2015 Glen Rose football position preview: DEFENSE

Travis M. Smith -- @travis5mith tsmith@theglenrosereporter.com
2015 Glen Rose football position preview: DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE WITH COACH FRED CORDOVA

Again, the guys in the trenches are the strength of this year’s football squad.

“We are pretty solid along the d-line. Our nose guard Miguel Barraza and defensive-end Braxton Barrios are both seniors who have been starting for us since their sophomore year, and Braxton was the Lineman of the Year in the district last year. Matt Willis will be the other starting defensive end, he is a junior and a three-year letterman on varsity.”

All three starters are fundamentally sound, and provide good run stoppage and exceptional pass rush for Cordova and the Tigers. They enter the year with plenty of varsity experience, but because of their importance along the offensive line, need a solid second-unit behind them. Which they have in defensive ends Yuri White and Dylan Frailey, and defensive tackle Jonah Wilson.

“Their varsity reps are all limited, so we are going to have to get them up to speed and ready to step-in, and contribute. We cannot afford to have the defensive line slip and not be as solid as it is when those first three guys are getting a breather. They all bring something to the table. Yuri is a big kid with pretty good strength, Jonah is very explosive, and Dylan has big, long arms and works hard.”

SAFETIES WITH COACH SAM SCHUELKE

The safeties – much like the receivers and corners – are among the skill positions that will be looking for a breakout star or two to emerge.

Sophomore Logan Thames will be looked upon at the safety position to provide a little stability, and supply the only real varsity game experience to the young group. Thames had “significant playing time at the end of the year,” and will be paired with Logan Smith as the projected starters at the two safety positions, according to Schuelke. However, Schuelke said that he will also depend on Cashion Klipfiel, Chasen Monk, and Brazos Overton to supply quality reps, as well.

“Thames has good size, good speed and is very athletic. He has a lot of things you want to see in a safety – good tackler, pass coverer, basically everything you look at that you want in a safety he has. He is also a guy who can clean-up mistakes and plays a good center field back there.

“Smith is aggressive and physical. He is not afraid to stick his nose in there, and I like that about him. He does a good job as far as man coverage, too.”

“There is not a lot of separation between Klipfiel, Monk and Overton right now for playing time, and they each bring something different. Cashion is pretty physical, Brazos probably has a little more speed, and Monk has a little more experience and has the ability to be a pretty physical player.”

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS WITH COACH JAMES EVANS

Stone Costello will slide from inside linebacker to outside, and headline a fresh batch of outside linebackers for Coach James Evans. Tate Swearengin, Steven Vacek, Brennan Cary, and Austin Mullins all figure to contribute to the Tigers’ 3-4 defensive scheme, and will all have to fill the void left by the four seniors graudated from last year’s squad.

“We might drop Stone off the edge some this year, and he brings a lot to the table. He is strong, physical and quick off the ball as a pass rusher. The other guys, they are still fighting for a position, but they have all had a good fall so far. They all had JV experience last year, but they have some big shoes to fill this year.”

“It’s pretty much a whole new group, but these kids work hard. Tate has shown a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks, but we are going to try and get them all geared-up to play so we can rotate them in during throughout the game.”

CORNERBACKS WITH COACH KEITH WHEELER

Another skill position open for the taking. Most of the names competing for the starting cornerback positions are the same names competing for the starting wide receiver or running back positions, and include Dakota Prcin, Wyatt Dahl, Landen Ibarra, Dakota Paschall, and Tristan Gordon.

“All of the guys we have out there have no experience at the varsity level, so they are all still competing for a job.”

“Prcin played on the JV last year, but he played a lot of running back and not so much corner,” Wheeler said. “He is a guy who is athletic and can cover some ground, and right now he has been the best tackler.”

Juniors Dahl and Ibarra “both played on the JV last year, and played quite a bit of corner. Wyatt is a little taller, a little lankier, and the kind of size you really want out there. Landen is a little shorter but has some good quickness.”

“Paschall only has one speed. He is going to make some mistakes as a sophomore, but he is going to make those going full speed. It might get him in trouble sometimes early until he learns what he is supposed to be doing, but it is going to be an asset later on. Tristan Gordon has good speed, good quickness, but maybe not as much experience as the other guys have.”

“Right now I can see all of these guys contributing some for us throughout the year.”