Ahhhhhhh and here we are. Part 3 of my running recruiting diary, which covers defensive linemen, will perhaps be the most difficult to write, since we all know what happened with a certain 5 star recruit before signing day. If you are unaware, please stick around, and if you are in the know, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Away we go……
Defensive line was, without question, the PUNIEST part of a weak defense in ’07. Anyone who watched games this season can tell you how painstakingly irritating it was to witness the Irish D-Line get manhandled and fail to develop a pass rush, or even plug holes on running plays. I would be hard pressed to create a “Top 10” list of plays created by the boys upfront without having a few “that time they ALMOST got a sack…….” instances in it. I tell you this my friends, it was sucktastic.
Trevor Laws, who turned into a very solid linemen, was sadly rendered obsolete in 2007. He was constantly under fire with double teams, and this didn’t really open it up for anyone else. Hell, he could have been out there by himself on some plays. The defense is light years away from being dominate again upfront, but help is on the way true believers. At one point, this was the best crop of incoming trench fighters in the nation, but fate would have it otherwise.
DT Sean Cwynar, an Illinois native, comes to South Bend with some hefty credentials. The 6’4″ 284 lb. ogre is strong, smart, and has the will to become a force at the next level. His tapes don’t look that bad, and hell, the kid appears to be a nice fit. I think I just convinced myself he’ll play at some point…….I need a drink.
Louisville giant Brandon Newman has the run-stuffing size (6’1″ 300lbs.) to make an impact at DT. He plays like a bulldozer, and I LOVE the disdainful snarl displayed in just about any picture you can find of this guy. Newman is a beast, flat out. He isn’t quite as decorated coming in as Cwynar may be, but I would put my money on “Big B” getting more quality reps in the immediate future.
Jersey’s own, Hafis Williams, is the DT that flew in under the radar. He isn’t ranked as high as Newman or Cwynar on many boards, but I shit you not, this is my prediction for “Surprise of the DT bunch.” According to rivals.com, he is crippling the weightroom and will be carved out of stone by kickoff in Week One.
Perhaps the saddest storyline that unfolded during recruiting was the loss of blue chip DT Omar Hunter to Florida. He was the top rated DT on a few credible lists, and feelings of pure elation came over me when I heard the Irish plucked a monster from the very competetive South. He will live up to the hype, and just thinking of him in Blue and Gold for the next 3-4 years has become a distant pipedream. The news crushed me like an anvil falling from 100 feet in the air. I understand kids sometimes make decisions without thinking them through, but it truly sucks to lose the cog of an entire class. Hunter automatically adds clout to any team’s list of incoming frosh. I wish him the best of luck, but truly hope he regrets his decision to switch schools for a long time.
DE Ethan Johnson, from Portland, spurned USC to attend the true institute of higher learning. The 6′ 4″ 265 lb. pass rusher gets a 5 star rating in my book just for that alone. All kidding aside, this young man is a baller. No seriously, fuck USC……(slam shot of Beam)……Ok, I’m refocused. Johnson missed all of his senior season with a sprained ACL, and although this is obviously a legitimate concern, he is too great a talent to not roll the dice. If he can stay healthy, you will hear his name often, and not in the, “Dude, Faust is a freakin moron!!!” context. Here’s to a speedy rehab son (another shot of Beam).
Last, and certainly not least, is DE Kapron Lewis-Moore. I loved this guy before watching film and reading reports for a reason I mentioned earlier: IN EVERY PIC HE LOOKS PISSED OFF AND READY TO KILL SOMEONE. The 6’5″ 225″ Texan originally committed to A & M, but gave them the middle finger Gig ‘Em style, and will don a much better color the next 3-4 seasons. I say 3-4, because this guy plays like a pitbull let out of a cage, and his career just might be memorable. PS: I wouldn’t mind seeing this guy on the basketball court too throwing ‘bows Julius Peppers style.
I don’t really need to spend too much time analyzing the returning starters and what they will contribute next season. In fact, I’m not going to spend any time, it’s happy hour……
Stay tuned for Part 4 – Offensive Lineman
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