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Football Position Previews: Defensive Line

August 18, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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As part of its coverage of Liberty's August Training Camp, continues its position previews today talking about the Flames' defensive line.

Liberty's first line of defense will have a mixed bag of veteran players and fresh faces when the Flames take to the turf at Williams Stadium on Sept. 1 against Old Dominion.

At the end positions, Liberty returns redshirt senior Tolen Avery at defensive end and senior Juwan Walls at rush end. Both have played in 30 career games during their previous three seasons with Wells starting 22 contests and Avery starting 21 games.

Wells has led the Flames in total tackles each of the last two years and enters his final season at Liberty with 169 career tackles (91 solo, 78 assisted), to go along with 29.5 tackles for a loss and 15.0 sacks. Avery has recorded 65 career stops (32 solo, 33 assisted) with 39 of those tackles coming in a career year in 2017 (25 solo, 14 assisted).

The Flames could be looking to a pair of junior college transfers to lead the interior part of the defensive line. Vincent Elefante is slated to start at defensive tackle and Devin Pearson will battle returner Ralfs Rusins for the starting spot at nose guard.

Pearson signed with the Flames, last December, and practiced with the team after transferring from Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, Calif. He recorded 86 tackles in two seasons and earned all-conference honors in 2017.

Elefante also signed with the Flames, last December, and took part in spring workouts. He came to Liberty from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he recorded 26 tackles during his final season with the Panthers.

Rise With Us: The Process

On Feb. 16, 2017, the NCAA approved Liberty's waiver request to begin the two-year FBS reclassification process. Liberty completed its final season as a FCS program in 2017, playing as a member of the Big South Conference.

The Flames will host their first FBS home game against Old Dominion on Sept. 1, the first of four FBS teams to visit Williams Stadium in 2018 to meet the FBS reclassification criteria. The 2018 home schedule also features FBS matchups against North Texas (Sept. 22), Troy (Oct. 13) and New Mexico State (Nov. 24).

In the event that Liberty is invited to the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Flames Club members will have priority for tickets and other associated events and privileges.

Fans can support Liberty Football by joining the Flames Club, which exists to underwrite Liberty Athletics' three-fold mission to train Champions for Christ, provide a world-class student-athlete experience and achieve victory with integrity.

Flames Club membership starts at just $60 and members can enjoy preferred parking, seating and pregame hospitality benefits, based upon membership level. For more information about the Flames Club, please call 434-582-CLUB (2582) or email

For more information about becoming a football season ticket holder, please contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) or