2021 SLU Football Preseason Position Report No. 7: Defensive Line
Position: Defensive Line
Position Coach: Ross Jenkins (Fourth season at SLU)
Returners: Garrett Crawford (6-1, 250, So.), Tainano Gaulua (6-2, 280, Sr.), John Graves III (6-1, 270, So.), Darrius Harry (6-2, 245, Fr.)*, Gerald Henderson (6-3, 220, Fr.), Kaleb Hogg (6-3, 255, So.), Brendon Kelley (6-4, 295, So.), Tyrik Mitchell (5-11, 290, Fr.), Cullan Scott (6-2, 300, Fr.), Cherif Seye (6-5, 250, So.), Rodney Sopsher (6-1, 275, So.), Brockhim Wicks (6-2, 295, Fr.), Arlen Williams (6-1, 215, So.)
Newcomers: Dalton Allen (6-4, 260, Fr.), Bryce Cage (6-4, 260, Fr.), Nelson Jenkins III (6-4, 300, So.)**, Kam Johnson (6-4, 220, Fr.)**, Sci Martin (6-3, 250, Sr.)
* – All-Southland Conference
** – Did not see action in 2020 season
HAMMOND, La. – When the Southeastern Louisiana University football team opens the season next Saturday at home versus North Alabama, they’ll do so with more depth throughout the roster. Perhaps no position will that be more evident than defensive line.
All-Southland Conference performer Darrius Harry is back at defensive end for the Lions, who will be benefitted by the return of Nelson Jenkins III, Cherif Seye and John Graves III, among others, who missed all or the majority of last season. Newcomer Sci Martin is one of several new faces who could make an immediate impact for the Lions up front.
“We’re excited to see our defensive line be able to compete,” Southeastern head coach Frank Scelfo said. “We definitely have more talent and depth up front, but that position is kind of the unknown, because we haven’t seen them do it in a game yet. They all practice hard and show some flashes, but it won’t be until we see them compete against someone else that we’ll really find out who they are.”
Special teams coordinator and defensive line coach Ross Jenkins is in his first season working with the defensive line.
“We definitely have some depth up front for the first time,” Jenkins said. “We have a lot of guys we can rotate in to keep those guys fresh. Time will tell on who will be the game changers in that group, but they’ve been working hard. We definitely have plenty of options.”
Jenkins could see any number of players making an impact up front for the Lions this fall.
“Sci and Cherif have both have stood out at times during camp and should be good players for us,” Jenkins commented. “We’re really excited about Bryce Cage and we feel like the sky’s the limit for him as he continues to develop. Nelson should be a big presence for us on the inside. Arlen Williams has made the switch to defensive end from linebacker and can really help our pass rush, along with Darrius, who has probably played the most snaps for us of anyone up front. Those are just a few of the guys among many that can help us on the defensive line.”
Southeastern will return to the practice field on Thursday at 3:50 p.m. The No. 15/17 Lions open the 2021 season at home, hosting North Alabama at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Stadium on Sept. 4.
2021 Southeastern Football Preseason Practice Schedule
Aug. 26 – 3:50 p.m.
Aug. 27 – 9 a.m.
Aug. 28 – 9 a.m.
For ticket information, contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net. Southeastern will continue offering mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2021-22 season. All tickets will be available via e-mail or text message in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.
For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @LionUpFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
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