Dover, Del. (Aug. 19, 2019) --- Two players who returned school after earning diplomas last spring highlight Delaware State’s 2019 defensive line. Graduate seniors Christian Johnson (6-2, 255) and transfer Brandon Carswell (6-0, 240) will serve as bookends along the front line this season.
Johnson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is a 2019 Preseason All-MEAC Second Team selection. He is tops among returning DSU defensive linemen with 33 total tackles, including 16 solo stops, and was tied for fifth on the Hornets with 5.5 tackles for loss (1.5 sacks) in 2018.
“Christian is a high-energy player and a strong leader on the line,” said Hornet defensive coordinator and D-line coach Mark James. “He turned down job offers after graduation because he loves the game and being part of what we’re trying to build here.”
Carswell (Mt. Vernon, Ga.) joined the Hornets this summer after graduating from former MEAC member Savannah State last spring with a year of eligibility remaining.
He was an All-MEAC Third Team selection in 2017 after recording 35 tackles, including 16 solo stops, as a junior in 2017. In addition, he was credited with nine tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one quarterback hurry in 10 games that season.
“Brandon is an explosive player who can compete on the inside and outside on the line,” said James. “He’s equally effective against the run and pass, and his experience will be a valuable asset for us this season.”
The middle of the Hornets’ defensive front is expected to be manned by converted offensive lineman Liki Seu (jr.; 6-2; 340), who switched during the spring.
“Liki gives us a big body in the middle; a “two-gapper” who is physical, but light-footed enough to help from side-to-side,” James said.
Two first-year players, former Caesar Rodney (Del.) High School standout William Burke; and Marcus Winfield, son of former DSU defensive end Jason Winfield, are also expected to see plenty of action along the line this season.
Other expected 2019 defensive line contributors include Corey St. John (so.; 6-2, 290), Temple transfer Carrington Jones (r-fr.; 6-1, 280) and Terrance Bridgers (fr.; 6-2, 310).
The Hornets will play a record seven home games this season. The home opener is Sep. 14 against Lincoln (Pa.). The Faith and Community Day contest is set for 4:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium. DSU’s annual homecoming game is the following Saturday (Sep. 21 @ 2:00 p.m.) against Howard.