The holes aren't as clearly filled on the defense but, that's not due to a lack of talent but, more so due to plenty of competition to fill the roles. The easiest plug-and-play on the defense is replacing Justin Eboigbe with Texas A&M transfer LT Overton a former five-star who will help boost the defensive line.
Edge Rusher will be one of the biggest competitions this spring with a massive group of returnees and incoming freshmen ready to see the field. The returnees are loaded with talent in former top recruits Qua Russaw, Keon Keeley, Keanu Koht, Jeremiah Alexander, and Yhonzae Piere among several other returnees. The team also adds three four-star edge rushers in this year's recruiting class in Jayshawn Ross, Noah Carter, and Sterling Dixon.
The defensive backs will be tasked with replacing two of the best cornerbacks in college football and one of the best safeties in college as well as a starter in Jaylen Key. The team added Domani Jackson at cornerback who is almost a lock to start at cornerback. Outside of Jackson, the remaining three spots will either be filled by returnees or freshmen with the freshman class bringing some of the top talents in the country. Tony Mitchell and Jahlil Hurley will lead the returnees for a chance to start at corner while DeVonta Smith will certainly start at safety. The cornerback position also has true freshmen Jaylen Mbakwe, Zabien Brown, Zavier Mincey, and Dre Kirkpatrick Jr ready to step in at corner.