UCLA Football 2018: Projecting the Depth Chart – Defensive Line

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Jermaine Eluemunor
COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Jermaine Eluemunor /
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Nose Tackle

  1. Chigozie Nnoruka, 6-1, 294, R-Jr.
  2. Martin Andrus, 6-1, 298, So.
  3. Otito Ogbonnia, 6-4, 315, Fr.
  4. Atonio Mafi, 6-2, 380, Fr.
  5. Ethan Matus, 6-5, 250, Fr.

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Chigozie Nnoruka had a coming out party last year. He had the most total tackles of any returning defensive lineman with 49. He was also second on the team in tackles for a loss with 8.5. He proved that he could muscle players around, get into the backfield and generally disrupt the offense. That talent should only be amplified with this coaching staff.

Andrus played in 11 games last season but did not produce much. With his efforts to improve in the offseason, he should see the field a lot more in 2018. One of his strength is, in fact, his strength which he will need as he tries to bulldoze through the line.

The Bruins have some back up at the nose tackle spot as Kelly landed several talented prospects last signing day. Otitio Ogbonnia and Atonio Mafi are two that will make a difference every time they are on the field.

Ogbonnia is a very large human. He doesn’t have a ton of speed but has the push and determination which can make him an ideal candidate at NT. He currently has the edge over Mafi who just recently started working without a yellow/non-contact jersey.

Mafi was still recovering from an Achilles injury that he suffered in high school but is going all out now that he has been cleared. Expect him to slowly make his way back as he gets his conditioning up to speed. But once he does, watch out, this massive DL will throw all 380-pounds of weight around.