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2014 Training Camp Preview: Defense

August 24, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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During the month of August, LibertyFlames.com will preview each position on Liberty's football roster before the Flames open the season on the road at North Carolina on Saturday.

LibertyFlames.com continues its series today by looking at the Flames' defense, a group that is looking to replace seven of 11 starters from 2013.

Last year, Liberty's defense shined, finishing the year ranked No. 3 in the country in red zone defense (66.7 conversation rate), No. 5 in scoring defense (17.6 points allowed per game) and No. 9 in total defense (313.9 yards allowed per game).

Liberty's successful defense last year was paced by a series of seniors, starting with three on the defensive line: Cory Freeman (DE), Francis Bah (DT) and Jibrille Fewell (NG).

The Flames also lost three-year starting linebacker Scott Hyland (WLB), along with defensive backs Aaron Dial (SS), Kevin Fogg (FC) and Walt Aikens (BC). The last two starters lost are currently playing in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

The returning starters looking to keep Liberty's strong defense ranked among the best in the country start with Chima Uzowihe on the defensive line. The right end led the team with 7.0 sacks and finished the season with 43 tackles (20 solo, 23 assisted).

Nick Sigmon will anchor the Flames' linebackers for the fourth year in row. The senior middle linebacker has started 32 career games and is the Flames' active career tackles leader with 174 career stops (92 solo, 82 assisted). Joining Sigmon will be strong side linebackers Andrew Jauch and Bobby Partilla, who shared the starting responsibilities in 2013.

Liberty's final returning starter is AP All-America third-team honoree Jacob Hagen. The returning free safety ranked third on Liberty's team in 2013 with a career best 61 tackles (34 solo, 27 assisted) and seven interceptions, which ranked No. 9 in the country. 

Below is a look at Liberty's complete defensive depth chart following the completion of August preseason training camp.

LibertyFlames.com will conclude its position previews on Monday when the website takes a look at Liberty's overall offense.

Depth Chart
DE
Toby Onyechi, R-Sr., 6-2, 270
Gerald Holt, So., 6-3, 295
DT
Dominique Davis, Sr., 6-5, 285
Dylan Bowman, Sr., 6-3, 245
NG
JaRon Greene, So., 6-2, 310
Nolan Spicer, Jr., 6-3, 270
RE
Chima Uzowihe, Jr., 6-2, 250
Erwin Dessources, So., 6-1, 235
SAM
Andrew Jauch, Sr., 6-1, 215
Bobby Partilla, Sr., 6-1, 225
MIKE
Nick Sigmon, Sr., 6-1, 245
Jimmy O'Grady, Jr., 6-0, 225
WILL
Dylan Lewellyn, Sr., 6-1, 220
Nick Newman, So., 6-4, 210
FC
Wesley Scott, So., 5-10, 175
Tyrin Holloway, R-Fr., 6-0, 190
SS
Gary Sampson, So., 5-11, 190
or Alpha Jalloh, So., 6-1, 195
Charles Williams, So., 5-10, 190
FS
Jacob Hagen, Sr., 6-3, 205
Avery "A.J." James, Fr., 6-0, 180
BC
Kenny Scott, Sr., 5-10, 180
Justin Guillory, R-Fr., 6-0, 180
NICK
Wesley Scott, So., 5-10, 175
Ray Ferguson, So., 5-9, 165