Good defensive tackles are hard to find but when you find one, it makes an incredible difference in your defense. Take a look at Doug Costin of the Miami RedHawks, for example: he has averaged 50 tackles and 5.5 sacks over the last two seasons in addition to posting a MAC-leading 32 QB pressures and 10.5 TFLs in 2018. During that two-year span, Miami’s defense was third and fourth in the MAC in scoring defense as well as fourth and third in rushing defense. In 2015 (the year before Costin arrived in Oxford), the RedHawks were 11th in scoring defense and sixth in rushing defense. Having good defensive line play matters, especially in an age that puts such a high priority on the passing game.
Before Costin became an elite defender in Oxford, he was a dominant high school player in Pennsylvania. At Bishop Shanahan High School in his senior year, he racked up 120 tackles and 14 sacks on his way to being named First Team All-State. As you can see in the above Hudl video, Costin was and is an outstanding athlete for his size as he terrorized quarterbacks and imposed his will on a handful of carries in the backfield. One of the things that you don’t really see in his high school film is his ability to use his hands to get rid of blockers (partly because he didn’t need to because he was so quick).
In the above YouTube video, you get to see Costin working with his hands a lot more than he did in high school, so kudos to the Miami coaching staff for taking the time to recognize needs and develop players. For the 2019 season, Costin and the defense will have to carry the load for the ‘Hawks until the team figures out its quarterback situation but the defense will not lack the talent to do so as he is the 24th-rated 3-technique defensive tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft according to DraftTek.com.