Don Hansen

2014 Look Ahead: Defensive Line


As we get closer to the end of the season, Signing Day 2014 is about two months away. The ASU Devils Den will be closely examining each positions group moving forward. The 2013 defense is led by a lot of upperclassmen, so we will examine the defensive side of the ball first.

The defensive line will have one of the biggest changes going into next season. Led by two-time Pac-12 Defensive Play of the Year Will Sutton, this unit has been a force late in the 2013 season with the development of Davon Coleman and Gannon Conway.

Defensive Line Team Members Leaving

  • Will Sutton (Two Time Defending Pac-12 Defensive POY)
  • Davon Coleman (2013 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention)
  • Gannon Conway (2013 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention)
  • Jake Sheffield

Defensive Line Team Members Returning

ASU typically plays three defensive linemen as a “Nose Tackle”, ”Tiger”, and “Field End”.

  • Nose Tackle
    • Jaxon Hood
    • Mo Latu
  • Tiger
    • Demetrius Cherry
    • Corey Smith
  • Field End
    • Marcus Hardison
    • Sean O’Grady
    • Kisima Jagne
  • Verbal Commitments
    • Connor Humphreys (Tiger or Field End)
    • Tashon Smallwood (Tiger)
  • Possible Targets
    • Renell Wren (Field End)
    • Trey Lealaimatafao (Nose Tackle), Texas verbal
    • Claude Pelon, JC (Nose Tackle), USC verbal
    • Edmond Boateng, JC (End)

ASU returns a lot of talent to its 2014 roster, but the Sun Devils defensive line will not return a lot of game experience. Hood was a Freshman All-American in 2012, but in 2013, Hood and Hardison are playing in back-up rolls. Red-shirting players like Cherry and Smith are developing their bodies for the day to day grind of Division 1 football and learning the ASU system while big Mo Latu is working on cutting down his weight and getting his knee to heal.

As for the 2014 class, the Sun Devils will probably attempt to sign at least two more defensive lineman to join Humphreys as this is a position where depth is critical. The most likely candidates to join Sun Devil Nation are Smallwood and Wren. Recruiting services have reported that Wren officially visited for the University of Arizona game while Smallwood was in Tempe for an unofficial visit against Oregon State.

Have you noticed this trend emerging with defensive line recruits under Todd Graham? Height! The 2013 class signees included the Demetrius Cherry (6’6”) and Corey Smith (6’7”). In 2014, Humphreys is listed at 6’4” and Wren is listed at 6’5”. A tall defensive line creates vision problems for college quarterbacks, and special teams coaches love tall, long arms lineman to block field goals.

Disclaimer: The numbers for each position are not official. These are based on research and numbers can change based on multiple factors from now until Signing Day for a variety of reasons. 

About Don Hansen

Don Hansen

Don is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University where he spent four years sitting in the front rows of many ASU athletic events leading the rowdy student section. Now, Don co-hosts the "ASU Devils Den" podcast covering every detail of ASU football. Don works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his beautiful Sun Devil wife and their two beautiful daughters!

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