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The Replacements - Defense

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Spring ball starts today, and here are the rest of the positional battles that will occur, this time on the defensive side of the ball.

Can Sean Martin replace Jordan Poyer? Or will opponents be Nelson island next year?
Can Sean Martin replace Jordan Poyer? Or will opponents be Nelson island next year?

Left Tackle:

  • Former Starter: Castro Masaniai
  • Potential Candidates: Edwin Delva, Mana Rosa, Brandon Bennett-Jackson, Noke Tago, Kyle Peko
  • This race is wide open, Delva is penciled in as the starter, but the JC transfer still has to prove himself as well. Rosa and Bennett-Jackson both have experience here at OSU, but the ceiling may not be as high for them. Peko is another JC transfer and is also the highest rated of the junior college guys, but will not arrive until the fall if he qualifies, but he could also be in the picture. Riley has referred to JC transfers as being similar to free agents in the NFL, so he should be expecting one of the transfers to start. With Delva playing spring ball though he should have the inside track to be the starter.

Right Tackle:

  • Former Starter: Andrew Seumalo
  • Potential Candidates: Siale Hautau, Ali'i Robins, Desmond Collins, Blake Harrah, Kyle Peko
  • Joe Lopez was previously also in the conversation but he has since transferred taking away some of the depth and experience. It would not be surprising to see Rosa or Bennett-Jackson get switched to the other tackle spot in order to get guys with some time at OSU at both tackle spots. That said it is another wide open position, with no one really being proven, but Hautau will be the front runner as a JC transfer. Peko was higher rated, but as previously stated missing spring ball will force him to win the job in fall camp.
Middle Linebacker:
  • Former Starter: Feti Taumoepeau
  • Potential Candidates: Joel Skotte, Josh Williams, Jaswha James, Rommel Mageo
  • Another race where anybody could pull ahead, Joel Skotte is listed on first on the depth chart, but anybody could pull into the lead as no one has really logged any minutes. This battle is less important however as OSU uses more and more nickel packages however though.
Left Cornerback
  • Former Starter: Jordan Poyer
  • Potential Candidates: Steven Nelson, Sean Martin, Malcolm Marable, Naji Patrick, Mishawn Cummings
  • The battle here will be essentially just between Nelson and Martin. Marable, Patrick, and Cummings might get a look at it, but really they will just be competing for any playing time not a starting position. Martin had a considerable amount of time as the nickelback and even filled in for Poyer, playing his best of the game of the season. Martin is servicable, but Nelson was regarded as one of the top JC cornerbacks in the country. It is most likely that Mike Riley had recruited Nelson with the chance to take one of the starting cornerback positions immediately, and frankly while Martin played some solid time, he did get beat for several large gains. Edge goes to Nelson, but Martin does have experience at OSU, and if he has improved he can absolutely challenge for the spot.
The Beavers did lose a considerable amount of talent, with the leadership of both defensive tackles, Castro Masaniai and Andrew Seumalo, both middle linebackers Feti Taumoepeau and backup Reuben Robinson, and the playmaking of Jordan Poyer as well. Enough talent has been brought in and returned that this defense should be just as strong as last year, as long as these position battles result in strong players coming to the top of the depth chart.