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2017 UCLA Football Fall Preview: The Defensive Line Returns Plenty of Experience, But No Starters

Most of the unit has seen plenty of game action over the past few seasons.

Osa Odighizuwa will look to get his first playing time at UCLA this fall.
Joe Piechowski

This morning, we continue of Fall Football Preview with a look at the Defensive Line.

This units has lost all four of its starters due to graduation. Takkarist McKinley, Deon Hollins, Eddie Vanderdoes and Eli Ankou are all gone.

Those are some really big shoes to fill.

But Coach Angus McClure’s unit looks to be up to the task. There are a lot of defensive linemen who have seen plenty of playing time before this year.

This year’s squad looks to have 13 defensive linemen on it. Let’s look at the roster.

2017 UCLA Football Defensive Line Roster

No. Name Height Weight Year
No. Name Height Weight Year
11 Keisean Lucier-South 6-4 240 R-So.
15 Jaelan Phillips 6-5 255 Fr.
35 Ainuu Taua 5-11 295 R-Jr.
56 Greg Rogers 6-3 305 Fr.
70 Jaypal Bedi 6-0 280 R-Jr.
75 Boss Tagaloa 6-2 310 So.
90 Rick Wade 6-6 280 R-So.
91 Jacob Tuioti-Mariner 6-2 285 Sr.
92 Osa Odighizuwa 6-2 285 R-Fr.
93 Chigozie Nnoruka 6-2 300 R-So.
94 Nick Terry 6-3 295 R-Sr.
95 Marcus Moore 6-2 265 R-Fr.
99 Matt Dickerson 6-4 295 Sr.

This year’s defensive line will be anchored at the tackles by Nick Terry and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. On the outside, look for Keisean Lucier-South at one end and, probably Jaelan Phillips at the other.

Look for Boss Tagaloa, Matt Dickerson, Rick Wade and Osa Odighizuwa to all get significant time at defensive end as Tom Bradley rotates players in and out as needed to keep the defensive line fresh. The same goes at defensive tackle where Marcus Moore, Greg Rogers and Ainuu Taua, who returns to the defensive after spending last season on offense, will also get significant time.

Here’s what the 3-deep depth chart will probably look like:

2017 UCLA Defensive Line Projected Depth Chart

Defensive End Defensive Tackle Defensive Tackle Defensive End
Defensive End Defensive Tackle Defensive Tackle Defensive End
Keisean Lucier-South Nick Terry Jacob Tuitoti-Mariner Jaelan Phillips
Boss Tagaloa Ainuu Taua Marcus Moore Matt Dickerson
Osa Odighizuwa Greg Rogers Chigozie Nnoruka Rick Wade

There’s no doubt that the defensive line needs guys to step up and replace the production lost when last year’s starters graduated, but, at the same time, there is still plenty of experience among this group because they’ve all seen substantial time before this year except for newcomers Rogers, Phillips and redshirt freshmen Osa Odighizuwa and Marcus Moore.

As a result, this year’s group looks to pick up where last year’s guys left off. With the experience they bring, the defensive line should be strong again this year while being able to mix in the four guys who haven’t played a college game yet.

Go Bruins!