With the Memphis Tigers moving up to the Big East in 2013, the team will need playmakers to step up on both sides of the ball. The defensive side of the ball is in good hands as Memphis moves up to the BCS ranks with many of their top players returning next fall. Nobody will be more ready to step up and break out with the new big stage than defensive end Martin Ifedi.
Last season, Ifedi was the man in the Memphis pass rush, leading the team by a wide margin with 7.5 sacks. He enters his first season in the Big East with the most sacks of any returning player and will look to take the next step during his junior season and become one of the premier pass rushers in college football. In addition to the sacks, Ifedi made 46 tackles, including 11 for loss and a pair of forced fumbles.
There isn’t a lot of depth at any position for Memphis heading into 2013, so Ifedi will have to step up and carry the load for the Tigers’ pass rush next season. Sophomore Ricky Hunter returns after finishing No. 2 on the team in sacks last season with three quarterback takedowns. He showed some flashes of becoming another great pass rusher, but until he does, Ifedi will be counted on to shoulder the burden.
There are plenty of obstacles facing Memphis as they make the transition to a new conference in 2013. With Ifedi coming off the edge, the Tigers know they have at least one serious pass rush option in the fold. Is he enough to carry the Tigers’ defense next fall?