2013 Preseason All-Redshirt Freshman Defense
Florida DB Marcus Maye
Florida DB Marcus Maye
Posted Jul 31, 2013

Preview 2013 - The CFN Preseason All-Redshirt Freshman Team - Defense

Preview 2013

All-Redshirt Freshman Defense

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CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Teams
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 

By Richard Cirminiello 

- 2013 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Offense   

DE Chris Casher, Florida State
Once he shakes off some rust, Casher is capable of helping a Seminole D-line rebuilding in the wake of wholesale graduations. However, he’s only played in two games since 2010, sitting out his senior year of high school and suffering a season-ending knee injury last September. The 6-4, 248-pound Casher flashes the speed, range and upper body strength to mesh nicely with coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s new system. At worst, the five-star recruit is capable of coming off the bench to make a handful of sacks in his debut as a ‘Nole.

DE Darius English, South Carolina
English will spend his redshirt freshman season as the backup to Jadeveon Clowney, which means he’ll apprentice for the best unpaid pass rusher on the planet, while prepping to become a starter in 2014. English has taken a step forward this offseason, getting named Most Improved Player on defense during the spring. He’s a freakish athlete, with the ability to easily hunt down opposing players from behind. Yeah, English needs to add more thickness to his wiry 6-6 frame, but he’s getting there on a gradual basis.

NG Ikenna Nwafor, Stanford
While Nwafor is unlikely to jump junior David Parry at the nose, he will be used liberally by the coaching staff this season. The 6-6, 288-pounder is a force at the point of attack, the kind of interior lineman who’s tough to keep out of the rotation. He’s dropped unnecessary weight since arriving a year ago, now possessing the size and the quickness needed to bust through O-line gaps. Nwafor’s penchant for disruption will make him particularly valuable to a defense operating out of the 3-4.

DE Avery Moss, Nebraska
The Huskers are banking on Moss being an instant impact player up front for a D-line adjusting to significant turnover. The 6-2, 270-pounder got into some legal trouble during the offseason, but it doesn’t appear he’ll miss any time. Moss was on his way to lettering as a rookie in 2012, but a season-ending shoulder injury forced him to seek a medical hardship. A late-bloomer, with a very high ceiling, he has the natural pass-rushing fundamentals to maintain his current spot atop the two-deep.

DE John Taylor, Georgia
Taylor is one of the more unique individuals on the Bulldogs roster—quick enough to be a backup end, yet plenty big and strong enough to contribute at the nose in the 3-4. The 6-4, 336-pounder is going to be a factor no matter where he lines up for the Dawgs this fall. He moves surprisingly well for such a massive player, sliding fluidly up and down the line. Testament to his potential as more than just a space-eater, Taylor had seven tackles and a couple of sacks in April’s G-Day Game.

LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
Unlike many of the productive, self-made Badgers linebackers that have preceded him, Biegel was a prized recruit who had his pick of programs coming out of high school. The four-star gem has bulked up to 6-3 and 233 pounds in Madison, without losing the range that’ll allow him to blitz and drop back into coverage. Biegel plays with a lot of tenacity and want-to, making him a natural to pursue off the edge from his outside spot. A foot injury after two games marred his 2012 debut, resulting in the unplanned redshirt year.

LB Nyeem Wartman, Penn State
Wartman is a good example of a young player making his biggest jump between Year 1 and Year 2. Depth problems in Happy Valley forced him to serve as the backup to Glenn Carson in the middle last fall. But a knee injury in Week 2 ended Wartman’s debut before it ever got off the ground. Still, he used the time away from the field to become a better student of the game, learning from veterans, like Mike Mauti. The staff likes the toughness and versatility of Wartman, now a frontrunner on the outside, but it loves his instincts and the way he prepares.

LB Ben Weaver, Boise State
Weaver is poised for live action, a year after being named Boise’s Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year. And his emergence could not have come at a better time. The Broncos are looking to replace all three of their starters on the second level, with Weaver firmly in the mix for a starting gig in the middle. The 6-0, 233-pounder is proof of the success that Chris Petersen and his staff are having of luring underrated athletes from the state of Texas to the Mountain West.

CB Ishmael Adams, UCLA
The Bruins had to beat out a slew of major programs for Adams’ signature. They’ll begin reaping the dividends in 2013. Adams is well on his way to a starting assignment at cornerback following a solid offseason on the practice field. While he’s only 5-8 and 185 pounds, he plays with the strength, confidence and physicality of a much bigger defensive back. Sure, there’ll be missteps and blown coverages in the early going, but the staff really likes the future of its young DB.

S Marcus Maye, Florida
Maye never got a chance to compete for playing time in 2012, using his rookie season instead to rehab a lingering knee injury. Fully healthy again, he’s set to become an integral component of the Florida secondary. The 5-11, 203-pound power puncher will compete for a job at safety, while starting when the Gators employ dime packages. Maye has the power and the determination to be the second-coming of Matt Elam in Gainesville, an intimidator with a nose for the ball.

S Viliami Moeakiola, Arizona State
At the end of spring, Moeakiola had risen to the top of the depth chart at field safety in Tempe. The 6-0, 209-pounder had worked his way into the rotation as a rookie last year, but was lost to an injury after just four games. Moeakiola brings an aggressive and fearless presence to the last line of defense, which will be especially important on running downs. He’ll press up close to the line of scrimmage this fall, intent on supporting a flimsy run D that ranked 81st nationally a season ago.

DB Tyvis Powell, Ohio State
If spring drills are any indication of the future, Powell is going to be the Buckeyes’ extra defensive back in nickel packages. The “Star” position has been employed for the better part of a decade in Columbus, cultivating defenders with the versatility to cover as well as stop the run. The 6-3, 201-pound Powell was an underrated prospect coming out of high school, now needing to improve his technique and his diagnostic skills in order to remain at the top of the depth chart.

CB Jared Collins, Arkansas
Collins drew another step closer to a starting cornerback job opposite Tevin Mitchel with his performance during spring drills. While not assured of anything at this stage of the offseason, he outplayed sophomore Will Hines in their first head-to-head battle of 2013. Collins has fluid hips, with the smooth backpedal to hang with SEC-caliber pass-catchers. Size, though, could be an issue this fall. Collins is carrying just 175 pounds on his lanky 6-0 frame, which could make him vulnerable to getting outmuscled by bigger receivers.

- 2013 CFN All-Redshirt Freshman Offense