Kentucky Wildcats Football: 2012 Position Review: Defensive Line

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Mike Douglas
Douglas has been moved inside to defensive tackle for his sophomore season after excelling as a reserve defensive end as a freshman. This likely has more to do with his added bulk, Kentucky’s complex scheme, and a need on the interior than him falling down the depth chart at end. Douglas is likely to eventually fill the role currently manned by Rumph, of a jumbo-defensive end that slides inside when UK is in four-man fronts and plays on the perimeter when the team is in three-man fronts. Either way, Douglas will be one of the first defensive linemen off the bench this year as a sophomore.

Farrington Huguenin
Similar to Rumph, Huguenin has had a long road to playing at UK. He failed to qualify as a freshman, but made it to campus after a year in prep school. After redshirting last season, Hugenin was one of the stars of the spring and should be one of the top defensive line reserves as a redshirt freshman this season.

Alvin Davis
Davis came to Kentucky as a relative unknown and has largely stayed that way. He has moved back and forth from end to tackle, and should figure in as a key reserve for both positions as a sophomore. While he may have fallen behind some other players on the depth chart, defensive linemen rotate in and out more than any other position and Davis figures to get plenty of minutes this season.

Tristian Johnson
Another skinny freshman than arrived as a linebacker, Johnson moved to defensive end early in his career and to defensive tackle last season. Now significantly bigger and stronger, Johnson will be used to spell Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble this season and provide a pass rush from the interior of the defensive line as a junior.

Christian Coleman
Coleman had a break out season as a freshman last year and would be a starter at defensive tackle in any other season. Having Rumph and Cobble ahead of him on the depth chart is the only thing keeping him off the field full-time, but he is likely to see significant time as the top backup at defensive tackle in only his sophomore season.

Thomas Chapman
Chapman suffered a season ending injury as a junior that likely scared other teams away from him, but Kentucky offered and accepted his commitment despite this. Now, Chapman may be called upon as a true freshman to contribute at defensive tackle and bolster the interior of Kentucky’s run defense. While he may not be big enough to start as a nose guard today, another year in the offseason program could propel him to take over for Cobble when he has either graduates or left for the NFL.

Patrick Graffree
When Graffree committed to UK, he was an unheard of kid from Elizabethtown. In the past year, he’s endeared himself to the UK faithful as one of the team’s most positive and vocal young players, and has endeared himself to the coaching staff as one of the team’s tip young talents. He’ll have to impress during camp to avoid a redshirt season, but all indications are that he’s doing exactly that. Don’t be surprised to see number 52 on the field as a true freshman.

Langston Newton
While some will undoubtedly always think of Langston as Morgan’s little brother, the younger Newton is a completely different player. He is as tough as nails and will provide Kentucky with a young defensive end to develop into Minter’s complex scheme. Langston has the size and athleticism to play right away, but a redshirt season that separates him from some of the other young talent at his position might be in his future instead. If he plays, Newton should be right behind Hugenin and Douglas at defensive end.