Experienced SDSU defense loaded with talent across the board


BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — While the SDSU offense may get most of the shine, the Jacks defense will be of the one of the best in the country. With nearly the entire unit returning from a season ago, chemistry won’t be an issue.

The 2021 SDSU Jackrabbits defense will feature an array of different looks

“They’re going to see a lot of variety, they’re going to see an odd front, an even front, they’re going to see us blitz, they’ll see us fake blitz, they’re going to see zone, man-to-man. I’m a defensive coach and I couldn’t coach all this stuff, and so I’m glad I’m the head coach, but our players can handle it so we do it,” SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.

“Ten of the eleven guys are back from last year’s team, every one besides Preston Tetzlaff. So, that makes it really easy on the first-team defense. We’ve played with each other, we played 10 games together. So, we have that cohesiveness on defense and those guys are very intelligent people, they already know the playbook so we can just fly around and have fun,” SDSU starting linebacker Logan Backhaus said.

With so much talent on both sides of the ball, the offensive line, better known as the Hogs, has helped shape the Jacks defensive front 4

“Those are my best friends, the Hogs are my best friends, the Hogs are Caleb’s best friends, Stacker’s best friends. I mean, honestly, it’s just a good environment because each side has to make each other better,” SDSU starting defensive tackle Xavier Ward said.

“We have the best D-line in the country. All those guys have been flying around, making a lot of plays and you can tell every day that they come to practice with very high energy and that helps the offense too stay motivated too,” SDSU starting Wideout Jaxon Janke said.

Of the many leaders on the defense, there’s maybe none more prominent and paramount than starting linebacker Logan Backhaus.

“Number one he’s a great play-maker, he’s always around the ball. If there’s an interception to be snagged by somebody, he’ll be the guy that gets it, but then his leadership and his confidence and knowledge of the football game is so impressive,” Steigelmeier said speaking of Backhaus. “I think there’s guys in our program that say I want to grow up to be like Logan Backhaus.”

SDSU opens its season Friday, September 3rd at Colorado State.

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