Huntingdon looking to defensive line for leadership

DeAnte' Griffith (left), Marc Struck (center) and Dylan Powell (right) return to lead the Huntingdon defensive line.
DeAnte' Griffith (left), Marc Struck (center) and Dylan Powell (right) return to lead the Huntingdon defensive line.

Head Coach Mike Turk on Day 3 of preseason camp: "Today was the first day in shoulder pads and we were able to bump into each other a little bit. We're still in the installation phase on both sides of the ball, so we still have some confused players and some things we have to get ironed out. But we were able to get some things done today and I'm expecting the next couple of days to start defining a little more about who is going to be playing for us."

                                                                  

Position Spotlight – Defensive Line

Projected Starters: Defensive Ends – Dylan Powell (Jr.) and DeAnte' Griffith (Sr.)

Defensive Tackle – Marc Struck (Jr.); Nose Guard – K.B. Bryant (Jr.) / Garrett Stacks (Jr.)

Others to Watch: Red Hinton (Sr.), Oaklee Williams (Jr.), Haylan Bailey (Jr.)

 

A Closer Look: Huntingdon returns an experienced group on the defensive front with eight players who saw playing time in 2018 and four players who started in multiple games.

Senior defensive end DeAnte' Griffith, junior defensive end Dylan Powell and junior defensive tackle Marc Struck lead the unit.

Griffith, the USA South Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, missed time with injuries last season but still finished with 21 tackles, two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Powell led the defensive line with 25 tackles, was second on the defensive front with five tackles for loss and also had 1.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Struck was a presence inside and finished with 19 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Juniors K.B. Bryant and Garrett Stacks are battling at the nose guard position and senior Red Hinton and juniors Oaklee Williams and Haylan Bailey are expected to provide solid depth and push for playing time.

 

Turk on the defensive line's experience: "We have a group of eight guys who have played for us, so we have some experience there. But we have to get better and continue to develop. We've talked about running back being our most experienced group this year and the defensive line is the next most experienced as far as the number of guys who have played and helped us win games. We're expecting a lot out of that group and we need a lot out of that group."

Turk on the leadership of senior DeAnte' Griffith and juniors Dylan Powell and Marc Struck: "It is a blessing to have the experience and leadership of those three. All three of them have been good players for us since their freshman seasons. We're expecting them to help set the tone and to help bring some of the younger guys along."

Turk on the importance of depth on the defensive line: "A fresh defensive lineman in the fourth quarter is a valuable commodity and it's one that is hard to come by. One of the things we've talked about is that early last year, we were not very deep on the defensive line and it showed in the second half. We have to develop that depth early. The faster we can develop it, the better chance we give ourselves."

 

Next Practice: The Hawks return to the field at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Practices are open to the public.