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Arkansas State Countdown to Spring Football: DEFENSE

Rolland-Jones will be the cornerstone but plenty of pieces still in place

NCAA Football: Cure Bowl-Central Florida vs Arkansas State Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

With six of the top ten tacklers gone from the 2016 roster for spring football, many opportunities arise for last years spot players and mid season transfers to show their wares. Seven starters are gone from Joe Cauthen’s defense as well as nearly half of last years two deep depth chart.

Gone But Not Forgotten:

DE Chase Robison NT Waylon Roberson DT Jake Swalley BANDIT Chris Odom BANDIT Darrius Rosser WLB Xavier Woodson-Luster CB Chris Humes SS Cody Brown SS Money Hunter

Back And Best Be Watched:

DE Ja’von Rolland Jones Sr.- 13.5 sacks-20.5 TFL- Sun Belt Player of the Year ‘16

DT Dee Liner Sr. - 34 tackles including 8.5 TFL - slow start last year with a fast finish

LB Khari Lain Sr. - 32 tackles in ‘16

MLB Kyle Wilson Sr.-79 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 3 sacks in’16- 2017 will be a huge year

MLB Tahjea Chambers RS Soph-played in only 8 games due to injury

CB Blaise Taylor Sr.-potential all-conference season-3 ints & 35 tackles in ‘17

FS B.J. Edmonds Soph- Played in 12 games-31 tackles

CB Nehemiah Wagner Sr-Played in 13 games- 17 tackles

Signees To Watch In The Spring

DL Tony Adams 6’0-344 - Looks to be the fireplug Red Wolves may need up the middle.

DE Ronhen Bingham 6’2-222- 19 TFL , 6 sacks in JUCO-could be the bookend for Rolland-Jones

There are enough parts and pieces left from the 2016 depth chart along with some newcomers to fill in the blanks for the 2017 Red Wolves defense. The good news from 2016 is that the unit got much better as the season went as the new parts gelled with the existing and multiple returning players played in at least ten games, giving the spring and next fall a jump start.

It is not far fetched to see the 2017 unit going down the same path that the 2016 defense did, some early lumps taken but hitting their stride as conference season begins.