CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - There’s a lot a buzz surrounding the Chanticleers football team in 2020, especially on the defensive line.
The unit features studs like Tarron Jackson and CJ Brewer, among others, and is considered to be one of the best front fours in the Sun Belt.
“It’s just a testament of our work. Me, CJ Brewer and Jeff started off here,” said Jackson, a senior defensive lineman. “We’ve been working hard these past couple years and it’s starting to show now.”
Jackson is back to lead the unit after a record-setting season in 2019. His production as a junior has him on multiple watch lists for defensive player of the year awards.
Defensive coordinator Chad Staggs said his life is a lot easier with guys like Jackson on the field.
“It’s really good when you don’t even have to be out there for some of the practices,” Staggs said. “They can run their own practice. There’s a lot of experience up there and that front right there has a chance to be really good. You don’t have to get on those guys as much; they’re like coaches out there.”
The Chants’ defensive line will also welcome back a key contributor from the past. After transferring to NC State, Jeffrey Gunter is back in Conway.
As a sophomore, Gunter was a first team all-conference selection and led Coastal Carolina in tackles for a loss and sacks.
“Everybody was really accepting I guess you could say,” Brewer said of Gunter’s return. “He’s real joyful and you can tell he’s always happy to be back with us. We can tell this is his home and where he wanted to be. We just feel like he’s ready to go with us. He’s here working hard just like he did before he left.”
Though CCU’s defensive line has received a lot of praise as of late, senior linebackers Teddy Gallagher and Silas Kelly are poised to have monster seasons as well.