The Virginia defense loses Eli Hanback, a four year starter. That’s never easy. But there is no position with as much depth as the defensive line. Even with Hanback gone and Aaron Faumui opting out for the season, the DL should be a very strong unit.

Last year, five different guys started at least four games. Hanback led with 11 starts. He’s tough to replace, but with three of the other four returning and some youngsters ready to step in as well, it’s a reasonable line.

And don’t forget we also saw a lot of 2-4-5 formations from the Wahoo defense. When they go nickel, the Hoos will often use two DLs along with two OLBs as pass rushers (more on that later).

Defensive End
Starter: Mandy Alonso (Sr.)
Backup: Ben Smiley III (R. Fr)

Defensive Tackle
Starter: Jowon Briggs (So.)
Backup: Jordan Redmond (So.)

Defensive End
Starter: Richard Burney (R. Sr.)
Backup: Adeeb Atariwa (Sr.)

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