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  College Player Notes by Position: DT
Previous 25 DT Notes Next 25 DT Notes

02/15/19- *Quinnen Williams, rSo, Alabama, 6-3, 295
Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: A First Round Prototype: Quinnen Williams, Alabama,...With all due respect to quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray (among others), Williams was the best player in college football in 2018. Teams will have to weigh the fact that he enjoyed just one dominant season before making the jump to the NFL but Williams' combination of size, quickness and power suggest he is on his way towards future Pro Bowls rather than proving a fluke. There are few interior defensive linemen who dominated the competition as consistently and completely as Williams in 2018. Former No. 2 overall pick (2010) and five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh is perhaps the best "recent" example of a player who simply toyed with opponents in the same fashion as Williams in 2018, perhaps why he's held fast to the No. 1 overall pick in my updated mock draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/15/19- *Trysten Hill, Jr, Central Florida, 6-1, 315
Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Second Day (Future) Starter: Trysten Hill, Central Florida,...Boasting a combination of leverage and explosiveness that reminds me of a young Jurrell Casey at Southern California, Hill has been grossly underrated in some scouting circles but don't expect that to last much longer. Hill's untraditional build and fall from grace at UCF contributed to his largely being overshadowed in this year's spectacular defensive line class but his talent is obvious once you watch the tape. Explosiveness like Hill's won't go unnoticed by scouts, however, with a Day Two pick possible (and perhaps likely) if he can convince teams that he possesses the maturity to take full advantage of his talent. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/15/19- Dontavius Russell, rSr, Auburn, 6-3, 319
Previewing the 2019 NFL Combine: Third Day Sleeper: Dontavius Russell, Auburn,...Sleeper doesn't necessarily mean small school or anonymous players. While overshadowed by splashier talents, Russell proved to be Mr. Reliable at Auburn, starting 49 of a possible 52 games over his career and even opting to compete at the Senior Bowl. He isn't going to wow anyone with his agility as a pass rusher - recording just six sacks over his career - but he's a steady run-stuffing presence whose size and strength will appeal to 4-3 and 3-4 disciples, alike and I love his effort in lateral and downfield pursuit. Pro-ready out of the box, Russell should be able to mix into the rotation as a rookie. Better yet, given all of the talent on the defensive line in this draft, his blue collar (rather than blue chip) game likely will have him still on the board well into Day Three, making Russell a potentially terrific value. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/13/19- Josh Belk, rFr, South Carolina, 6-2, 359
Highly regarded defensive tackle Josh Belk, who signed with Clemson then transferred to rival South Carolina a few months later, has decided to give up football because of a back injury. Belk said on social media Wednesday he had fractured a vertebrae and decided "to choose another path in life." South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said in a statement that he had talked with Belk and confirmed he was giving up football. It ends an eventful chapter for Belk, a 6-foot-3, 359-pound defensive tackle from Richburg, South Carolina. He was a four-star prospect out of Lewisville High and enrolled at Clemson in January 2018 and went through spring workouts. Belk decided to transfer to the Gamecocks last summer. He played in six games and was credited with seven tackles. - AP College Football

02/13/19- *Jeffery Simmons, Jr, Mississippi State, 6-3, 300
Already banned from this month's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis due to a previous arrest for assaulting a woman, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons' chances at earning a first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft may have received a death sentence Tuesday with reports that he suffered a major knee injury during workouts, including but perhaps not limited to tearing his ACL. The 6-3, 300 pound Simmons entered the day ranked fourth among this year's stellar defensive tackle class on NFLDraftScout.com's board and 13th overall, getting projected to the Minnesota Vikings in my current mock draft.

Tearing an ACL is not the show-stopping injury it once was but for a prospect already facing a more complicated projection to the NFL and plenty of worthy competition, it could send Simmons stock tumbling well into Day Two of the draft and perhaps even further. Graded the top prep prospect in the state of Mississippi when he signed with the Bulldogs three years ago, Simmons almost lost his chance to showcase his talents as an arrest for assault in 2016 threatened to ruin his plans. Instead, Simmons buckled down, dedicating himself to his books, weight room and community. In doing, Simmons built himself back up as not only one of the top defensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference but in the entire country, leaving the Bulldogs early for the 2019 NFL draft after recording 163 tackles, including 33 for loss and seven sacks in three seasons. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

02/11/19- Derrick Brown, Jr, Auburn, 6-4, 325
Derrick Brown had a newborn son and the choice of either pursuing his NFL career or continuing to chase college quarterbacks and his degree. The Auburn defensive tackle opted to return for his senior season despite being projected as a potential first-round draft pick. The decision not only gives him a chance to graduate this year but bolsters a defensive line that figures to remain the Tigers' most talent-rich position, with defensive ends Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe also opting to come back instead of turning pro. "I mean, when you look at the benefit on this side of things ... it's just like, if I don't go this year, I could get hurt. I hope not to," Brown said.

"But my degree in my hands is going to be so much more powerful than what could have happened. "I could have been in the league and I could have been hurt and I could have just been going through certain things. I felt it would have been harder that way. Also, just being able to have my son here when I do graduate in December will be a nice memory I won't ever forget." Kai Brown was born on Dec. 20, eight days before the Tigers' 63-14 romp over Purdue in the Music City Bowl. His birth was a joyful distraction from worrying about the NFL for Brown. Kai was also, of course, another factor to weigh and not just as a provider. A couple of decades from now, Brown would be able to site his own choice in encouraging his son to stay in school. Just like his own parents have done. - AP College Football

02/06/19- Jordan Williams, rFr, Clemson, 6-3, 310
Clemson will be without defensive tackles Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams for spring practice due to injuries. Pinckney had surgery on his pectoral muscle since Clemson's national championship victory last month. Williams hurt his leg while playing intramural basketball and will need a screw put in, coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday. Both Pinckney and Williams, who were backups this year to All-American Christian Wilkins and all-Atlantic Coast Conference player Dexter Lawrence, are expected to start this season. Wilkins was a senior this past season while Lawrence, a junior, chose to enter the NFL draft. Pinckney is a 6-foot-1, 300 pound junior who played in 15 games last season while Williams is a 6-4, 310 pound sophomore who played in 12 games. Swinney said both will be ready for summer workouts. - AP College Football

01/11/19- *Quinnen Williams, rSo, Alabama, 6-3, 295
Four Alabama players are skipping their final seasons to enter the NFL draft, including All-America left tackle Jonah Williams and Outland Trophy-winning defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. Those projected first-rounders announced their intentions on Friday, along with versatile tailback Josh Jacobs and tight end Irv Smith Jr. Jonah Williams and Quinnen Williams are unanimous All-Americans rated as potential Top 10 picks.

Quinnen Williams is a third-year sophomore who won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman on either side of the ball. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder had a breakout season in his first season as starter, leading the team with 17 tackles for loss and ranking third with 66 tackles. "I dreamed of this day almost every day when I was a little kid when I was playing little league football in Birmingham," he said. "Just to see I made it become a reality, like I get a chance to enter the draft. Most people don't get a chance from where I'm from. "Most people have the athletic ability or the ability to do it, but can't get past different distractions and stuff. To see I defeated all the odds and the negativity and just everything in general, I defeated it all. It made me emotional kind of to see that I've came from a long way, seen a lot of stuff when I was young." Quinnen Williams said he spent considerable time talking on the phone about the decision to Saban, who he called "like the Godfather of early leaving. - AP College Football

01/09/19- *Dexter Lawrence, Jr, Clemson, 6-3, 350
Suspended Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is headed to the NFL. Lawrence is the 350-pound, 6-foot-4 lineman who missed the Tigers' College Football Playoff games after he and two teammates tested positive for the banned substance ostarine. Lawrence attended both games and celebrated with teammates Monday night after a 44-16 victory over Alabama in the national championship game. Lawrence announced his decision on Twitter Wednesday. He was a three-year starter and is considered a first-round NFL pick in next spring's draft. He is the third Clemson starter on defense to give up his eligibility to go pro. Earlier, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and linebacker Tre Lamar said they would enter the NFL draft. Mullen was the defensive MVP of the championship game. - AP College Football

12/21/18- Aubrey Solomon, rSo, Tennessee, 6-2, 287
Defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon says he's transferring from Michigan to Tennessee. Solomon tweeted Friday that he's going to Tennessee. Volunteers coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement that "he is a great addition to our university and our football program." The former five-star recruit from Leesburg, Georgia, played five games and made six tackles during an injury-riddled 2018 season. Solomon, who is 6-foot-3 and 297 pounds, played 13 games and had 18 tackles as a freshman in 2017. He was the nation's No. 23 overall prospect in his high school class according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. Solomon isn't a graduate transfer and would have to sit out the 2019 season unless he gets a waiver from the NCAA. - AP College Football

12/05/18- Christian Wilkins, Sr, Clemson, 6-3, 315
2018 William V. Campbell Trophy Award Winner: Clemson star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins won the William V. Campbell Trophy on Tuesday night, an award honoring college football's top scholar-athlete. Wilkins earned a degree in communications last year, becoming the first scholarship football player from Clemson to graduate in 2 years. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in athletic leadership. He received an $18,000 in postgraduate scholarship by being one of 13 finalists and an additional $7,000 in scholarship money for winning the Campbell Trophy.

The other finalists were Army linebacker Kenneth Brinson; South Dakota State quarterback Taryn Christion; Grambling State linebacker De'Arius Christmas; Wisconsin safety D'Cota Dixon; North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley; St. Francis, Indiana, linebacker Piercen Harnish; Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley; Kansas State tackle Dalton Risner; Northern Illinois tackle Max Scharping; Wheaten linebacker Eric Stevenson; North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick; and Notre Dame linebacker Drue Tranquill. - AP College Football

11/30/18- *Ed Oliver, Jr, Houston, 6-2, 292
DT Ed Oliver has played his final college game. Oliver announced via social media on Friday that he planned to sit out Houston's bowl game in order to concentrate on his preparations for the 2019 NFL Draft. Oliver, the Outland Trophy winner in 2017 as the nation's top interior lineman, endured an injury-plagued junior season with the Cougars. In his most recent mock draft published Nov. 11, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com projected Oliver to be the third overall pick in the draft.

11/27/18- Ricky Walker, rSr, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 297
DT Ricky Walker, the only senior starter on defense, is finishing with a flourish. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Virginia -- seven tackles, two for loss, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble. He has 43 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, and projects as a late-round pick.

11/27/18- Ricky Walker, rSr, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 297
NOV 26 ACC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech, Sr., DT; Hampton, Va.,...Walker had seven tackles, including two for loss, one QB hurry and one forced fumble in Virginia Tech's 34-31 overtime victory over Virginia on Friday night ... Walker's seven stops ranked second on the team ... With UVA driving early in the second quarter, Walker forced a fumble at Tech's own 12-yard line that was recovered by LB Dax Hollifield ... Assisted on a tackle for loss at the Hokies' 11-yard line late in the fourth quarter that helped hold UVA to a field goal later in the drive. - ACC Football

11/24/18- *Ed Oliver, Jr, Houston, 6-2, 292
DT Ed Oliver's return from a knee injury did not last long. Oliver, who has been sidelined for the previous four games, aggravated the knee injury in the first half of Friday's 52-31 loss to Memphis and did not return. The reigning Outland Trophy winner is expected to miss two to three weeks, Cougars coach Major Applewhite said Friday night. Such a timetable would allow Oliver to return to play in a bowl game, but there has been speculation throughout his injury that he may elect to shut it down for the season. However, Applewhite and Oliver each indicated that the junior standout would be available to play in a bowl game if he was healthy.

11/21/18- Jay-Tee Tiuli, Sr, Eastern Washington, 6-3, 320
2018 BIG SKY CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jay-Tee Tiuli, Eastern Washington,...Eastern Washington defensive tackle Jay-Tee Tiuli was named the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. Tiuli has 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss of 36 yards, 4.0 sacks for a loss of 30 yards, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. The Eagles earned a share of the league title and have advanced to the FCS Playoffs for the 13th time in school history. Tiuli is the first Eastern Washington player to earn DPOTY honors since J.C. Sherritt in 2010. - Big Sky Football

11/20/18- *Ed Oliver, Jr, Houston, 6-2, 292
DT Ed Oliver has missed the past four games with a knee injury, but ESPN reported that the reigning Outland Trophy winner is expected to return for Friday's game against Memphis. Officially, Oliver remains day-to-day, according to the Cougars' football program, and there has been speculation that Oliver would sit out the rest of his college football season as he prepares for the NFL Draft. In his most recent mock draft published Nov. 11, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com projected Oliver to be the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

11/20/18- Ricky Walker, rSr, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 297
DT Ricky Walker has 36 tackles this season, including 7.5 for loss, as the only senior starter on defense. Walker made 41 tackles, including 12.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks, as a junior when he had more help. Walker is likely a late-round prospect. "The day he walked in the door, I knew he was going to be a special player and a special person," said defensive coordinator Bud Foster. "He's proven that since he's been here."

11/19/18- Maake Muti, rSr, Azusa Pacific, 6-0, 280
2018 GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Ma'ake Muti, Azusa Pacific,...Muti played in all 11 regular season games and finished with 55 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and a fumble recovery. Muti was part of an APU defensive line that enters the Division II Playoffs ranked third nationally with 3.27 sacks per game. - Great Northwest Athletic Conference Football

11/16/18- *Ed Oliver, Jr, Houston, 6-2, 292
DT Ed Oliver engaged in a heated shouting match with Houston coach Major Applewhite just before halftime of Thursday night's game against Tulane. Oliver, considered a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, was enraged and had to be restrained after Applewhite after the coach told him to remove his cold-weather coat. The reigning Outland Trophy winner was inactive due to a knee injury and, per a team rule, only uniformed players are allowed to wear coats on the sideline. Oliver, who sat out his fourth consecutive game, did not join the team on the sideline in the second half of the 48-17 win over Tulane and was unavailable for comment after the contest.

11/14/18- *Quinnen Williams, rSo, Alabama, 6-3, 295
Alabama nose tackle Quinnen Williams, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen and LSU safety Grant Delpit give the Southeastern Conference three of the five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy given to the nation's top defensive player. The other finalists announced Wednesday were Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. The Nagurski Trophy is chosen by the Football Writers Association of America. The winner will be announced Dec. 3 at the Charlotte Touchdown Club. Williams has 14 tackles for loss, including five sacks, for No. 1 Alabama. Allen leads the SEC with 15 tackles for loss. Delpit leads LSU in interceptions (five) and tackles for loss (9). Bush is the leading tackle for the top defense in the country. Wilkins has 10.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks. - AP College Football

11/14/18- *Quinnen Williams, rSo, Alabama, 6-3, 295
The College Football Playoff rankings held steady at the top, with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan an unchanged first four from last week. The third rankings of the season were drama-free Tuesday night after every top-10 team won last weekend. In fact, the entire top 10 stayed the same, the first time that has happened in the five seasons since the CFP was born. With three weekends left until the final selections are made on Dec. 2, Georgia was fifth and Oklahoma was sixth. LSU, Washington State, West Virginia and Ohio State rounded out the top 10. UCF moved up one spot to No. 11. - AP College Football

11/14/18- Joseph Broadnax Jr., rSr, Texas Christian, 5-11, 294
TCU starting senior defensive tackle Joseph Broadnax isn't expected to play again because of an undisclosed medical condition initially discovered during a preseason screening. Coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that he couldn't elaborate but that an MRI during the summer found something in the early stages that was OK then. But the 6-foot, 294-pound Broadnax didn't play Saturday at West Virginia after showing signs related to the condition, including weakness in his arm. "Now you've got to be smart and you've got to take care of it," Patterson said. The screening last summer was part of a study TCU's football program is involved with to assist in the prevention and treatment of concussions. Broadnax's condition isn't concussion-related, but Patterson said the player is going "to have an opportunity to live a lot longer because they caught it." The coach said it might have gone undetected for 10 to 20 years otherwise, and that there is medicine that can help. - AP College Football

11/14/18- Tyler Bembry, Sr, Chowan, 6-1, 330
2018 ALL-CIAA HONORABLE MENTION: Defensive Lineman - Tyler Bembry, Chowan,...The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), with its Football Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, released the 2018 All-CIAA First, Second, and Honorable Mention Football Teams as well as All-Rookie Team on Friday (11/9) afternoon. Tyler Bembry picked up an Honorable Mention. - Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Football

11/14/18- Rafiq Abdul-Wahid, So, Chowan, 6-3, 290
2018 ALL-CIAA SECOND TEAM: Defensive Lineman - Rafiq Abdul-Wahid, Chowan,...The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), with its Football Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, released the 2018 All-CIAA First, Second, and Honorable Mention Football Teams as well as All-Rookie Team on Friday (11/9) afternoon. Rafiq Abdul-Wahid earned All-CIAA Second Team honors finishing fourth in the league with seven total sacks. Abdul-Wahid also tallied 10.5 tackles for loss. Tyler Bembry picked up an Honorable Mention. - Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Football

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