A Veteran, Talented UTC D-Line

Saturday, August 3, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

The UTC defensive line has three words by which to live.

 Accountability off the field. Relentless. Disruptive.

UTC defensive line coach Marcus West believes if the men on the D-Line can grasp “A-R-D” they can have a special season in 2013.

“The key to our line being really good is for our guys to take all that talent, create a mentality of working harder than our opponents, have a great attitude and come together as a unit,” said West.

No doubt the talent is there, including defensive end Davis Tull (6-2, 240), an All-American and 2012 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and Derrick Lott (6-4, 303), a second team All-Southern Conference choice in 2012.

We are strong with our starting front four (Tull and Zach Rayl (6-3, 240) on the ends and Lott and Chris Mayes (6-3, 295) at tackles) and have good depth with our second group,” said West.

“And our guys have great personalities and a fun group to spend time with.”

This year’s opponents might not think they are such a fun group to hang out with on a Saturday afternoon, especially if all that talent can form into a cohesive unit.

And fall afternoons in 2014 shouldn’t be any better for foes as only Brand is a senior.

West expects great things from the second group; tackles Josh Freeman (6-0, 285) and Danny Ring (6-2, 275) and ends Keionta Davis (6-4, 240), Toyvian Brand (6-2, 260) and Devin Scates (6-2, 260).

“Josh is the smartest among the tackles and started 10 games for us as a true freshman (All-SoCon Freshman team), redshirted in 2012 and we are glad to have him in the lineup again and Ring (transfer from Navy) will get lots of reps in practice and will contribute,” West stated.

“Toyvian started 11 games at defensive end a year ago (25 tackles) so he has game experience, Devin will be a valuable role player for us and Keionta (Red Bank HS) has lots of athletic ability and runs well.”

Nicknames: Moc fans might come up with a catchy nickname or coin a phrase along the lines of past NFL greats – Dooms Day Defense, Fearsome Foursome, Purple People Eaters – but coach West will be content to call them A-R-D as long as at the end day it results in developing quality people and contributing to team wins.

Season Opener: Whether it’s “Moc Maulers” or “Blue and Gold Destruction Crew”, this veteran front line will be a key factor as UTC christens the 2013 season in less than a month as the Mocs host UT-Martin on Thurs. Aug. 29 at Finley Stadium with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


contact B.B. Branton at William.branton@comcast.net


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