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  College Player Notes by Position: DT
Previous 25 DT Notes Next 25 DT Notes

01/29/18- Jabril Robinson, rJr, Clemson, 6-2, 270
Clemson reserve defensive tackle Jabril Robinson is leaving the program for his final season. Robinson announced his decision Monday on the team's Twitter feed. He said he's grateful for his development, both on and off the field, during his four years at Clemson, but felt he would have a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. With the return of starting tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, along with key reserve Albert Huggins, there appeared to be little space for the 6-foot-2, 270-pound redshirt junior to make a mark next fall. Robinson is the third Clemson player to leave the program this offseason. Quarterbacks Zerrick Cooper and Tucker Israel also transferred. - AP College Football

01/27/18- Nathan Shepherd, Sr, Fort Hays State, 6-4, 310
Top 15 Senior Bowl Performers: 2. Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State...One of the top non-FBS prospects in the 2018 draft class, Shepherd stood out immediately with his nimble lower body and powerful upper body. Unfortunately, he broke his hand during Wednesday's practice, but his performance through two practices was enough to create top-100 buzz among scouts. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/24/18- Nathan Shepherd, Sr, Fort Hays State, 6-4, 310
Senior Bowl Wednesday: Fort Hays State defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd has had a dominant two days of practice. His point-of-attack power and agile lower body were evident on Wednesday -- and when he used both in unison, only Will Hernandez could keep him corralled. Unfortunately, he sustained a broken hand toward the end of the practice and is done for the week. But Shepherd raised his profile in Mobile and was the best defensive lineman on the North squad through two practices. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/22/18- *Harrison Phillips, rJr, Stanford, 6-3, 303
2018 Senior Bowl: 7 Potential Breakout Players: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford, #66, North...On field and off, Phillips was a difference-maker for the Cardinal, remarkably leading the team in stops from his defensive tackle position with 103 takedowns, including 17 tackles for loss. To top it off, he was one of 11 players in the FBS named to the AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most coveted off-field awards in college football. Phillips is not as flashy an athlete as some of this year's other freakish defensive linemen, but no one incorporates strength, quickness, technique and instincts better. He enters Senior Bowl week as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 23 prospect. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

01/20/18- Christian Wilkins, Jr, Clemson, 6-3, 300
NFL Early Entries: College Winners and Losers: Big winner -- CLEMSON: Heavens. If the Tigers had returned any of their three potential first-round draft picks along the defensive line -- ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, and tackle Christian Wilkins -- it would have been a coup. But all three came back, citing some form of "unfinished business" after a playoff semifinal loss to Alabama, to re-join true sophomore tackle Dexter Lawrence in what could be one of the all-time great defensive fronts. But that's not all. Left tackle Mitch Hyatt -- look for him on all your preseason All-America teams -- also is coming back to anchor an offense that lost receivers Ray-Ray McCloud and Deon Cain early to the draft but returns all the key pieces in the backfield. If Clemson isn't the preseason No. 1, it's 1B behind Alabama. - Anthony Gimino, The Sports Xchange

01/20/18- *Tim Settle, rSo, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 335
NFL Early Entries: College Winners and Losers: Loser -- VIRGINIA TECH: It wasn't a shock that fast-rising linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, a sure-fire first-rounder, left for the NFL, but so did his brother, safety Terrell Edmunds (whose stock is more of the day-two variety). Another big piece of coordinator Bud Foster's defense departed -- defensive tackle Tim Settle, who emerged as a force with 12.5 tackles for loss this season before forgoing his final two years of eligibility. - Anthony Gimino, The Sports Xchange

01/20/18- DreMont Jones, rSo, Ohio State, 6-2, 295
NFL Early Entries, WINNERS: Ohio State...Cornerback Denzel Ward, who decided to skip the bowl game, is primed to become the latest Buckeyes corner taken in the first round, but Ohio State is well stocked behind him. Losing defensive end Sam Hubbard and linebacker Jerome Baker was expected. The big news for the Buckeyes came when third-year sophomore defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones decided to stick around for another season. Jones has first-round potential, and defensive tackles with his skill set are the scarcest commodity in college football. The Buckeyes also retained four receivers (Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin) with NFL potential. - AP College Football

01/19/18- *Harrison Phillips, rJr, Stanford, 6-3, 303
DT Harrison Phillips is an impressive individual. Off the field, he earned Academic All-America honors and graduated early with a double-degree from one of this country's top universities. On the field, Phillips recorded 103 tackles, including 17 for loss, which are remarkable numbers for any position, but especially impressive considering he lined up as a nose tackle in the Cardinal's 3-4 scheme. Phillips doesn't play with much flash and won't produce off-the-chart numbers at the Combine, so the Senior Bowl is the perfect place to showcase his skill-set. He is a bully at the point of attack with his hammer hands and wrestling background, making him a nuisance to block. Phillips is highly intelligent and relies on various techniques to consistently be in the right place at the right time. -- Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

01/15/18- Christian Wilkins, Jr, Clemson, 6-3, 300
DT Christian Wilkins, a two-time All-American, is returning for his senior season. Wilkins, a Lombardi Award finalist, was considered to be a first-round pick if he entered the NFL draft after making 55 tackles, including 4.5 sacks this past season.

01/15/18- Jerry Tillery, Jr, Notre Dame, 6-5, 306
Jerry Tillery's Twitter bio is bilingual. The first statement says simply, "University of Notre Dame." The next line, however, is not as universally understood. "Solo se vive una vez," Notre Dame's junior nose guard wrote. Or, in English: "You only live once." Of course, the rest of Tillery's life has yet to be written. But as for the next 12 months, a decision has been made. On Monday, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Twitter that Tillery and fellow junior Te'von Coney will both return to Notre Dane in 2018 rather than entering the upcoming NFL Draft. Monday marked the deadline for eligible underclassmen to declare. Previously, two of Notre Dame's junior offensive standouts running back Josh Adams and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown made the opposite decision, foregoing their senior seasons in South Bend in favor of the NFL. "We talk about the mission everyday: graduate our players and win a national championship," Kelly tweeted. "While I'm excited to have Jerry and Te'von return from a football standpoint, I'm proud that they both believe in this mission and value the significance of the ND degree." - Mike Vorel, South Bend Tribune

01/15/18- Christian Wilkins, Jr, Clemson, 6-3, 300
Two-time All-American Christian Wilkins will return for his senior year in 2018. Wilkins informed the Clemson football staff of his decision Monday afternoon. With Wilkins's return, Clemson will have three returning first-team All-Americans and four returning All-ACC players among its front four defenders for 2018. On Saturday, first-team All-American defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant both announced they would return for 2018. The fourth returning starter, Dexter Lawrence, will be a junior next year and was a first-team All-ACC performer in 2017 after being named a unanimous freshman All-American in 2016.

Last year Clemson ranked second in the nation in scoring defense (13.6), fourth in total defense (276.7), fourth in pass defense (161.9) and tied for first in sacks (46). Additionally, Clemson was second in fewest yards per play allowed (4.27), and second in passing yards per attempt (5.7). Wilkins, who earned his Clemson undergraduate degree in just two and a half years, earned All-America honors in 2016 and 2017 and has been a two-time Academic All-ACC selection as well. He is expected to be announced on the academic team for a third time later this month. - Clemson Football

01/13/18- *Trenton Thompson, Jr, Georgia, 6-3, 295
Georgia junior defensive tackle Trenton Thompson is entering the NFL draft despite a decline in production in 2017. Thompson had three sacks and was named MVP in Georgia's Liberty Bowl win over Texas Christian following the 2016 season. He had no sacks in 2017. Thompson, from Albany, Georgia, helped lead this year's team to its first Southeastern Conference championship since 2015 and a spot in the national championship game. He had 38 tackles, including 3 for loss, this season. Thompson announced he was entering the NFL draft on his Instagram account. He wrote the decision followed "long discussion with my family and coaches." He added "playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mind and I'm excited to see what the future holds." - AP College Football

01/12/18- *Trenton Thompson, Jr, Georgia, 6-3, 295
Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson announced he will enter the 2018 NFL draft. Thompson, a junior, came to Georgia as one of the top prospects in the nation in 2015. In three seasons, Thompson has been one of Georgia's top contributors on defense. This past season, Thompson totaled 38 tackles as part of a deep rotation on the defensive line. "After long discussion with his my family and coaches I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft," Thompson wrote on his personal Instagram page. "I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach (Kirby) Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last 3 years."

Statistically, Thompson's best season came in 2016, when he tallied 64 tackles and five sacks. He had a huge Liberty Bowl game that saw him record three sacks and earn MVP honors. One of his better games of the 2017 season came in the national championship loss against Alabama. Thompson recorded three tackles, with half of a tackle going for a loss. In early December, Thompson initially hinted that he might be returning to Georgia with an Instagram post captioned, "Looking ahead! #UGA19 #SeniorSoon." However, after Georgia's 54-48 double overtime win over Oklahoma, Thompson said his decision wasn't final and that his family would play a role in it. "I love Georgia so everything will come down to my mom," Thompson said. Thompson is the first underclassman at Georgia to announce he is declaring for the NFL draft. - Jason Butt, Macon.com

01/10/18- *DaRon Payne, Jr, Alabama, 6-2, 308
Less than 48 hours after Alabama's dramatic win over Georgia in the national championship game, three players for the Crimson Tide announced their intention to enter the NFL Draft. No player boosted his stock at the end of the season more than Payne, who earned defensive MVP honors in both the national title game as well as the Alabama's semifinal win over Clemson. Payne had an interception against Clemson and registered six tackles in the come-from-behind win over Georgia that secured the school's fifth national title in nine seasons. - The Sports Xchange

01/10/18- Youhanna Ghaifan, rSo, Wyoming, 6-3, 290
2017 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): DL Youhanna Ghaifan So. Wyoming,...Ghaifan was named First Team All-Mountain West as a sophomore. He ranked second among all MW defensive linemen in tackles (5.8 tackles per game), trailing only his teammate Granderson. Ghaifan had 13.0 tackles for loss to rank No. 3 in the league, and he recorded 5.0 sacks to rank No. 6 in the Mountain West. He helped the Cowboys rank No. 1 in the MW and No. 36 in the nation in sacks, averaging 2.33 sacks per game as a team, and rank No. 2 in the conference and No. 34 nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 6.80 tackles for loss per game. His best game of the season came in a road win at Air Force when he recorded 11 tackles, 1.0 sack and 2.0 tackles for loss. - Wyoming Football

01/10/18- Mike Hughes Jr., Sr, UNLV, 6-2, 306
2017 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): DL Mike Hughes, Jr. Sr. UNLV,...Senior defensive lineman Mike Hughes Jr., (Las Vegas/Palo Verde HS), who was honorable mention in 2016, was named Second Team All-MW this time around after ending his career with 36 consecutive starts at the tackle spot. The team captain finished seventh on the squad with a career-high 53 tackles in the middle, including a Rebel-best 7.0 tackles for loss. He had two quarterback sacks and blocked an extra-point attempt. Hughes is the first UNLV defensive lineman to be voted either first or second team all-conference since the late Jeremy Geathers in 2006 and the first defensive tackle from the program to be so honored since Tiger Townes was second team All-Big West in 1993. - UNLV Football

01/09/18- Jamal Stadom, rSr, Troy, 6-1, 280
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Jamal Stadom (Troy, DL, Sr.),...Folsom led the Trojans with 77 tackles and was third with nine tackles for loss, while Stadom added a team-best six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position. - Troy Football

01/09/18- Trevon Sanders, Jr, Troy, 6-0, 310
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): Trevon Sanders (Troy, DL, Jr.),...One of the top interior defensive linemen in the league, Sanders had five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. - Troy Football

01/09/18- *DaRon Payne, Jr, Alabama, 6-2, 308
The national championship showdown between Alabama and Georgia drew 28.443 million viewers, making it the second-most watched title game in the four-year-old format of the College Football Playoff. Alabama beat Georgia in overtime , rallying from 13 points down in the second half before winning with a game-ending touchdown pass . Viewership for the all-Southeastern Conference matchup was up 13 percent from last season's Clemson-Alabama rematch from the season before. The first CFP championship game between Oregon and Ohio State after the 2014 season drew nearly 34 million viewers, a record for ESPN. This season's CFP semifinals on Jan. 1 and Monday night's championship game averaged more than 26.2 million viewers, up 21 percent from last year. The New Year's Six bowls and championship game drew an average of 17 million viewers, the most in four years of the format. - AP College Football

01/09/18- Roy Lopez, So, New Mexico State, 6-1, 310
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Roy Lopez (New Mexico State, DL, So.),...O.J. Clark, Terrill Hanks, Roy Lopez and Anthony Muse wrapped up the list of NM State honorees with Sun Belt Honorable Mention nods. - New Mexico State Football

01/09/18- *DaRon Payne, Jr, Alabama, 6-2, 308
Alabama defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne was defensive player of the game. Payne had six tackles and was part of an Alabama defensive front that shut down Georgia's running game in the second half. Payne also intercepted a tipped pass, helping to set up a field goal. - AP College Football

01/08/18- *Kahlil McKenzie Jr., Jr, Tennessee, 6-3, 320
Tennessee Volunteers junior defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie is leaving for the NFL, posting his decision to enter the draft on Instagram Sunday. "I want to thank my coaches for the opportunity they gave me to attend this amazing University," McKenzie wrote. "I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me everyday, I love every last one of y'all. The memories I have with y'all make me smile and proud to have been your teammate. I have so much love in my heart for all of y'all and hope that you can have that same love for me at the next level." McKenzie, the son of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, was limited to seven games in 2016 due to a pectoral injury but he came back with 35 tackles and two sacks this season. McKenzie is the third Volunteer to bypass his final seasons of eligibility and declare for the draft thus far, joining running back John Kelly and defensive back Rashaan Gaulden. - The Sports Xchange

01/08/18- Kevon Perry, Sr, Louisiana, 6-0, 298
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Kevon Perry (Louisiana, DL, Sr.),...Perry, from Buffalo, N.Y., led all Ragin' Cajuns defensive linemen in tackles (49) and tackles for loss (10.5) on the season. He finished second on the team in sacks (3.5) recorded a career-high nine tackles with two stops for loss at Texas A&M. Perry had four tackles with a pair of sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against New Mexico State and opened the season with five tackles against Southeastern Louisiana. - Louisiana Football

01/08/18- Taboris Lee, Sr, Louisiana, 6-1, 295
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Taboris Lee (Louisiana, DL, Sr.),...Lee recorded 29 tackles in 11 starts at nose tackle for the Ragin' Cajuns. The Ackerman, Miss., native played in all 12 games for the Ragin' Cajuns with 11 starts, posting a season-high six tackles against ULM and adding four stops in games against Tulsa and Georgia Southern. - Louisiana Football

01/08/18- Dee Liner, rSr, Arkansas State, 6-2, 337
2017 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES/MEDIA): Dee Liner (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.),...Representing the squad as honorable mention selections were Omar Bayless (Soph., WR), B.J. Edmonds (Soph. DB), Dee Liner (Sr., DL) and Jacob Still (Fr., OL). - Arkansas State Football

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