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Spring Ball - Defensive Line

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 22 Buffalo at Rutgers Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The defensive line this year is a good news - bad news - good news situation

Good News: Buffalo is returning three out of four starters on one of the most dominant defensive units in the MAC. The Bulls have been consistently good on the line for years now and they are returning most of what got them there.

Bad News: Malcolm Koonce is the one guy not returning. As an all MAC player and a guy who looks to be a day three draft pick in the NFL that’s a big hit.

Good News: While Koonce is out Taylor Riggans will be back this season, after having missed last year with an injury.

Probable Starters Going Into Spring:

Riggans is a sure thing at this point. He was All-MAC First Team in 2019 (50 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries). He is going to fill the hole left by Koonce.

The W’s are probably going to anchor the middle of the line.

Eddie Wilson had 21 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack last season, and was 3rd team All-MAC.

George Wolo was thrown into the starting lineup as a true freshman. He ranked second on the team in sacks with three. It’s worth noting though that Ronald McGee is back and healthy. It was his injury that really opened the door for Wolo.

On the other end Eric Black got to go last year because RIggans was out, but this season with Koonce being gone he may get a shot on the other side.

We learned last year there there is a ton of depth in the unit so while these are the “probably day one starters” by spring some other names might float to the top.

Of the players who may make noise and push the starters Max Michel stands out the most. He played in every game last year and got the start in out Bowl game.

Also Tyrece Woods looked great when healthy last season, he could press for time in the middle of the line.

This unit looks to be just as dangerous this year as it was last season, despite Koonce graduating. It’ll be fun to watch.