August 22, 2007

Fall camp: Defensive grades

One of the major questions facing Appalachian State heading into the summer was whether or not they could replace the major losses to the defensive line. That answer appears to be present.

Another question littering the minds of the coaching staff was who would replace Jeremy Wiggins and Monte Smith. Those, too, appear to have been answered.

Unlike the offense, there were obviously a handful of uncertainties at the start of August. Now, with just 10 days away from kickoff, the defense has progressed exponentially and the staff feels much better about the product they plan on taking into Ann Arbor on September 1.

With camp now complete, Mountaineer Illustrated offers up its grades for the ASU defensive through the first three weeks of the preseason.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Whenever the 2007 version of App State's defensive line was brought up in conversation prior to camp, the general consensus among fans seemed to be one of hesitant optimism. This, of course, was a warranted response since the Mountaineers did lose the likes of Marques Murrell, Daniel Orlebar and Omarr Byrom. But now that camp is complete, a majority of those concerned souls have removed the term "hesitant" from their optimistic points of view, and rightfully so.

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