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Last year’s defensive line was led by long-time fan favorite Poona Ford. As you’d expect, the unit took on the workman-like image of the senior leader. He’ll be missed as much for his presence in the locker room, gym, and practice field as much as he will be for his steady contributions on Saturday.
Losing Poona is the bad news, but there is plenty of reason to believe UT’s most consistent unit last year will repeat in the 2018 campaign.
The Ford leadership vacuum will be filled by seniors Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager. You won’t be a respected leader unless you produce afield and both are poised for big finales.
While the unit won’t lack for leadership, filling Ford’s shoes at defensive tackle will be more difficult. The Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year didn’t put up flashy stats, but he did the dirty work that allowed others to shine, including defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. We’ve mentioned the roster is long on edge players and short on interior options. Further complicating issues is Chris Nelson is all but certain to transfer and Gerald Wilbon has been hurt since the Texas Bowl.