Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Fun-loving SGP defensive line becomes a fearsome foursome at game time
When it comes to measurables, the South Grand Prairie defensive line has pretty much everything you're looking for in a front four.
Kindred Evans and Roy Robertson go 6-5, 225 pounds and 6-6, 240, respectively, at the defensive end positions.
Defensive tackle Avery Jones is a stout 5-9, 250 and is the strongest member of the unit. His fellow interior lineman, Travis Golden (6-1, 260), is the heaviest of the bunch and can play any position on the line.
But defensive coordinator Mike Lawrence believes the greatest attribute of his front four is not its size (easily the tallest line he or defensive line coach Robert Young has ever coached), or its athleticism (the best Young said he has seen since Remi Ayodele of the New Orleans Saints was lining up for him).
What Lawrence likes most about his imposing front four is the camaraderie that fuels their friendship off the field and their chemistry on it. And that camaraderie is on display any time they're together.
Like everyone laughing at Robertson for refusing to call Jones the strongest. "Overall, yeah, he's stronger but ... OK," Robertson said with a sigh, to more laughter from his teammates.
Or Evans using a sideline reporter voice as he tells how Jones was decleated during a practice drill. "He rolled at least twice," Evans said.
But come Friday, none of them are talking or smiling.
In fact, before the game, no one on the tightknit unit even sits together. "We're zoned out," Robertson said of their pregame meal. "Nobody wants to talk to us. We don't talk to anybody."
And they carry that aggression onto the field to form one of the most formidable defensive lines in the area. "We like to feel like most nights we can go into the game and win the line of scrimmage," coach Robert Davies said.
One reason for that is the pass rushing of Evans, a Texas Tech commit, on one end and the balanced play of Robertson, who has received multiple offers from Football Bowl Subdivision schools, on the other end.
Young calls Golden, the lone junior on the line, his best all-around lineman because of his versatility. And the hard-nosed play of Jones, who Young called an "old school defensive lineman," is certainly not to be forgotten.
Together, the four have 107 tackles, including 45 by Robertson, and 10 sacks, with six of them belonging to Evans.
But just as telling as their numbers is the way the teammates fight for each other.
Like when all of them sing the praises of the shorter Jones, who they believe recruiters are overlooking. "With him, it's just height," Evans said. "If you can play, you can play, no matter how tall you are."
But Jones and his teammates are content to let their play on the field do the talking.
"I'm a funny guy, I make jokes and stuff, but when it comes to football and working, this is my passion," Jones said. "You come to football, it's time to work."
That attitude has paid off for SGP's defense.
SOUTH GRAND PRAIRIE'S DEFENSIVE LINE
Height/Weight: 6-5, 225
Notable: Evans is a pass rushing specialist who uses his speed off the edge to excel. He is the vocal leader of the defense. The Texas Tech commit leads the team in sacks, and defensive coordinator Mike Lawrence sees him as a pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Red Raiders. That may change, however, as Evans, who doctors project to be 6-9, continues to grow.
Height/Weight: 6-1, 260
Notable: Golden is the youngest of the linemen and joined the starting lineup as a sophomore last season. Golden, who defensive line coach Robert Young calls "Pup," can line up at any position on the line, which is why Young considers him the best all-around lineman. His coaches expect him to garner his fair share of recruiting interest as a senior next season.
Height/Weight: 5-9, 250
Notable: Jones is the comedian of the front four but said he now approaches the game with a level of seriousness that wasn't there the last two years. The senior is the strongest of the starting four and the best run stopper, according to Young. Jones competed at a camp at Texas State and said he is hoping to play there.
Height/Weight: 6-6, 240
Notable: Robertson lines up opposite Evans and is better against the run, according to Young. The defensive end's balanced play has him second on the team in tackles and second in sacks. And Robertson, like Evans, is not done growing. Doctors project him to be in the 6-9 range as well. Robertson has received multiple FBS offers and continues to garner interest as the season continues.