2016 Tiger Football Position-by-Position Preview: Defensive Line
Part four of a ten part series previewing 2016 St. Xavier Football Tigers: Defensive Line
The key to any defense is gap control. Whether it be shutting down the run or to rush the passer, the defense will have to control the line of scrimmage. If they fail to do this, any offense will make the defense look like boys amongst men. Luckily for the Tiger Defense, the D-Line is bringing back a lot of experience and expect to tear down every offensive line in their way.
Max Willinger 6-3, 237 Sr.
Kyle Robinson 6-1, 200 Sr.
Ryan Adams 6-1, 196 Sr.
Mason Moorman 6-0, 206 Sr.
Ben Shugart 6-0, 228 Jr.
Andrew Uhls 6-3, 198 Jr.
Max Willinger has been a star in Coach Bruner’s Defense for the past two years now, and don’t expect him to slow down any time soon. Willinger in this time has been able to wreak havoc for opposing offenses. This is attributed to his good footwork and his explosiveness off the ball. Willinger took note on how playing with so much experience may affect him this season:
“I definitely think having a lot of experience will give me a chance to play at a very high level this year. In high school especially, it’s such an advantage, because players come in and it’s their first time playing at a varsity level. They usually don’t know what to expect. I’ll definitely be able to take advantage of that and hopefully be able to put our team in the best position to win and succeed.”
Kyle Robinson and Ryan Adams round out the starting defensive linemen. Both were big contributors last year with Robinson starting and Adams rotating, respectively. Robinson is one of the best athletes on the team this year and will look to take full advantage over slower linemen. He tied the lead for most sacks last year (3) and looks to add to that total with another year under his belt. Adams, comparatively, is a gritty type of player. From the second he straps on his helmet, he is ready to play, and especially to play tough. He plays fast and is not afraid to hit any opponent no matter the size disadvantage.
Lastly, the D-Line has great depth in Mason Moorman, Ben Shugart, and Andrew Uhls. Look for all these players to make the most of their opportunities and try to earn more playing time. Particularly in Moorman, who is coming off an ACL injury last season and is excited to be returning to the field.
Next up: Runningbacks