JONESBORO — Arkansas State's rebuilt defense will feature plenty of new faces during its season opener against No. 8 Southern California on Saturday.
ASU released its first depth chart of the season Monday and on it are 10 defensive players who weren’t on the team last year, five of whom are projected starters.
That group will be charged with slowing a USC offense led by quarterback Cody Kessler, a Heisman Trophy candidate who ASU defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen called “the best quarterback I’ve played against.”
Of the newcomers listed as starters are defensive tackles Waylon Roberson and Jake Swalley, both junior college transfers, weakside linebacker Tajhea Chambers, who was recruited as a quarterback, and safeties Cody Brown and Allen Sentimore.
“Inexperience? Yeah, it’s a concern,” head coach Blake Anderson said during ASU’s weekly news conference Monday. “But as I’ve said before, I’ve been watching both ends, I was really pleased with the way those guys have come together.”
Of the newcomers listed as backups are defensive tackles Donovan Ransom, a freshman, Robert Mondie, a transfer from Alabama-Birmingham, freshman defensive end Griffin Riggs, freshman nickelback Justin Clifton and freshman safety Chauncey Mason.
See Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full coverage.