The Defensive line, led by Dorance Armstrong, is going to be a pivotal part of any success Kansas will have this year.
For the next installment of the 2017 Kansas football season preview, we’re going to take a look at one of our strongest units this year. We’re going to look at the defensive line. I’m going to be up front with you, this unit is stacked. There is a lot of promise and upside that will create consistency and the ability to effectively pressure the QB every single game.
First up, Dorance Armstrong. Everyone should know by now that Dorance Armstrong is going to be our defensive difference maker. He was recently selected as the pre-season Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and is coming off of a season with 10 sacks, and 20 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Dorance Armstrong is a tank, a monster, a beast, etc. There’s very few (if any) negatives about this man. He’s big, strong, and quick with the ability to demolish running backs and quarterbacks while having the quickness that allows him to blast by a lineman.
Along with Armstrong, the D-Line has plenty of supporting players that have a huge ceiling that will allow them to have great seasons. The biggest is going to be Junior Defensive Tackle, Daniel Wise. Wise is a man who has totaled 64 tackles with 15.5 of those being for a loss, and 6.5 sacks in his two seasons at Kansas. He is also tied for the lead with most blocked kicks in school history with 3. He’s only 6’3” but weighing in at 280 allows him plenty of size to bully the O-Line and fill some running gaps.
DeeIsaac Davis, Josh Ehambe and Isiah Bean are also three names to watch for on the defensive side as well. DeeIsaac Davis put on some solid performances in 2016 by recording 31 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 pass breakup last year after transferring in. Isiah Bean played in all 12 games last season, recording 11 tackles and 2 sacks. Josh Ehambe has played in 16 games during his time for Kansas, but has only recorded 3 tackles.
The biggest question mark for the defense this year is going to be the cornerbacks. There aren’t many proven players on it so far, and the defensive line is going to be a huge help for that unit. If the line can consistently put pressure on the quarterback, keep him uncomfortable, and get him out of the pocket it will take a tremendous amount of pressure off the corners and the rest of the secondary. That would be huge in preventing the other QB endless amounts of time to sit back and launch the ball downfield play after play.
It’s safe to say that Dorance Armstrong will be going pro at the end of this season, which means this is a big time for someone to step up and put themselves in a position to be the next big thing on this defensive unit. Once again, we’ll keep an eye on this group as the season nears as more updates may come out, but for now, this is what you need to know about the defensive line for Kansas football’s 2017 campaign.