Spring Practice Position Preview: Defensive Line

We are now less than three days away from TCU getting spring practice underway. Last week Purple Menace took a look at the offensive side of the ball. This week, we will be focusing on the defense, which should be one of the best in the Big 12 once again in 2013. We will start our defensive preview by taking a look at the defensive line. The Frogs are losing a major contributor in Stansly Maponga, but that just means the next person has to be ready to go.
2012 Recap
Devonte Fields: 53 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks.
Davion Pierson: 36 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks.
Chucky Hunter: 36 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
James McFarland: 6 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks
Terrell Lathan: 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Jon Lewis: 6 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss
Jon Koontz: 12 tackles
David Johnson: 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack
Players Lost: Stansly Maponga (NFL Draft)
Looking Ahead
My biggest concern is with Devonte Fields. I'm not talking about his ability, because we all know how good he is, but I am concerned about how the loss of Stansly Maponga will affect him. Can James McFarland perform well enough to keep opposing teams from double teaming Fields? If McFarland can hold his own, it will free up Fields to do what he does best, make plays!
The Bottom Line
TCU has nice depth on the defensive line. They will also get added help in the fall when the additions of Tevin Lawson, Bryson Henderson, and Mike Tuaua arrive on campus.
Hunter, Pierson, and Fields all had productive seasons in 2012. I expect they will continue to do so in 2013 as well.