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Oregon State Football: 2020 Position Preview - Defensive Line

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A unit that was good in 2019 has a chance to be amazing in 2020.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Oregon State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

EDIT: I have been way too checked out of sports since they all got cancelled, and missed that DT Charles Moore had re-entered the transfer portal. The article has since been edited.

The Situation

Oregon State’s defensive line improved a lot last year. The line particularly excelled at clogging running lanes and generating openings for the rest of the defense. That helped move the Beavers up to the top half in the Pac-12 rankings for both tackles for losses and sacks.

Unfortunately, the Beavers have lost their best piece on the D-Line with the graduation of Elu Aydon. Aydon racked up the best numbers on the line, with 30 total tackles, 3 for a loss. Those were the best numbers for anyone on the line. While Aydon was the most experienced starter in the unit, the Beavers still have some veterans left. Isaac Hodgins is the big name here, but Simon Sandberg and Jordan Whittley also have a lot of experience, and Whittley was just granted another year of eligibility.


The Defensive Linemen

  • #50 - Jordan Whittley (R SR / 6’ 1”, 333 lbs)
  • #52 - James Rawls (R SO / 6’ 2”, 265 lbs)
  • #67 - Kelsen Hennessy (R FR / 6’ 5”, 253 lbs)
  • #75 - Evan Bennett (R FR / 6’ 1”, 288 lbs)
  • #82 - Cory Stover (R FR / 6’ 6”, 243 lbs)
  • #89 - Sebastian Briski (R SO / 6’ 3”, 269 lbs)
  • #91 - Jeromy Reichner (R SR / 6’ 2”, 275 lbs)
  • #94 - Tavis Shippen (R SO / 6’ 4”, 288 lbs)
  • #95 - Keishon Dawkins (R SO / 6’ 5”, 279 lbs)
  • #96 - Simon Sandberg (R JR / 6’ 3”, 278 lbs)
  • #97 - Alexander Skelton (R JR / 6’ 0”, 302 lbs)
  • #98 - Cody Anderson (R JR / 6’ 4”, 273 lbs)
  • #99 - Isaac Hodgins (JR / 6’ 0”, 264 lbs)

The Skinny

Isaac Hodgins is going to be the centerpiece of the Defensive Line. He’s got the most experience, starting all 12 games last season, and despite taking on a more supporting role in 2019, he still put up some decent stats. 18 total tackles, 4.5 for a loss, and a sack and a pass deflection. That’s down from his 2018, but he was opening up lanes for a much improved linebacker corps, which I’m not going to complain about.

Who will be lining up alongside Hodgins is a big question for the Fall. If the team is looking for experience and consistency, Jordan Whittley and Simon Sandberg are the obvious options. Whittley was just granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, and played in 11 games, including one start, for Oregon State last season. He managed 14 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss.

Simon Sandberg also brings some experience, having started in 3 games last year and playing in nine. The Beavers could also get some help from Jeromy Reichner, who has only played in 4 games since coming to Corvallis in 2018. Injuries have severely limited his availability, but if he’s healthy, that’s another option for the line.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Beavers also landed a couple of promising transfers, including the 15th ranked JUCO prospect Tavis Shippen. There is a llot amount of talent on the line, and only three starting spots available. If it happens, Fall camp is going to be interesting.


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