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Purdue Football: Pre Spring Ball Defensive Two Deep

Is Purdue switching to a 3-4 defense? Who will play where?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Nebraska at Purdue Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Defensive Tackle:

  1. Anthony Watts (Sr)
  2. Steven Faucheux (Fr-Rs)

Nose Tackle:

  1. Lorenzo Neal Jr (Sr)
  2. Lawrence Johnson (So)

Defensive End:

  1. Geogre Karlaftis (So)
  2. Dontay Hunter II (Fr-Rs)

Outside Linebacker:

  1. Derrick Barnes (Sr)
  2. Jacob Wahlberg (Fr-Rs)

Outside Linebacker:

  1. Jalen Graham (So)
  2. Khali Saunders (Fr-Rs)

Middle Linebacker:

  1. Jaylen Alexander (Jr)
  2. Semisi Fakasiieiki (Sr)

Middle Linebacker:

  1. DaMarcus Mitchell (Jr)
  2. Semisi Fakasiieiki (Sr)


  1. Geovante Howard (Jr)
  2. Dedrick Mackey (Jr)


  1. Cory Trice (So)
  2. Kenneth Major (Jr)

Free Safety:

  1. Cam Allen (So)
  2. Brennan Thieneman (Sr)

Strong Safety:

  1. Marvin Grant (Fr-Rs)
  2. Simeon Smiley (Sr)

I went ahead and put the defense in a “3-4”.

I would be lying to you if I thought that we would be in the 3-4 for the majority of the season. I still believe we will look more like a 4-3 or 4-2-5.

But, new defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco has a background of the 3-4, so I wanted it to fit his mold, I guess.

I personally believe we can have very multiple defense. We could run a 3-4, 4-2, 4-3 and more.

I think George can play with his hand in the dirt or if he needs to be an OLB he can do that as well.

Neal being in the middle will help tremendously if we are ready to be a true 3-4. I am not sure if we have the LB personnel to be in a 3-4 at all times. We have the bodies, but they are currently all very young.

The secondary is interesting. With the addition of Howard, I believe the corners are solid, he and Trice are both long & tall.

At Safety, there are options as well. Grant is coming off of a RS season where he had shoulder surgery. Then you have Cam Allen who started at corner last year but thrived once he got PT at Free Safety.

Of course you have George at Defensive End/Rush End. Watts and Neal will be solid on the inside. Then Barnes at the other side rushing the passer. He and George did a great job together last season.

Overall, I love the potential of this defensive group.

It will still be young. They will still make mistakes. Not only are they young, they are also learning an entire new system under a new coach.

I am looking forward to seeing this group excel. The spring is huge for the defense this season.