2011 Starting D - Prediction

Submitted by gremlin on January 25th, 2011 at 11:06 AM

  Now that we have a new D-Coordinator, I was wondering what our starting D will look like.  I'm assuming Mattison runs the 4-3.

My prediction:

DE (Strongside) - VanBergen

DT- Campbell/Ash

NT- Martin

DE (Weakside) - Black

MLB - Demens

OLB - Gordon/Ryan

OLB - Roh/Ryan

CB (Strongside) - Woolfolk

CB (Weakside) - Avery

SS - Robinson

FS - Johnson





January 25th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

Roh will absolutely not be playing OLB. He will be DE all the way.

Other than that, I think I would prefer to see RVB move inside and have Roh and Black at DE. IMO, Floyd will be starting at CB and Kovacs will be starting at SS, as much as people don't want to hear it.

ND Sux

January 25th, 2011 at 11:30 AM ^

when he graduates, but I see him starting again this year.  Like him or not, he is one of the more consistent players on the D.  If someone truly beats him out, that will mean good things for us at S.  That dude plays every down though, and we could do much worse. 


January 25th, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

Roh and Black at DE, with RVB moved inside sounds like the best way to put the most talent on the Defensive line.

I also agree that Kovacs will start at SS as his intangibles and experience will give him the edge.  That said I think Avery will overtake Floyd for a starting slot but Floyd will be featured as a nickel back/spot starter and probable starter as a 5th year senior.


January 25th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

We saw the Roh at LB experiment last year. I'm hoping our staff wont try it again. He's to stiff in the hips to be a linebacker he needs to have his hand in the ground rushing the passer. I actually see IMO RVB sliding inside and playing DT if Campbell, Ash or Talbott dont cut it.


January 25th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

QWash is staying at NT, could have a shot. Campbell and Ash are more likely to be NTs than MArtin. Roh's a weakside 4-3 DE, so he won't be a LB, and I'd be surprised if Ryan beats out the likes of Furman, Fitz, Herron, Mike Jones for the starting WLB. I'd like to see Kovacs here somewhere. I think Woolfolk will move back to FS, but that's more opinionated.

Todd Plate's n…

January 25th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

Echoing what others have said about Roh, he is definitely a DE.  Think maybe he and RVB as starters, with Black getting more reps on sure passing downs?  Be interested to see how much progress Jibreel makes physically in the off-season. 


January 25th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

He's the player that I'm looking forward to the most.  I'm hoping he can make a jump going into his 2nd year, and play a position that he's comfortable with.  Everytime I see him I feel like he's just going to start laying the wood.


January 25th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

You're the second person to say "a freshman will start at..." and then not say who you think it is.  Considering there are only a couple positions where a true freshman wouldn't have to oust a returning starter and even those spots have upperclassmen filling them, I'm not sure I understand why you think this.  Which frosh do you think could start, and at what spot?


January 25th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

sorry fellas.

ok.  i think willingham will start at MLB by midseason.  and i think heitzman will be playing by season's end vs osu at the suggs DE/OLB position in the 3-4, which mattison runs. its called a 4-3 but its more of a 3-4.   i didn't name them because they haven't signed yet.


January 25th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

Heitzman is going to redshirt, you can tell he is a project just by looking at his film. I'm not saying he is bad, but I'm hard pressed to believe he sees the field as a true freshman DL unless there are injury problems (knock on wood).


January 25th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

NT: Campbell or Washington

DT: Martin

SDE: Van Bergen

WDE: Roh

MLB: Demens

WLB: Cam or M. Jones

SLB: Herron or Fitz

CB: Woolfolk

CB: Avery

FS: Christian

SS: M. Robinson


January 25th, 2011 at 11:22 AM ^

Despite the uncertainty, it's great to see all the competition for positions on defense.  I love to see depth instead of "omg who the hell do we have left that could play?"

I already can't wait for Spring pratice to start so we can get some insider info.  I'd also like to hear some of the regular posters' predictions.


January 25th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

I know we have started a number of them the last couple of years, but we should almost be at the point where we are not counting on any to start.  Maybe 1 comes through and surprises, but we should not count on any to be starters.

Don Keypunch

January 25th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

regardless of who starts, isnt it more important to be able to have this debate which means the the defense actually has some depth to it. As for my prdeiction based on nothing:

D-Line: Roh, Martin, Washington, Van Bergen (Black in on spot duty at DE)

LB: Demens, C. Gordon, Herron

CB: Woolfolk, Floyd (Avery as a nickle)

S: Johnson, Furman


January 25th, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

As others have said, Roh is a DE, plain and simple.  He doesn't have the hips, change of direction, or athleticism (at his current weight) to play OLB in a 4-3.  He struggles in space.  He's absolutely going to be playing with is hand down.  For an extremely early guess, I'd say something like


SDE-Van Bergen (Black as a situational pass rusher)

UT-Mike Martin

NT-Washington OR Campbell OR Ash



SLB-Herron OR Fitzgerald

WLB-Mike Jones OR Cam Gordon OR Furman OR one of the freshmen


CB-Woolfolk OR Floyd

FS-Woolfolk OR Carvin Johnson OR Floyd OR Vinopal

SS-Kovacs OR Robinson


Alternate DL, and the one I've heard will at least be what we start with in spring ball:


UT-Van Bergen




However, I'm sure that Washington/Campbell/Ash will be given plenty of opportunity to show that they should be on the field, allowing RVB to move back outside, giving Black another year to learn how to play the run while exclusively rushing the passer, and allowing Martin to move to his more natural, and best position as a 3 technique penetrator.


I'd say Demens is the only guy that has a spot locked up at LB.  Herron played well at the beginning of the season, and it should come down to a battle between him and Fitz for the early starting gig.  I think Herron wins it at first.  Mike Jones was looking good before breaking his leg, but well see if he's big enough.  I think he and Cam Gordon will battle for the starting spot, with a freshman or two sticking their noses in (Kellen Jones comes to mind here).  I think Mike Jones will get the early starts at least.

The secondary is still a mess as far as knowing who's playing where.  Avery was impressive in coverage at times last year and showed good coverage skills.  The other CB and FS spot kind of depend on Woolfolk.  If Troy is playing CB, he's the other corner, if he's playing FS, he's the FS.  Simple enough.  Kovacs will likely be the starting SS based on experience, at least early in the season.  I could see Robinson (this is also me kind of hoping he'll get moved back  to safety) taking over at some point.  Floyd should really be a safety.  I hope he gets moved.  If Woolfolk plays FS this year, Floyd is the likely starter at CB opposite Avery.

This is all extremely early of course.  We don't really even know what positions some of these guys are playing.  We'll get a better idea of who's playing what after spring ball, which is way to damn long from now, by the way.


January 25th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

the rest is a shot in the dark.  Barring injuries, I believe there will be a big shake up with the LBs and DBs.  Mattison and Co. will get the underachievers to date back up to speed and get the best out of some more athletes.  Pencil Demens and Woolfolk as starters somewhere and don't even bother worrying about the other LBs and DBs, because I doubt anyone will get it right.  There are definitely going to be surprises.