Tulsa Golden Hurricane College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– The defense that was such a wall last year is expected to get back nine starters, but it’s missing the key piece of the puzzle. Zaven Collins won the Butkus as the nation’s best linebacker – he was the heart-and-soul of the D that finished 19th in the nation allowing just 333 yards and 22 points per game.
The linebacking corps doesn’t have another Collins, but Justin Wright is a good-sized all-star in the middle – he tied for a team-high 63 tackles – Treyvon Reeves was a nice part of the puzzle at the team’s Star position, and Robert Revels is a safety-sized option on the weakside.
– The defensive front is strong with all three starters back around First Team All-ACC tackles Jaxon Player. He’s a bowling ball who can get behind the line, 351-pound Tyarise Stevenson is an anchor on the nose, and there’s size around the other spots to get some work.
– The safeties are terrific but the corners will need to find a few more new parts. Cristian Williams is a veteran all-star who’s back for his sixth year at one safety job, and Kendarin Ray tied for the team lead with 63 stops.
The defensive backs only came up with one interception, and now starting corners Allie Green and Akayleb Evans are gone to the transfer portal. It’s a very, very thin group, but Tyon Davis was part of the rotation.