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  1. #1
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    Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    DT McDonough/Pompeii/Woods
    DT Simon/Laing/Jensen

    That's 6 guys who are, at a minimum, serviceable DT's in the Big 12 conference...I honestly don't remember that EVER being the case for ISU. McDonough was really turning the lightbulb on at the end of this season and I would expect him to have a stellar senior season. Simon never really had a chance to get his feet under him, but has shown signs of being very stodgy in the middle...should be solid if unspectacular alongside McDonough. Pompeii is a pile of potential...and should be strong, if raw, in a backup role. Laing is a known quantity and brings some nice athleticism and VERY solid minutes in the interior. Jensen and Woods can fill some minutes and Jensen may yet grow beyond even that. My guess is that Laing will also play a good bit more at DE next season, particularly in clear running situations.

    Verdict: Losing Rump will hurt with some growing pains early as we look for someone who can consistently pass rush up the middle. That said, these guys should be pretty stout against the run with Pompeii, McDonough and Simon all be being 300+ pounders who are not just big, but powerful as well. Similar to this season but should get stronger as the season goes by. Great depth and a couple guys who will grow with time (Pompeii/Simon).




    DE Irving/Laing
    DE Maggit/Scott/Nelson

    Have to be a little concerned with this position. Irving has MASSIVE potential but needs a great off season of strength training and just plain coaching in the fundamentals...which I fully expect he will get. I also think Laing sees a good bit more time at the DE rotation...he will get as much time here as he does at DE IMHO. Maggit is solid IF healthy...which I'd expect he will be...but is definitely not a "game changer". Scott can be very good in a pass rush role but still needs to bulk up a tad. There is potential for a guy like Devin Lemke to jump back to this position in spring ball and make a difference.

    Verdict: This position has been mediocre at ISU for too long, though this years guys were tremendous "effort" players (Latt and Neal), they were also limited talent-wise. Irving, on the other hand, has no such limits...and may one day be a great player. The question for him is, when will that light switch on...he is SO young that we'll have to be patient with him. I'd expect that, by mid-season, he will grow into a very, very good player...but in a starting role out of the gate he MAY struggle some at first. Having Laing back him up and get good minutes at DE will help him tremendously. Similar to this year early but improving rapidly as the year progresses. Talent level definitely moving upwards but it will take time to develop consistency and reliability.




    LB Porter/Miller
    LB Knott/George
    LB Klein/Mattison
    Nickelback and LB Morgan/Broomfield/Givens

    Very interesting position...perhaps our greatest team strength in the starting group, but woefully short on depth. We REALLY need to develop some young guys here to prepare for 2013. Porter and Miller should fight it out for the "Tau'fo'ou" spot, and I'd expect both to play a lot...and either or both may actually substitute for AJ/Knott when they come out. George still has the talent to be a very good player and should be a solid backup...but it gets very dicey after that. We clearly need an influx of talent at this position so let's up someone in the incoming class can fit that role. I've included Morgan/Broomfield at the "small LB/nickel" spot because both performed well and should see more time at this position...particular Morgan. Broomfield may end up starting at SS though I am pegging another player for that role as you'll see in the next section. Mattison...I have no idea what to expect from him, if anything.

    Verdict: If healthy, this is simply the best LB crew in the Big 12...hands down. Knott and Klein are very hard working guys who will continue to hone themselves and their game...they, believe it or not, will likely be slightly better next season, which is REALLY saying something. So this position improves...with the caveat that we can ill afford any injuries to the "big two".


    CB Reeves/Richardson/Thomas
    CB Stokes/Lynn/Watson

    Ok...here's where we may have trouble. Reeves is very solid, if a tad height challenged (though he's mostly good enough to negate that). So we're solid at one corner. The other, LJ's spot, is very much an unknown and thus must be considered a weakness. Lynn is spoken of highly and Watson has played a bit...likewise for Richardson and Thomas but they are mostly unknowns. So we are left to hope that Stokes is at least a competent replacement for LJ...no way in hell we can replace LJ overall game. That said, if Stokes is solid and we have another year to let the young guys develop in a backup role, we should be OK.

    Verdict: Going to step a step backward at one of the corner slots, and our overall pass defense may suffer accordingly. Stokes is the key, of course, and if he exceeds expectations we could still be very good in this department.


    S Washington/Givens
    S Brackens/Broomfield

    Actually, pretty excited for this position. Washington has been little short of exceptional as a first year starter and will make a nice leap forward in the off season with his experience. Brackens just looks to be a p-l-a-y-e-r...and I expect him to be a long time starter at the safety slot. That said, Broomfield has looked very good and may have something to say about who starts at safety...either way, strong talent and solid depth are present. Givens has looked excellent in flashes as well.

    Verdict: Despite the loss of Benton, a very good player, our young talent looks to move us towards even better safety play next season IMHO. Washington, Givens and Broomfield all are experienced players and solid tackling guys...and their mastery of coverage schemes and athleticism should help cover some early growing pains at the CB position.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    You are forgetting a couple guys at DE. Hayes and Lemke could both be in that mix. I think we will be better overall at that position.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcraig2.0 View Post
    You are forgetting a couple guys at DE. Hayes and Lemke could both be in that mix. I think we will be better overall at that position.
    Ishmail Hayes - Yahoo! Sports



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    I think Ronnie Nelson could step up and start next year.. Maggit and Hayes will also be in the mix for starting. If Irving is a quick learner and gets coached up hes our best DE, but that still might be a long shot for next year. I don't think Laing plays half as much at DE as you do either.


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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    How many DL guys depart after 2012? Mcdonough, Nelson, Maggitt. Any others?

    My hope is that there are enough quality developed bodies up in the front 4 to get the Clones through 2012 and to a bowl win. From there gear up for a big offensive effort in 2013, and see if young guys like Irving/Pompey can be game changers by then.


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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by FD Cyclone View Post
    How many DL guys depart after 2012? Mcdonough, Nelson, Maggitt. Any others?

    My hope is that there are enough quality developed bodies up in the front 4 to get the Clones through 2012 and to a bowl win. From there gear up for a big offensive effort in 2013, and see if young guys like Irving/Pompey can be game changers by then.
    I think we are pretty set at DE. We have a lot of young guys coming in who already have the size to play. We might be looking for a Juco next year though at DT, but even without I think we are still in better shape at DT than we are most years here. Especially if Pompey is playing like he can.


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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Paul Rhoads said we are LOADED at Defensive Back

    He himself is also a Defensive back specialty coach
    He also really likes what Bobby Elliot has done as DB coach

    I think we are set at DB .. don't worry.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    good analysis by the OP.

    While I feel pretty good about the depth in the secondary, I agree - we can't possibly make up for LJ with an individual - its unfair to any of the CBs to expect that sort of improvement/ production.

    However, if the pass rush improves - I think it can - the pass defense could be a net push or possibly even improvement.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    I disagree on our LB's being the B12's best hands down. They are good and they are max effort guys, but they lack the speed to be hands down the best. I bet OU will have a better set.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    I wish we would have RS Irving this year, however, maybe the playing time he did get will make him understand where he needs to get to in order to be effective for us? He won't be getting thrown the wolves next year like he would have if he had RS. He will know what to expect.

    Hopefully Hayes can help us at DE too. Maggitt is solid, and Nelson will be solid too IMO. Scott can play as well. But Hayes would provide good depth. I thought Lattimer had a bad year after how he performed as a junior. I thought he was going to be a beast this year, but he really wasn't.

    LB's will be outstanding IMO. Best starting 3 in the Big 12 possibly. And depth is not bad either with Miller, George, and Mattison.

    CB's will be ok I think. Yeah, it's impossible to replace LJ, but I trust Rhoads when he says we'll be fine. I think Stokes will help, but don't count out Lynn or Watsen either.

    And at safety, I think we might actually get better. I know that sounds crazy when we lose Benton, but I'm with you on Brackens... he is going to be one of the better safeties to ever play at ISU before he leaves here IMO. And Washington will be improved too.

    I think overall, the defense will be better next year as a unit.



  11. #11
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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Eddie Porter - Yahoo! Sports

    Btw, Eddie Porter is officially listed as a commit now... if im not the only one that just noticed.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by clonedude View Post
    I wish we would have RS Irving this year, however, maybe the playing time he did get will make him understand where he needs to get to in order to be effective for us? He won't be getting thrown the wolves next year like he would have if he had RS. He will know what to expect.

    Hopefully Hayes can help us at DE too. Maggitt is solid, and Nelson will be solid too IMO. Scott can play as well. But Hayes would provide good depth. I thought Lattimer had a bad year after how he performed as a junior. I thought he was going to be a beast this year, but he really wasn't.

    LB's will be outstanding IMO. Best starting 3 in the Big 12 possibly. And depth is not bad either with Miller, George, and Mattison.

    CB's will be ok I think. Yeah, it's impossible to replace LJ, but I trust Rhoads when he says we'll be fine. I think Stokes will help, but don't count out Lynn or Watsen either.

    And at safety, I think we might actually get better. I know that sounds crazy when we lose Benton, but I'm with you on Brackens... he is going to be one of the better safeties to ever play at ISU before he leaves here IMO. And Washington will be improved too.

    I think overall, the defense will be better next year as a unit.
    clonedude being positive?



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowcraig2.0 View Post
    You are forgetting a couple guys at DE. Hayes and Lemke could both be in that mix. I think we will be better overall at that position.
    How about Morrissey from IWCC? Any chance he makes an impact next year? Is he a 2-year guy? Wouldn't think they'd bring in a guy with only 2 to play unless they thought he would contribute.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ficklone02 View Post
    I disagree on our LB's being the B12's best hands down. They are good and they are max effort guys, but they lack the speed to be hands down the best. I bet OU will have a better set.
    Knott & Klein are faster than you give them credit for. They are better than "max effort" guys.



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    Re: Long thread on next year's Defensive talent/depth/improvement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cydkar View Post
    Knott & Klein are faster than you give them credit for. They are better than "max effort" guys.
    Agreed. They look faster to me also. They can close the sides by actually tackling people. They are not number 2 and 3 in tackles in Big 12 with no speed.


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