Defense 2023 questions

NCHawkeye24

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Apr 19, 2021
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Just trying to get an idea of what the defense is going to look like next year. We know we are losing Campbell, Benson, Moss, Shannon, Waggoner and Evans. All big time losses.

Should get Jacobs back right? Probably with 2 years to play if he wants them?
Higgins replaces Campbell?
Do we lose Van Ness? If we don't does he slide outside?
Have to think that Graves gets a lot of time on the inside.
Lee and Black on the inside.
Is Craig the other DE?
Anyone else to keep an eye out for that will hit the 2-deeps besides Hurkett?
Is Terry Roberts done now or does he get another year? Does he want it?
Dejean has to be solid at corner.
Castro/Higgins/Jacobs at linebacker/cash?
Schulte has played really really well and has to be solid at FS.
Does Nwankpa move to SS? cash?
IStatus of Harris? Is it between him and Hall at the other corner?
 

Johnsoda123

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Nov 15, 2015
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El Dorado Hills, CA
Just trying to get an idea of what the defense is going to look like next year. We know we are losing Campbell, Benson, Moss, Shannon, Waggoner and Evans. All big time losses.

Should get Jacobs back right? Probably with 2 years to play if he wants them?
Higgins replaces Campbell?
Do we lose Van Ness? If we don't does he slide outside?
Have to think that Graves gets a lot of time on the inside.
Lee and Black on the inside.
Is Craig the other DE?
Anyone else to keep an eye out for that will hit the 2-deeps besides Hurkett?
Is Terry Roberts done now or does he get another year? Does he want it?
Dejean has to be solid at corner.
Castro/Higgins/Jacobs at linebacker/cash?
Schulte has played really really well and has to be solid at FS.
Does Nwankpa move to SS? cash?
IStatus of Harris? Is it between him and Hall at the other corner?
Will Pittman, Thompson, Allan, Sullivan, Crawford, Bowie be in the mix?
 

ghostOfHomer777

HR Heisman
May 20, 2014
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Just trying to get an idea of what the defense is going to look like next year. We know we are losing Campbell, Benson, Moss, Shannon, Waggoner and Evans. All big time losses.

Should get Jacobs back right? Probably with 2 years to play if he wants them?
Higgins replaces Campbell?
Do we lose Van Ness? If we don't does he slide outside?
Have to think that Graves gets a lot of time on the inside.
Lee and Black on the inside.
Is Craig the other DE?
Anyone else to keep an eye out for that will hit the 2-deeps besides Hurkett?
Is Terry Roberts done now or does he get another year? Does he want it?
Dejean has to be solid at corner.
Castro/Higgins/Jacobs at linebacker/cash?
Schulte has played really really well and has to be solid at FS.
Does Nwankpa move to SS? cash?
IStatus of Harris? Is it between him and Hall at the other corner?
I'd assume Jacobs returns ... but he only needs one good year. Then he's gone.

You don't "replace" Campbell ... but yes, Higgins will come in and do a find job at MIKE. I'd assume Jacobs plays WILL ... but can go strong-side whenever Wallace wants him to.

I expect Van Ness sticks around 1 more season. And yes ... with the presumed departures of Evans and Waggoner ... we'll need him to slide over at DE. My bet is Craig is the other starting DE.

Also on the 2-deeps at DE, in addition to Hurkett will be Llewellyn and Reames. My guess is the Crawford could be in the picture too.

At DT, Lee is definitely a top returning guy. The rotation will continue ... both Black and Graves being another top 2 complementing Lee. My guess is that the new JUCO commit, Anterio Thompson could work his way in the rotation ... as could Pittman.

When we go 4-3 ... I'm not certain if the plan will be to have Fisher play WILL and have Jacobs go over to LEO ... or if Sharar or Harrell end up winning the LEO spot (with Jacobs remaining at WILL).

Don't know what to expect with regard to SS/CASH ... I would imagine that a lot depends on the depth and development at corner. If Hall continues to favorably develop, if Harris returns to full power, and if we get back Scary Terry ... then I could see a scenario where DeJean returns to CASH. He really was "made for" the position.

However, given Terry's repeated injury issues - I could see him retiring from football. Besides Harris and DeJean ... and some experience by Hall ... we really don't have ANY other experienced depth at corner. Thus, at least preliminarily, I'd expect that DeJean ends up remaining at corner ... mainly just a need issue.

Then, at safety, if Nwankpa can seize the opportunity ... I could see him playing the SS spot in the role held by Merriweather 2 years ago. In this scenario, I see Castro remaining at CASH ... but sliding over to SS when we go 4-3.

However, if you look at safety ... I wouldn't write off Bracy. A lot will depend on how guys continue to develop ... and whether guys take advantage of their opportunities when they get them.

From my vantage, it looks to be another strong defensive squad.
 
Jul 14, 2022
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Losing Campbell will be a big loss. Everyone else I’m confident we’ll have just as good or better options factoring in improvements. VanNess is the big wild card. He’d be an elite pass rusher next year. An elite pass rusher makes a huge difference with their philosophy.
 
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DogBoyRy

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I'd assume Jacobs returns ... but he only needs one good year. Then he's gone.

You don't "replace" Campbell ... but yes, Higgins will come in and do a find job at MIKE. I'd assume Jacobs plays WILL ... but can go strong-side whenever Wallace wants him to.

I expect Van Ness sticks around 1 more season. And yes ... with the presumed departures of Evans and Waggoner ... we'll need him to slide over at DE. My bet is Craig is the other starting DE.

Also on the 2-deeps at DE, in addition to Hurkett will be Llewellyn and Reames. My guess is the Crawford could be in the picture too.

At DT, Lee is definitely a top returning guy. The rotation will continue ... both Black and Graves being another top 2 complementing Lee. My guess is that the new JUCO commit, Anterio Thompson could work his way in the rotation ... as could Pittman.

When we go 4-3 ... I'm not certain if the plan will be to have Fisher play WILL and have Jacobs go over to LEO ... or if Sharar or Harrell end up winning the LEO spot (with Jacobs remaining at WILL).

Don't know what to expect with regard to SS/CASH ... I would imagine that a lot depends on the depth and development at corner. If Hall continues to favorably develop, if Harris returns to full power, and if we get back Scary Terry ... then I could see a scenario where DeJean returns to CASH. He really was "made for" the position.

However, given Terry's repeated injury issues - I could see him retiring from football. Besides Harris and DeJean ... and some experience by Hall ... we really don't have ANY other experienced depth at corner. Thus, at least preliminarily, I'd expect that DeJean ends up remaining at corner ... mainly just a need issue.

Then, at safety, if Nwankpa can seize the opportunity ... I could see him playing the SS spot in the role held by Merriweather 2 years ago. In this scenario, I see Castro remaining at CASH ... but sliding over to SS when we go 4-3.

However, if you look at safety ... I wouldn't write off Bracy. A lot will depend on how guys continue to develop ... and whether guys take advantage of their opportunities when they get them.

From my vantage, it looks to be another strong defensive squad.
You nailed it.
Corner is an area of need.
 

INXS83

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Hope for a bunch of bad teams and qbs again. Schedule looks good for that again. This mythical elite defense, is exactly that, mythical. The Husker game was awful and it could had been worse.
Toughest game on the schedule in 2023 is @ PSU to start the conference schedule. Other crossovers are Rutgers & MSU, both at Kinnick.
 
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Greenway4Prez

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Jack Campbell is like Fred Warner. You don’t realize how incredible they are in pass coverage until they’re not on the field.
 
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BBHawk

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Oct 31, 2001
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Yeah ... the Nebraska game further illustrated our lack of depth at corner. When Cooper went down ... poor Hall was caught in a tough matchup (one he wasn't quite ready for).
It took Iowa a little time to recover but when they did they pretty much shut down Nebby again. If the offense weren't so inept, Iowa would have won that game going away.
 
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ghostOfHomer777

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It took Iowa a little time to recover but when they did they pretty much shut down Nebby again. If the offense weren't so inept, Iowa would have won that game going away.
Kinda wish Phil would have adjusted to have Riley match-up on Palmer right away ... would have quelled the bleeding before things got bad.

But yeah ... those bad turnovers ... that really put us in bad positions.
 

cmhawks99

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Jack Campbell is like Fred Warner. You don’t realize how incredible they are in pass coverage until they’re not on the field.
And Brian Urlacher and I am no Bears fan or a Brian Urlacher fan but now that he’s gone and I have understood cover 2 or more accurately Tampa-2 better a 6-4/6-5 middle linebacker that can move & move like he did, and maybe Jack moves that well I’m not completely sure… But they are hard to throw over in the middle of the field!!

But I suspect we have a couple kids on the roster, homer mentioned Bracy and I think DeFernandez fits that mold, I think have had enough positive buzz & time they could surprise!
 
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pocha444444

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I'd assume Jacobs returns ... but he only needs one good year. Then he's gone.

You don't "replace" Campbell ... but yes, Higgins will come in and do a find job at MIKE. I'd assume Jacobs plays WILL ... but can go strong-side whenever Wallace wants him to.

I expect Van Ness sticks around 1 more season. And yes ... with the presumed departures of Evans and Waggoner ... we'll need him to slide over at DE. My bet is Craig is the other starting DE.

Also on the 2-deeps at DE, in addition to Hurkett will be Llewellyn and Reames. My guess is the Crawford could be in the picture too.

At DT, Lee is definitely a top returning guy. The rotation will continue ... both Black and Graves being another top 2 complementing Lee. My guess is that the new JUCO commit, Anterio Thompson could work his way in the rotation ... as could Pittman.

When we go 4-3 ... I'm not certain if the plan will be to have Fisher play WILL and have Jacobs go over to LEO ... or if Sharar or Harrell end up winning the LEO spot (with Jacobs remaining at WILL).

Don't know what to expect with regard to SS/CASH ... I would imagine that a lot depends on the depth and development at corner. If Hall continues to favorably develop, if Harris returns to full power, and if we get back Scary Terry ... then I could see a scenario where DeJean returns to CASH. He really was "made for" the position.

However, given Terry's repeated injury issues - I could see him retiring from football. Besides Harris and DeJean ... and some experience by Hall ... we really don't have ANY other experienced depth at corner. Thus, at least preliminarily, I'd expect that DeJean ends up remaining at corner ... mainly just a need issue.

Then, at safety, if Nwankpa can seize the opportunity ... I could see him playing the SS spot in the role held by Merriweather 2 years ago. In this scenario, I see Castro remaining at CASH ... but sliding over to SS when we go 4-3.

However, if you look at safety ... I wouldn't write off Bracy. A lot will depend on how guys continue to develop ... and whether guys take advantage of their opportunities when they get them.

From my vantage, it looks to be another strong defensive squad.
You don't think they would keep Van Ness inside with Lee and start Craig and Hurkett outside?
 

ghostOfHomer777

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And Brian Urlacher and I am no Bears fan or a Brian Urlacher fan but now that he’s gone and I have understood cover 2 or more accurately Tampa-2 better a 6-4/6-5 middle linebacker that can move & move like he did, and maybe Jack moves that well I’m not completely sure… But they are hard to throw over in the middle of the field!!

But I suspect we have a couple kids on the roster, homer mentioned Bracy and I think DeFernandez fits that mold, I think have had enough positive buzz & time they could surprise!
Hawks seems like we could be pretty strong at safety next year. The bigger question deals with depth at corner.

Also, I'm infinitely curious about how our LB situation shakes out past Jacobs and Higgins. We still like to play a bunch of LBs in games ... the LEO spot isn't dead for us. Thus, we need somebody who can play it ... and play it well when we go 4-3.
 

ghostOfHomer777

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You don't think they would keep Van Ness inside with Lee and start Craig and Hurkett outside?
I think a lot of it depends on how personnel and development at the positions shake out.

I think that the coaches really like Black and Graves ... so those are 2 guys who can step up and complement Lee on the interior.

Hurkett has looked darn fine ... so I expect that he'll rotate a ton. Given that Van Ness's "best" projected position in the pros is at DE ... I think that it behooves the coaches to help him further develop at the position. Van Ness's story reminds me a lot of Golston's ... started on the interior because that was where the opportunity was ... but his "most natural" position fit is on the edge.

Anyhow, assuming that neither Waggs or Evans choose to come back - that leaves our DE-situation with a huge hole in it if Van Ness doesn't move more to the outside. If Van Ness remains mostly on the interior ... then that gives Iowa a really strong 4-man rotation at DT ... but then we only really have 2 proven guys (maybe 3, if you count Reames) at DE in Hurkett and Craig.

That's why I'd assume that Van Ness moves more to DE. That then gives us a strong top group of 3 guys at DE ... and still leaves us with a strong group of 3 guys at DT.

That then allows for new stories to emerge at DE and DT ... guys like Llewellyn at DE and Pittman at DT (among others). As I recall, during fall-camp, Allen was working at DT and seems promising. Similarly, Crawford was working at DE and seemed promising too.
 

pocha444444

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I think a lot of it depends on how personnel and development at the positions shake out.

I think that the coaches really like Black and Graves ... so those are 2 guys who can step up and complement Lee on the interior.

Hurkett has looked darn fine ... so I expect that he'll rotate a ton. Given that Van Ness's "best" projected position in the pros is at DE ... I think that it behooves the coaches to help him further develop at the position. Van Ness's story reminds me a lot of Golston's ... started on the interior because that was where the opportunity was ... but his "most natural" position fit is on the edge.

Anyhow, assuming that neither Waggs or Evans choose to come back - that leaves our DE-situation with a huge hole in it if Van Ness doesn't move more to the outside. If Van Ness remains mostly on the interior ... then that gives Iowa a really strong 4-man rotation at DT ... but then we only really have 2 proven guys (maybe 3, if you count Reames) at DE in Hurkett and Craig.

That's why I'd assume that Van Ness moves more to DE. That then gives us a strong top group of 3 guys at DE ... and still leaves us with a strong group of 3 guys at DT.

That then allows for new stories to emerge at DE and DT ... guys like Llewellyn at DE and Pittman at DT (among others). As I recall, during fall-camp, Allen was working at DT and seems promising. Similarly, Crawford was working at DE and seemed promising too.
Good stuff. I feel our top 5 are probably Lee/Van Ness/Hurkett/Graves/Craig so however we can get them on the field the most. Didn't realize they had Allen at DT already.
 

cmhawks99

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Hawks seems like we could be pretty strong at safety next year. The bigger question deals with depth at corner.

Also, I'm infinitely curious about how our LB situation shakes out past Jacobs and Higgins. We still like to play a bunch of LBs in games ... the LEO spot isn't dead for us. Thus, we need somebody who can play it ... and play it well when we go 4-3.

Yes and you may remember I said that preseason… Now for what it’s worth, Higgins is a stud & Fisher has served well! Past that I think Sharar has had some buzz, but I can’t think of anybody else… Oh, and by the way Klemp played decent!
 
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kceasthawk

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The poster probably meant Hall, maybe?
Since Heinz has seen action ... Phil's trust level in him has likely raised.
I think a couple of posts got mixed together there. Brian Allen Jr, is the 4 star DE we landed last year, and he's a good sized dude. I expect him to have a shot at the two deeps next year along with Hurkett and Llewellyn
 
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kceasthawk

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Yes and you may remember I said that preseason… Now for what it’s worth, Higgins is a stud & Fisher has served well! Past that I think Sharar has had some buzz, but I can’t think of anybody else… Oh, and by the way Klemp played decent!
I think Twedt and Sullivan in that LB group as well...With all the starters sitting out last spring, all these guys got a lot of work in, and should help them next season...
 

BrunoMars420

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Feb 14, 2016
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I think a lot of it depends on how personnel and development at the positions shake out.

I think that the coaches really like Black and Graves ... so those are 2 guys who can step up and complement Lee on the interior.

Hurkett has looked darn fine ... so I expect that he'll rotate a ton. Given that Van Ness's "best" projected position in the pros is at DE ... I think that it behooves the coaches to help him further develop at the position. Van Ness's story reminds me a lot of Golston's ... started on the interior because that was where the opportunity was ... but his "most natural" position fit is on the edge.

Anyhow, assuming that neither Waggs or Evans choose to come back - that leaves our DE-situation with a huge hole in it if Van Ness doesn't move more to the outside. If Van Ness remains mostly on the interior ... then that gives Iowa a really strong 4-man rotation at DT ... but then we only really have 2 proven guys (maybe 3, if you count Reames) at DE in Hurkett and Craig.

That's why I'd assume that Van Ness moves more to DE. That then gives us a strong top group of 3 guys at DE ... and still leaves us with a strong group of 3 guys at DT.

That then allows for new stories to emerge at DE and DT ... guys like Llewellyn at DE and Pittman at DT (among others). As I recall, during fall-camp, Allen was working at DT and seems promising. Similarly, Crawford was working at DE and seemed promising too.
Unfortunately I think we have to look at the DL without VanNess until he says he is staying. I’ve seen a lot of smoke on him being a first rounder or 2nd rounder in the draft. With that being said we are still STACKED on the DL so no worries there. I think our front 7 will be a strength. We lose great LBers but we have good ones that can become great. Our safeties should still be top notch but the Corners will be the weak spot of our D. The corners will still be better than the majority of college football because we have Phil Parker.

Look at us being a top 20 defense. Hopefully our offense becomes average so we can make some noise with our schedule next year
 

uihawk82

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Hope for a bunch of bad teams and qbs again. Schedule looks good for that again. This mythical elite defense, is exactly that, mythical. The Husker game was awful and it could had been worse.

I beg to differ in that the Iowa defense was great, top ten, all year. The husker game, what is your take on the husker game when we had 4th and 5th string corner backs playing because of injury and they got beat on all three TD passes. Also, time had runout on our offense not turning it over, the Bruce punt fumble gave Nebby a 20 yard field iirc, the Petras fumble and the Padilla fumbles gave them a 35 and a 45 yard field.

The big play was right after Dejean got injured and they threw the 87 yard bomb.

But over the course of the year they held the Illini to 3 fgoals at their place when Illini were avging 30 points a game. Give me a break as very few defenses could do that , they stifled Purdue,

Mich got two early TDs against them but only had 20 points until 2 minutes left in the game. Mich has been crushing people except for Illinois.
 

uihawk82

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Just trying to get an idea of what the defense is going to look like next year. We know we are losing Campbell, Benson, Moss, Shannon, Waggoner and Evans. All big time losses.

Should get Jacobs back right? Probably with 2 years to play if he wants them?
Higgins replaces Campbell?
Do we lose Van Ness? If we don't does he slide outside?
Have to think that Graves gets a lot of time on the inside.
Lee and Black on the inside.
Is Craig the other DE?
Anyone else to keep an eye out for that will hit the 2-deeps besides Hurkett?
Is Terry Roberts done now or does he get another year? Does he want it?
Dejean has to be solid at corner.
Castro/Higgins/Jacobs at linebacker/cash?
Schulte has played really really well and has to be solid at FS.
Does Nwankpa move to SS? cash?
IStatus of Harris? Is it between him and Hall at the other corner?

If everyone comes back who said they will or we think they will and that includes Van Ness who said basically he is back then the hawk defense should be really good again.

There are questions at cornerback if Roberts and Harris both do not make it back. I think Harris will return but Roberts is iffy. If Hall can be a starter on the other side then then Dejean to CASH and like you said Nwankpa and Schulte at safeties. The linebackers will be solid but Benson and Campbell just had a nose for the ball. Campbell especially will be missed because of his speed.

DLine should have 6 to 8 very good players to rotate and it would be great to have a little more weight on the DTackles. But they are quick which makes up for getting blocked.
 

uihawk82

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I think a lot of it depends on how personnel and development at the positions shake out.


Anyhow, assuming that neither Waggs or Evans choose to come back - that leaves our DE-situation with a huge
Waggoner and Evans still have a Covid year of eligibility?
 

kceasthawk

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Yes and you may remember I said that preseason… Now for what it’s worth, Higgins is a stud & Fisher has served well! Past that I think Sharar has had some buzz, but I can’t think of anybody else… Oh, and by the way Klemp played decent!
I think Fisher could be kind of a Tarpinian story. Put in his time on specials and spot duty until his last year and played really well as a senior.
 
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kceasthawk

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Yes and you may remember I said that preseason… Now for what it’s worth, Higgins is a stud & Fisher has served well! Past that I think Sharar has had some buzz, but I can’t think of anybody else… Oh, and by the way Klemp played decent!
Another guy we keep overlooking is Jayden Harrell. He'll be a red shirt soph next year and was pretty highly thought if when we got him. Up to the 235-240 range now as well.....
 
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ghostOfHomer777

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Waggoner and Evans still have a Covid year of eligibility?
Yes ... but I don't think that they'll take the extra year. I doubt an extra year helps their draft stock. Local media types have speculated that maybe NIL money could keep a guy (or two) around for their 6th year - however, I doubt it.
 

kceasthawk

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Yes ... but I don't think that they'll take the extra year. I doubt an extra year helps their draft stock. Local media types have speculated that maybe NIL money could keep a guy (or two) around for their 6th year - however, I doubt it.
Wags has been a good Hawk, I appreciate that, but I think we can actually upgrade that position with several of the mentioned guys, especially as a pass rusher. Van Ness to DE looks like the best move with Craig, Hurkett, Llewelln, Allen and Crawford all in the mix. I'd be fine with Evans though. He's really improved on the edge as he's matured, and has always been a plus pass rusher....
 

sober_teacher

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I'd assume Jacobs returns ... but he only needs one good year. Then he's gone.

You don't "replace" Campbell ... but yes, Higgins will come in and do a find job at MIKE. I'd assume Jacobs plays WILL ... but can go strong-side whenever Wallace wants him to.

I expect Van Ness sticks around 1 more season. And yes ... with the presumed departures of Evans and Waggoner ... we'll need him to slide over at DE. My bet is Craig is the other starting DE.

Also on the 2-deeps at DE, in addition to Hurkett will be Llewellyn and Reames. My guess is the Crawford could be in the picture too.

At DT, Lee is definitely a top returning guy. The rotation will continue ... both Black and Graves being another top 2 complementing Lee. My guess is that the new JUCO commit, Anterio Thompson could work his way in the rotation ... as could Pittman.

When we go 4-3 ... I'm not certain if the plan will be to have Fisher play WILL and have Jacobs go over to LEO ... or if Sharar or Harrell end up winning the LEO spot (with Jacobs remaining at WILL).

Don't know what to expect with regard to SS/CASH ... I would imagine that a lot depends on the depth and development at corner. If Hall continues to favorably develop, if Harris returns to full power, and if we get back Scary Terry ... then I could see a scenario where DeJean returns to CASH. He really was "made for" the position.

However, given Terry's repeated injury issues - I could see him retiring from football. Besides Harris and DeJean ... and some experience by Hall ... we really don't have ANY other experienced depth at corner. Thus, at least preliminarily, I'd expect that DeJean ends up remaining at corner ... mainly just a need issue.

Then, at safety, if Nwankpa can seize the opportunity ... I could see him playing the SS spot in the role held by Merriweather 2 years ago. In this scenario, I see Castro remaining at CASH ... but sliding over to SS when we go 4-3.

However, if you look at safety ... I wouldn't write off Bracy. A lot will depend on how guys continue to develop ... and whether guys take advantage of their opportunities when they get them.

From my vantage, it looks to be another strong defensive squad.
Sullivan is another guy I'm interested to see what happens to - former 4* LB if i recall correctly.