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2023 Eastern Michigan Eagles Positional Previews: Defensive front seven

Jose Ramirez is a big loss for EMU, but they’ll look to replenish with numbers and a renewed look in 2023.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Eastern Michigan v San Jose State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

The defensive line and linebackers, much like the offensive line and skill players, return a great deal of experience, putting EMU potentially front and center for another run.

At the end is junior Carter Evans, who played in eight games last year, with 14 total tackles. At tackle is junior Peyton Price. He played in 13 games last year and recorded 8 solo tackles with 25 assists, including 3.5 tackle-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. At nose is senior Tim Grant-Randall and his 17 total tackles in 2022, 5.5 of which went for a loss (4.5 TFLs, one sack.) If he can keep that level of production up with more reps, that’s a great inside presence to utilize.

At the MIKE linebacker position is Chase Kline, who transferred in from Michigan State last year. Kline played in 12 games in 2022, and had 41 solo tackles and 50 assists for a total of 94 stops. He did not find the backfield often, but did rack up two TFLs and a sack. Probably the bright spot in the middle of the defense is Joe Sporacio at the WILL position. The former Boston College Eagle transferred in to play for the Eastern Michigan Eagles last year and had a great campaign, registering 42 solo tackles, 47 assists, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Kendric Nowling, who did not make a game appearance in 2022, is projected to start at the “ALPHA” linebacker/safety position.

The defensive line does admittedly have a gigantic hole to fill with the loss of 2022 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Jose Ramirez, but if the past few years are any indication, they will be up to the task. Eastern’s offensive line felt pretty solid last year and I think they will be more solid this year.

This is the third of six entries in a series of Eastern Michigan football previews. Please look forward to the next edition! If you missed any of our previous pieces, please check out our preseason previews storystream here.

EMU’s season kicks off Friday, Sept. 1st at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where they are set to play the Howard Bison [FCS].