Defensive line will have four new starters
Unit is young with only two seniorsAugust 2, 2011 · Athletic Communications
Key Losses: DE Jamari Lattimore, DE Emmanuel Perez, DT Dwight Smith, DT Gary Tucker, DT Jarrett Crittenton Key Returnees: Omar McLendon, Jimmy Staten, DE Dearco Nolan, and DT Pat McNeil. All four have combined for 0 starts.
Battle to Watch: With four starters lost from a year ago, the battles are numerous along the defensive line. SaCoby Carter and Patrick McNeil will be heated for the left tackle spot and Jimmy Staten will be trying to stave off newcomer Paramore Tapa. Omar McLendon is the only one with a starting job secured.
Spring Standout: Jimmy Staten and Omar McLendon stood out as far as being dependable, athletic football players during the spring. They both showed improvement from the first practice all the way to the 15th and final practice. We had some other guys do some good things but they were not as consistent as Staten and McLendon.
Coach Palermo on the defensive line
"As a group, we made a tremendous amount of improvement in the spring and got a lot of questions answered. We have some guys who can be very successful and others who can be solid in our league if they keep showing improvement. Our depth is better than a year ago and we have bigger bodies inside."
OMAR MCLENDON (Junior) - The best defensive end on the team ... Rates as a very good run defender and solid pass rusher ... Very physical and smart ... Needs to be more consistent overall in his pass rush.
JIAJUAN FENNELL (r-Freshman) - Young, talented player who must continue to improve from a physical stand point ... Has the ability to be a steady backup and even compete for a starting job.
PATRICK MCNEIL (r-Freshman) - A very talented young player who saw action early last year before season ended with an injury ... Has tremendous ability and football intelligence ... Needs to be more focused and condition himself better.
SACOBY CARTER (r-Senior) - Coming off shoulder surgery ... A physical player who will be counted on for leadership .... Needs to be more polished from a technique standpoint.
KENDALL DANGERFIELD (r-Junior) - Did not play last year while sitting out due to academics ... Has tremendous upside and a chance to be a good player ... Can compete for a starting job ... Very strong.
JIMMY STATEN (r-Sophomore) - Has taken all the right steps to improve and will play a big role this season ... Tough, hard working player who needs to improve conditioning and consistency.
MORRIS MOORE (r-Freshman) - A good young player who is making strides but still has a ways to go before competing for time ... Needs to improve technique and get stronger.
DEARCO NOLAN (r-Sophomore) - Has made tremendous strides in the classroom and on the field ... Very dependable ... Can play inside and outside.
GORBY LOREUS (Senior) - Made the move from linebacker to end during the spring ... Coaches were pleased with his progress ... Is a natural at the position ... Still learning but adds speed and tenacity to the position.
MAX UGBOAJA (r-Freshman) - A player with tremendous upside who works extremely hard ... Has a chance to contribute as a situational player in the fall ... Good student.
51 SaCoby Carter r-Sr. DT
96 Kendall Dangerfield r-Jr. DT
*Eric Davis r-Jr. DE
97 Jiajuan Fennell r-Fr. DE
72 Jesse Kirkland r-Jr. DT
43 Gorby Loreus Sr. DE
85 Omar McLendon Jr. DE
92 Patrick McNeil r-Fr. DT
98 Morris Moore r-Fr. DT
89 Dearco Nolan r-So. DE
*Clifton Smithson r-So. DT
90 Jimmy Staten r-So. DT
46 Max Ugboaja r-Fr. DE
45 Alexandro Antoine Fr. DE
55 Shubert Bastien Fr. DE
94 O'Shae Bridges Fr. DE
53 Terrance Coleman Jr. DE
99 Jerrold Frazier Fr. DT
91 J.D. Jones Fr. DT
95 Kevin Pope Jr. DE
86 Marcus Robinson Fr. DT
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
More Football NewsJul 23, 2014: Blue Raiders participate in C-USA Media Day
Jul 17, 2014: Raiders to have 11 games televised in 2014
Jul 16, 2014: Byard, Barber tabbed first team All-C-USA
Jul 14, 2014: Barber named to Lombardi Watch List
Jul 11, 2014: MT's Byard named to Jim Thorpe Award watch list
Jun 13, 2014: Five recognized by Athlon Sports