In anticipation of two-a-days next week, MeanGreenSports.com breaks down the 2005 North Texas football team position by position. With a heritage of names like Greene, Kennedy and Awasom, the defensive line has become an honored position at North Texas. Who will be the next to take the trenches at Fouts Field?
DENTON (8/05/05) - Replacing all four of last season's starting defensive lineman will be the most daunting task facing the Mean Green defense in 2005. Last year's starters Adrian Awasom, Tommy Harrison, Michael Pruitt and Evan Cardwell were mainstays on the North Texas defense, combining for 98 career starts and five all-conference selections.
In their void, a host of young talent will be vying for the start at one of the program's most celebrated positions. While the group is short on collegiate experience, they make up for it with ability.
At defensive end, Eli Hutchinson, Jeremiah Chapman and Blake Burruss will ignite a battle for the starting job in two-a-days. Hutchinson saw action in every game last season and recorded 18 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Chapman tallied 10 tackles and two sacks last year, and after an impressive spring will figure into the two-deep roster. Burruss played in nearly every game as a freshman last year, beginning his career on a high note with a two-tackle performance at Texas.
Defensive tackle is one of the team's most unsettled positions heading into the 2005 season. A committee of players will get their shot at the two open slots when training begins next Wednesday.
At nose tackle the front runners include Chris Miller, T.J. Raymond and Issac Thomas. Miller is a two-year letterman that has played in nearly every game for the past two seasons. In 2004, he registered 11 tackles for the Mean Green.
At 6 foot 2, 310 pounds, Raymond has the size to contend for the starting job, but this will be the sophomore's first season of action. Thomas is coming off his redshirt season and will make his case for the two deep this August.
Sky Pruitt and Montey Stevenson are the candidates for the other tackle position. Pruitt is a run-stopping tackle that pulled in four tackles in eight appearances last season. Stevenson registered 11 tackles and two tackles for loss in 2004.
Tomorrow, MeanGreenSports.com looks at the backbone of the Mean Green defense - the linebackers.