2008 Blue Ribbon Yearbook Aggie Football Preview :: Defensive Line

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As you may have guessed, the defense employed by New Mexico State is an unusual 3-5-3. There are only three down linemen in this formation with one of the seven returning starters being senior defensive end Rhyan Anderson (6-5, 263). The University of Miami transfer started all 13 games last year, finishing with 12 tackles, two quarterback hurries and a sack.

The other two ends who figure into Mumme's plans are junior Kawika Shook (6-3, 248) and senior Oren Long (6-2, 260). Shook red-shirted last year after managing five tackles as a freshman. Long played in seven games, finishing with five tackles.

Junior JD Davis (6-3, 256) is another transfer who will get a shot at defensive tackle. Last year, in just seven games, he made nine sacks for Feather River (Calif.) College. Junior Chris Romero (6-4, 276) is transferring from Snow College in Utah where he had 15 tackles last year for the Badgers, who reached the NJCAA national championship game.

Junior Sioili Fakalata (6-3, 313) will get a hard look at nose tackle. He played in all 13 games last season at this position, starting once. He had 20 tackles and two sacks and gives Mumme a good starting point in the middle. Joining him is junior-college transfer E.J. Cannon (6-0, 292), who red-shirted last year.

Freshman Anthony Smith (6-1, 225) is slotted to play nose tackle in this alignment as well as red-shirt freshman Ana Tuiasosopo (5-9, 308). Considering one weighs almost 100 pounds more than the other, you figure Smith has some training table time in his future.

Sophomores Kaua Adolpho (6-1, 233) and Spencer Diaz (6-5, 206) moved from linebacker to end in the off-season. Adolpho played six games last year, but primarily on special teams. Diaz was a special teams player as well, appearing in seven games. Both will need time to develop.

Also See:
Coach and Program | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers and Tight Ends | Offensive Line

Want to know about the rest of the WAC? How about NMSU's non-conference opponents New Mexico, UTEP and Nebraska? For the most comprehensive previews available on all 119 Division I teams, order the "Bible" of college football, the 2008 Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, at www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).