football

Going Camping: Defensive line

UCLA
fall camp is just a few days away, and with that,
BruinSportsReport.com continues its Going Camping preview with
the defensive line.
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2013 UCLA DEFENSIVE LINE AT A GLANCE
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PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
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style="font-style: italic;">DE
1. Cassius Marsh - 6-4, 260,Senior
One of several future NFL players on this defense, Marsh is poised to
have a Datone Jones-like season. He's expected to be rushing on the
same side as Anthony Barr, which should equal some big numbers from the
senior.
2. Kylie Fitts- 6-4,
270,
Freshman
Fitts came in to spring camp as advertised a few months ago. He was
quick and disruptive, and given the lack of depth on this D-line so
far, he should be in the two-deep right away in San Bernardino.
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1. Seali'i Epenesa -
6-1, 310,
Senior
Last year's starting nose should earn the same role this year heading
into camp. He's not going to make any Vince Wilfork-like, game-changing
plays, but he's been a stout NG for Angus McClure and the Bruins.
2. Ellis McCarthy - 6-4, 330,
Sophomore
Ideally, UCLA would like McCarthy to be its starter. But weight
problems and then injury issues haven't allowed that to happen yet.
When conditioned right, he's possibly the best DL on this team. But if
he can't get his body right, we'll never know what kind of player he
is.
style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">DE
1. Brandon Willis - 6-1, 275,
RS
Junior
This spot would certainly go to Owamagbe Odighizuwa or incoming frosh
Eddie Vanderdoes, but with their respective elibility concerns
(Odighizuwa's hip and Vanderdoes' NLI), Willis will likely get the
start in San Bernardino. He had a solid spring and the Bruins should
feel comortable with him in that role at least to begin camp.
2.
Keenan Graham - 6-1, 255, RS Senior
Moving from OLB to DE, Graham was one of the surprises of spring. He
probably racked up double-digit sacks in his limited practices battling
a leg injury, which surprised many. He should be in the two-deep to
start summer practices.
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BATTLE TO KEEP AN EYE ON
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noseguard spot, from depth chart positions one through four, should be
very interesting. Epenesa will try to hold off McCarthy, who will try
to hold off Eli Ankou and Kenny Clark. Head coach Jim Mora has already
said Kenny Clark could shake up the depth chart if he plays well,
allowing both Ankou and McCarthy to slide to different DE positions.
And, after watching Epenesa work with differnet units in spring camp
last April, it's clear UCLA is looking for an upgrade at its starter
position.
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PRESSURE IS ON...
style="border: 1px solid rgb(221, 221, 221); padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 8.5pt;">Jim
Mora and the staff with regard to Odighizuwa. The senior defensive
lineman, if healthy, is hands-down a starter on this team. The problem
is he's coming off two straight hip surgeries, and likely won't be 100
percent for at least a few games into this season. The staff will be
faced with the tough call of using a banged up Odighizuwa this season,
or redshirting him and getting him at 100 percent for 2014.
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NEWCOMER TO WATCH
style="border: 1px solid rgb(221, 221, 221); padding: 4px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 8.5pt;">Eddie
Vanderdoes. If he can gain eligibility - which might happen, given his
final NLI appeal was heard on Monday afternoon - he could be penciled
in as the starter here. He may have been UCLA's top 2013 target, and
once the Bruins landed him, they clearly had big plans for him. If he's
not eligible, even watching him on the scout team should be a treat for
reporters and fans this year.
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POSITION MVP
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Marsh was rock-solid last year, and he showed that once again in the
spring. He's UCLA's best defensive lineman, and paired with Barr on one
side of the line, he should be a matchup nightmare for offensive lines.
Going
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