good enough to help us win and another five who can help but need to dedicate themselves more than they have shown. We don't have the depth to perform at a high level, and that needs to change by August. Overall, we are an undersized group, but we have good speed, athleticism, and guys who give great effort."

Left End
JAMARI LATTIMORE
(Senior) - Had a very good spring and got better with each practice ... Has great quickness, uses his hands well, and is fast off the edge ... Brings the ability to make big plays for the defense ... Is the perfect hybrid drop-rush defensive end.

OMAR MCLENDON (Sophomore) - Will serve as a backup at both end spots ... Has a tremendous upside and is very physical and smart ... A good pass rusher with potential to be a starter ... Needs to keep working on improving his pad level, staying focused, and consistency.

DANIEL WALLER (r-Junior) - A walk-on who turned heads in the spring ... Really showed a lot of improvement and a good work ethic that could lead to increased playing time this fall ... Could be a solid spot player.

Left Tackle
SACOBY CARTER
(r-Junior) - Brings a great attitude and work ethic to the team ... A tough player who competes ... Needs to play with lower pad level and continue improving his fundamentals.

KENDALL DANGERFIELD (r-Sophomore) - Showed a lot of improvement in the spring ... Very strong and powerful ... Has the ability to crack starting lineup but needs to mature.

Right Tackle
DWIGHT SMITH
(Senior) - Is the rock of the defense ... A good fundamental player who possesses toughness ... Learned to use his hands much better in the spring ... Is a student of the game and will be counted on for leadership ... Missed the last half of the spring with a knee injury, and his return date is uncertain.

KENDALL DANGERFIELD (r-Sophomore) - Showed a lot of improvement in the spring ... Very strong and powerful ... Has the ability to crack starting lineup but needs to mature.

Right End
EMMANUEL PEREZ
(Senior) - A good effort player who has a strong motor ... Wants to be a good football player and loves to be coached ... Needs to be more consistent and improve his footwork.

OMAR MCLENDON (Sophomore) - Will serve as a backup at both end spots ... Has a tremendous upside and is very physical and smart ... A good pass rusher with potential to be a starter ... Needs to keep working on improving his pad level, staying focused, and consistency.

Returners
51 SaCoby Carter r-Jr. DT
45 Jarrett Crittenton r-Sr. DT
96 Kendall Dangerfield r-So. DT
99 Antonio Hill r-Jr. DT
11 Jamari Lattimore Sr. DE
85 Omar McLendon So. DE
89 Dearco Nolan r-Fr. DE
91 Emmanuel Perez Sr. DE
47 Dwight Smith Sr. DT
90 Jimmy Staten r-Fr. DT
93 Phillip Tinsley r-So. DE
94 Gary Tucker r-Sr. DT
95 Derrek Upshaw r-Fr. DT
49 *Daniel Waller r-Jr. DE

Newcomers
97 Jiajuan Fennell Fr. DE
72 Jesse Kirkland Jr. DT
92 Patrick McNeil Fr. DT
98 Morris Moore Fr. DT
46 Max Ugboaja Fr. DE
*Nonscholarship

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