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What The Class of 2014 Means For The Defense In 2014

As with all recruiting classes, the true value of this group will not be told for some time. Very few freshmen start and contribute meaningful minutes. That being said there are a few positions on defense where the Bearcats could use a bit of depth

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

The Bearcats were senior heavy among defensive tackles in 2013. In fact the rotation was comprised of almost nothing but defensive tackles. As such DT was a big need in this class, and getting a guy ready to come in and contribute was a must. They have that in Hakeem Allonce who is probably penciled in to start, even though he won't get here until camp starts.

The Bearcats are pretty well set at end for this year as all four main guys from last years rotation return. Three of those guys are seniors, which makes getting a JUCO who can come in an contribute from the start of the 2015 season is a must. If Mouhon the Elder blows up and his draft stock explodes with him, which is a distinct possibility, defensive end would be the biggest need of all.


That Temple and Luc are back is a good thing for this defense as both of these guys fit into what new defensive coordinator Hank Hughes is going to ask of his linebackers, to alternately blitz and play in space. That Luc will shift back inside to his natural Mike position is only going to help things. Tentman has become a very solid contributor working off the bench, and he will have a chance to compete for a bigger role at the open outside linebacker spot, but he won't be alone in that. Tappan looks the part of a starting SAM backer, and I would think he would get the first look there. But there are lots of options for that spot.

Eric Wilson transferred from Northwestern and could force his way into the rotation, he has the look of a weakside backer more than a strong side one. But Hughes could flip Temple to SAM and put Wilson at WILL if he is one of the best three. After that there are plenty of candidates to fill out the two deep at outside linebacker with Lindsay Crook, Kevin Brown, and Corey Mason being the likely candidates.

Then there is Kevin Mouhon. Mouhon the Younger will almost certainly contribute from the start. His talent alone will make that happen, but he also serves a secondary function as an advertisement for elite recruits. He will play a lot as a freshman, most likely in a back up roll behind Luc at MIKE where he is the heir apparent.


  • Returning: Howard Wilder, Zach Edwards, LEVITICUS PAYNE, Mike Tyson, Adrian Witty, Andre Jones
  • Incoming: Linden Stephens, Odell Spencer, Davon Witherspoon, Alex Thomas, Carter Jacobs, Tyrell Gilbert, JJ Pickney
  • 2015 Needs: Limited

The secondary returns a lot of contributors from last years team. Those guys who are returning have played a lot of football. The question is who steps in and takes over Deven Drane's starting spot and who gets Arryn Chenault's. Payne will probably get the first crack at Drane's old spot, and Mike Tyson will almost certainly get the first look at the safety spot opposite Edwards.

The majority of the incoming guys in this class are headed for a red shirt, a couple might be headed for a position change. The two that have a chance to contribute this year are Linden Stephens who had a very productive year of high level prep ball and Pickney, who I really really like.