Liberty’s 2022 defensive line was arguably the strength of the team with its ability to pressure the quarterback and wreak havoc on opposing backfields. In 2023, the Flames will look to have the same level of success despite having a new coaching staff and a new look depth chart.

Skylor Magee takes over as co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, coming to Liberty from Coastal Carolina. He will have to find some help in offsetting the lost production with Durrell Johnson, Treshaun Clark, and others no longer on the roster.

Kendy Charles will be the anchor of the line, at defensive tackle. He is the team’s top returning tackler as he finished 2022 with 59 tackles as well as 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

“He understands the defense,” Coach Magee said of Charles. “He understands the techniques, the fundamentals. It’s nice to have guys like that that can help you coach as well.”

Others that could emerge on the interior of the line alongside Charles include Jay Hardy and Bryce Dixon. Hardy, the former Auburn transfer, played in 13 games for the Flames last season in his first year on the field in Lynchburg. He recorded 23 tackles as he was primarily a reserve. As a true freshman, Dixon played in 8 games last year and recorded 10 tackles.

Khristian Zachary has made the switch to be a full time defensive tackle after going back and forth between tackle and defensive end. One of the highest rated recruits in school history, Zachary played in 12 games in 2022 with 10 tackles.

We could also see JUCO transfer Tysheik Galloway break into the rotation in the fall. Galloway is a 3-star defensive tackle from Honea Path, South Carolina. The 6’2″, 295 pound product has two years of eligibility and a redshirt year remaining coming out of Coffeyville Junior College.  This past season, Galloway had 36 tackles, 4 sacks, and 5 pass breakups.

At defensive end, the Flames will turn to Stephen Sings V and Bryan Whitehead II to help lead the way. Sings started 4 games last year finishing with 13 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has proven his ability to rush the passer during his time at Liberty and now he should have the ability to see even more playing time than before.

JUCO All-American Bryan Whitehead II will be playing the newly minted ‘Joker’ position which is very similar to the Bandit position Liberty has had in recent seasons. This will allow Whitehead to play in a defensive end spot in some packages and as more of an outside linebacker in others.

A couple of other guys that could be expected to play this fall are CJ Bazile and TJ Bush. Bazile played in 7 games last season with 7 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Ever since stepping on campus, Bazile has impressed the Liberty coaching staff, and he should now get a lot more opportunities on the field.

Bush is a 6’3″, 250 pound defensive lineman that is coming in as a true freshman. Bush was committed to Coastal Carolina, but the Alexandria, Virginia native visited Liberty after the coaching change. The 6’3″, 250 pound athlete is a three-star rated prospect who also had offers from Boston College, Charlotte, Marshall, Maryland, and Vanderbilt.

Previous Roster Reviews:
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End
Offensive Line