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Breaking Down West Virginia Football’s Preseason Depth Chart: Defense

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2022 Preseason Depth Chart – Defense

Defensive Line

DE – Taihj Alston, Sean Martin, Taurus Simmons

DT – Dante Stills, Jalen Thornton, Zeiqui Lawton

NG – Jordan Jefferson, Mike Lockhart, Edward Vesterinen

The defense has been underrated in recent years, and has potential again this year, but a lot of the potential for success hinges on the guys up front. Dante Stills has to have a big season, not just for the team but also his pro potential. He can’t do it alone though and will need others to step up.

Bandit

Jared Bartlett OR Lanell Carr

It remains to be seen if someone can actually lock this role down.

Linebackers

Mike – Lee Kpogba, Tirek Austin-Cave

Will – Lance Dixon, Exree Loe

While depth is always important and necessary, if we aren’t seeing Kpogba and Dixon as a 1-2 linebacker punch, WVU will have some big problems. They could be among the best duos in the Big 12.

Cornerbacks

LCB – Andrew Wilson-Lamp, Wesley McCormick

RCB – Charles Woods, Rashad Ajayi

The secondary is the area of concern for the WVU defense, but Charles Woods played so well down the stretch last season that it earned him preseason All-Big 12 honors.

Safeties

Free – Aubrey Burks, Hershey McLaurin

Cat – Marcis Floyd, Malachi Ruffin

Spear – Davis Mallinger, Jasir Cox OR Naim Muhammad

As for the safeties, it will be a question if the incumbent starters have done enough, or can do enough, to prevent a transfer from dethroning them. This could also be a situation of loyal Neal Brown giving the bump to those he knows the most.

Stay tuned for a breakdown of the special teams depth chart and a show from Mike Asti discussing and projecting Neal Brown’s plan with the roster.

Check out the breakdown of WVU football’s offensive depth chart and special teams depth chart.

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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