4. College Football News Preview 2020: Appalachian State Mountaineers Defense 3 Things To Know
– The offense returns full of talent, veterans, and all-stars. The defense just gave a lot of that away with five of the top five tacklers gone from a group that finished No. 1 in the Sun Belt allowing 336 yards and 20 points per game.
– The secondary that allowed 207 yards per game and was so good at getting off the field only gets back two starters, but they’re good ones at the corner. Junior Shaun Jolly was a First Team All-Sun Belt performer making 45 tackles with five picks, taking two backs for scores, and Shemar Jean-Charles is a nice senior who made 45 stops with a pick and nine broken up passes.
The safeties need junior Ryan Huff and senior Kaiden Smith to step into the holes. They’re veterans, but the ASU safeties were fantastic last year.
– The lost talent at linebacker hurts. Jordan Fehr and Akeem Davis-Gaither were special, and now it’s up to junior D’Marco Jackson to be the new leader of the bunch.
Junior Trey Cobb will grow into a statistical star on the inside coming off a 48-stop season in the rotation. Getting production from the outside, though, might take a bit – sophomore KeSean Brown will have the spotlight on.
The line has to replace EJ Scott on the nose, but the ends are okay with leading pass rusher Demetrius Taylor back after coming up with 44 tackles seven sacks, and Elijah Diarrassouba returns after a 20 tackle season.