2004 UNM Football Outlook: Part VII
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/05/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 5, 2004

Like the safety group, New Mexico's defensive line will be retooled in 2004 after losing three all-conference players to graduation. Under defensive coordinator Osia Lewis' tutelage, Daniel Kegler, D.J. Renteria and Zach Rupp helped form one of the top defensive line units in school history. Renteria notched career-highs in tackles (41), tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (5), while Rupp enjoyed a breakthrough season, finishing with 55 tackles, four sacks and a league-best 17 tackles for loss. Kegler, meanwhile, led the league with 7.5 sacks. The cupboard is not bare, however, as promising junior Marcus Parker and senior Kyle Coulter return to lead the group. The duo combined to start 11 games and record 46 tackles last year. Parker once again displayed a tremendous knack for wreaking havok in the backfield, posting eight tackles for loss, while the gutsy Coulter displayed surprising strength in his first year at nose tackle. Though a bit undersized, Parker (6-2, 269) and Coulter (6-0, 235) have both proven to be excellent playmakers throughout their careers. Parker continued that trend during the spring with his successful shift inside to nose tackle. With improved strength and greater confidence as a team leader, Parker has prepared well for his first year as a fulltime starter. Unfortunately, a chronic back ailment kept Coulter out of action during the spring, but, once he regains his strength, the coaching staff expects both players to continue to disrupt opposing offenses in 2004.


"Our system allows athletes to move within the scheme and be able to make plays if they play hard, use good leverage and know where they're going. Undersized guys can make plays in our scheme and [Marucs Parker and Kyle Coulter] have proven that in the past."
-Head coach Rocky Long

"Our system allows athletes to move within the scheme and be able to make plays if they play hard, use good leverage and know where they're going," said Long. "Undersized guys can make plays in our scheme and those two guys have proven that in the past." Though redshirt junior Bryan Easterly (6-3, 256) was lost early with a broken ankle, junior college transfer Adam Garday (6-2, 243) and a trio of redshirt freshmen in Michael Tuohy (6-2, 232), Stephen Hutchison (6-3, 231) and David Dorcey (6-3, 246) all stepped up and turned in strong performances during a critical spring practice season. The powerful Garday improved each week during the spring and appears ready to be a key contributor at defensive end. Tuohy, meanwhile, moved atop the lineup opposite Garday at left defensive end following Easterly's injury and quickly impressed the coaches with his hustle and athleticism.

Kyle Coulter will be an integral member of the defensive line rotation once he recovers from a back injury.

The UNM staff also believes Hutchison, a walk-on, could have a bright future at defensive end. He and Dorcey, a fellow walk-on, both gained solid experience during the spring and will look to make an impact this fall.Sophomore letterman Billy Brittain (6-2, 257) has a couple years experience at nose tackle, while converted outside linebacker George Carter (6-3, 227) moved to defensive end late in the spring and could play a role in the defensive line rotation as well. The coaching staff, meanwhile, will look to junior college transfer Freddie McGowen (6-5, 250) to provide an immediate presence when he arrives for preseason practice.