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ODU Position Preview: Offensive and Defensive Line

PRVSQNNIJLTAHMEPRVSQNNIJLTAHME will do a position by position preview this week of the football Monarchs. Today we preview the offensive and defensive line.

Offensive Line

74Tony BarnettFr-r.6-4316
66Troy ButlerSr-r.6-3314
79Cullen CaseyJr-r.6-3294
64Jean-Luc ChildsFr-r.6-5320
67Michael CipollaFr.6-5300
63Nick ClarkeSo-r.6-4285
76Tyler ComptonSr-r.6-4290
65A.J. DavisonJr.6-6326
70Devin HannanFr-r.6-4293
78Darius GarciaJr.6-3304
73Chad HendricksSo-r.6-6294
61Andrew LawsonFr.6-3301
68Jace MalloryFr.6-4270
77Manny MatiarenaJr-r.6-4302
62Hunter SosebeeFr-r.6-7285
72T.J. StormentFr.6-6324
60Mufu TaiwoFr-r.6-5304
71Isaac WeaverFr.6-6271

The offensive line graduated the only two seniors from last year’s unit that saw Ray Lawry lead Conference USA.

Last year the group was hit hard by injury, but it returns five players that have started at least one game in their careers and adds several players with starting potential.

Troy Butler is the most veteran presence up front, as the senior has made 16 starts in the last three years while dealing with various injuries. The Chesapeake, Va. native has been a versatile player, having started at every position but left tackle.  ODU will look to play Butler at his most natural position of right guard this season.

Junior Darius Garcia has also started 16 games in his first two seasons with the squad.  Garcia started seven of the first eight games last season but struggled and was eventually replaced at right tackle by Chad Hendricks. A former walk-on that earned a scholarship over the summer, Hendricks started the final four games last season at right tackle.

Tyler Compton is another valuable, versatile player that has played all three interior positions, and can play tackle in a pinch. A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District and C-USA All-Academic player, Compton will graduate from ODU with his Master’s in business in May.

A sophomore from Mechanicsville, Va., Nick Clarke took the reigns at center last year, starting nine games at the position. He enters the year on the Rimington Trophy Watch List given to the nation’s best center.

A trio of redshirt freshmen have the potential to not only play but start, as Tony Barnett, Devin Hannan and Hunter Sosebee received a lot of reps in spring ball. Hannan heads to fall camp as the starter at left tackle while Sosebee enters in a competition at right tackle.

The coaching staff also moved the towering Mufu Taiwo, a 6-5, 290 pounder, from the defensive line to add depth while also adding T.J. Storment, Isaac Weaver and Andrew Lawson on National Signing Day in February.

Defensive Line

99Daniel AppouhSo-r.6-4246
91Casey BernardFr-r.6-2234
92Jude BrenyaSr.6-3256
97Phillippe-Louis ChildsFr-r.6-4220
57Rashaad CowardSr.6-6310
90Miles FoxSo.6-1279
53Ryan LondreeSo-r.6-3260
52Juwan RossFr.6-2290
58Bunmi RotimiJr-r.6-4290
54Pat ToalSo-r.6-4311
55Brandon TysonSo-r.6-1337
93Tim WardSo.6-6244
50Torrez WentzSo-r.6-2278
95Sam WhiteFr.6-3243
94Scott WigginsSr.6-3232
98Oshane XiminesSo-r.6-3239

This is the position with arguably the most experience and depth on the team. The Monarchs return a host of players with experience and several more that will compete for playing time in 2016.

Like last year, the group only has one senior, in defensive tackle Rashaad Coward. A 6-6, 320 pounder, Coward started all 12 games last season and led the defensive line in tackles with 47. He will be joined on the inside by sophomore Miles Fox, who played in all 12 games last season and registered 25 tackles. At 6-1, Fox uses his speed to make plays. Adding depth to the tackle position are Pat Toal and Brandon Tyson. Toal played in 11 games last year and saw his snaps increase each week, while Tyson played in eight games. Ryan Londree and Torrez Wentz will be in the mix for playing time while Juwan Ross was the only newcomer added.

The biggest change up front will be the move of Bunmi Rotimi from tackle to end. Rotimi started 11 games last year at defensive tackle and finished the year with 36 tackles and second on the team with 4.5 sacks. He finished the year strong, with all of his sacks coming in the final seven games of the year.

Also in the mix is sophomore Tim Ward, who notched 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and clinched the Eastern Michigan win with an interception last year as a true freshman.

With Rotimi moving to end, he will lineup opposite of Oshane Ximines. A sophomore from North Carolina, Ximines led the defense in sacks and tackles for loss a season ago and earned Conference USA All-Freshman honors.
ODU has several experienced options to back them up, with Daniel Appouh, Jude Brenya and Scott Wiggins all having received significant playing time in their careers.