Charlotte 49ers College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The 49ers went deep into the transfer portal to get a slew of options for the line. The star of last year’s front four, though – Timmy Horne – is gone to Kansas State, and end Tyriq Harris is done.
However, Notre Dame’s Kofi Wardlow brings help for the outside and Iowa State’s Joshua Bailey will add bulk to the interior. Markees Watts led the team with two sacks and Mikel Horton is a big body for the interior, but this will be a work in progress.
– Ben DeLuca was a heart-and-soul safety talent who won’t be easily replaced, but Antone Williams is a veteran for one of the jobs and Lance McMillan is a battler at one corner gig. Like the line, the secondary is getting help from the transfer portal, but it’s going to be a young and relatively inexperienced group overall.
– LB Tyler Murray is a big safety-sized linebacker who led the team with 49 tackles, and Luke Martin is a good run stopper on the inside. There’s not any size in the corps, but it’s potentially one of the team’s biggest strengths if junior Jaylon Sharpe has a big year on the outside and Troy transfer Justin Whisenhunt can be an instant factor.