FAU Football: Previewing the Defensive Linemen

There are currently nine defensive linemen on roster, including six returners.


Erika Fletcher

Defensive lineman Decarius Hawthorne (#90) and defensive ends Marlon Krakue (#54) both celebrating after a sack during last season’s game against UAB.

Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor

With less than three months until the Owls’ 2023 season, the UP will evaluate each position group on the roster. Today, we will look at the defensive linemen.

The defensive line is the frontline of the defense, responsible for stopping the run and rushing the quarterback.

Last season, FAU tallied 18 total sacks for 90 yards which ranked ninth in Conference USA and 114th in the nation. Now, new defensive line coach Roosevelt Maggitt Jr. will look to build upon those numbers this season, while making up for the loss of Jaylen Joyner, who transferred to the University of Memphis. 

To do so, he’ll be looking towards returners, redshirt junior Latrell Jean and junior Evan Anderson. Jean had a career-best 25 total tackles and 2.5 sacks last season, while Anderson, who was sidelined a chunk of the season due to injury, finished with a career-low 24 total tackles and one sack last season, but was named Second Team All-C-USA.

With no sacks last season, junior Decarius Hawthorne will also be returning and looking to improve with this newly imagined Owls defense. Junior Jaden Wheeler is another name to look out for on the field to make an impact on the Owls front. Wheeler had a total of 13 tackles last season.

Redshirt junior Deondrick Harper has not had an impactful season yet with the Owls during his career. Last season, in the limited action he saw Harper had only a total of three tackles. Junior Malcolm Lamar also saw the field but did not have much of an impact, statistically.

Three of the newest players for the Owls are freshmen Richard Thomas Jr., Kiemar Richardson, and redshirt junior transfer Jude Ekolo.

The Owls defensive front will look a lot different without the presence of Joyner, who when fully healthy in 2021 led the team in sacks, but that leaves the opportunity for any of the defensive linemen to step up and fill that void next season. The expected players to start on September 2 against the University of Monmouth will probably be Jean and Anderson.

Maddox Greenberg is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Twitter @MaddoxGreenberg and Instagram @maddoxblade04.