2021 Southeastern Lions Spring Football Preseason Positional Breakdown No. 2: Defensive Line

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Position: Defensive Line
Position Coach: Raymond Monica (Second season at SLU)
Returning Starters: Josh Carr Jr. (6-3, 240, Jr.); Feletoa Ailua (6-2, 290, Sr.)
Returning Letterwinners: Tainano Gailua (6-2, 280, Sr.); Brendon Kelley (6-4, 320, So.)
Newcomers: Blake Champagne (6-3, 260, Fr.); Garrett Crawford (6-1, 250, So.); John Graves III (6-1, 280, So.); Darrius Harry (6-2, 230, Fr.); Gerald Henderson* (6-3, 220, Fr.); Nelson Jenkins III (6-4, 300, So.); Kam Johnson (6-4, 220, Fr.); Cherif Seye (6-5, 260, So.); Tyrik Mitchell* (5-11, 290, Fr.); Cullan Scott (6-2, 300, Fr.); Rodney Sopsher (6-1, 275, So.)
* – Redshirted in 2019

HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team will look to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball during the spring 2021 season and it’ll have to do so with a lot of new faces on the defensive line.

“We’ve been pleased thus far with our defensive line,” Southeastern head coach Frank Scelfo said. “They’re a good group of guys and have been playing with a lot of energy.”

Both Scelfo and assistant head coach Raymond Monica, who enters his second season coaching the defensive line, lauded the group’s focus on fundamentals.

“We’ve had a lot of time to work with and develop our players heading into this spring season,” Monica commented. “We’ve been taking advantage of the extra reps and we’ve seen our guys become more technically and fundamentally sound as we’ve continue our preparation.”

Several of the new faces are putting the work in to step in and make an immediate impact this spring, according to Monica.

“Cullen Scott continues to get better every day,” Monica said. “John Graves III has shown good quickness as he improved his conditioning and we expect Cherif Seye to provide us with some power in the pass rush. Darrius Harry has made some huge strides fundamentally and his improvement doing the little things has made him a much better player this spring.”

As the season opener quickly approaches, Monica wants to see the defensive line continue to progress.

“We just have to be able to come out and consistently perform every day,” Monica said. “A missed assignment up front can lead to big plays, so we have to concentrate on eliminating those mistakes. We’ve made some big improvements since the fall, we just have to continue to get better as the season moves forward.”

The Lions return to the practice field on Thursday for a 3:50 p.m. practice. SLU is scheduled to open its six-game, conference-only spring schedule on Feb. 27 with a 6 p.m. contest at Sam Houston State. The Lions host McNeese at 6 p.m. on March 6 at Strawberry Stadium to open their home slate.

For ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net/tickets. Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2020-21 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. SLU is scheduled to host McNeese (March 6), Northwestern State (March 13) and Lamar (April 3) this coming spring. Current state and local health and safety regulations limit capacity at Strawberry Stadium to 2,518.

For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @LionUpFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at laa@southeastern.edu or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

Southeastern Athletics instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of the 2018 football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/clear.

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