Top Crawford County defensive line to watch entering 2021 high school football season

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

This is the third in a series of players to watch unveiled by position. The first two were the defensive backs and linebackers.

High school football is back in full swing as the teams in Crawford County have returned from the dead period to begin preseason work.

Here are the defensive line players to watch for the Crawford County teams for the upcoming season:

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RJ Billingsley (6-3, 250), Alma, Sr.: Billingsley will be one of the mainstays on the offensive line for the Airedales but will also see playing time on the defensive line. He played five games last season and has battled back from a knee injury in the offseason.

Tyree Mongold (5-11, 177), Cedarville, Sr.: Along with Nathaniel Smith, Mongold is one of the few seniors to return to the defensive line. He'll also start at right tackle on offense, as well.

Gus Newton (6-1, 215), Mountainburg, Sr.: Newton, a 2A-4 All-Conference honorable mention last season, will anchor the defensive line for the Dragons. He will also take snaps at running back.

Nathaniel Smith (5-11, 165), Cedarville, Jr.: Smith tore his ACL last season, but he is on pace to return to full speed by August. Smith is also slated to start as the left tackle on offense.

Nathan Smith (6-2, 270), Alma, Sr.:  Smith Started at center last season but will see more time on the defensive line. He will still pull double duty and play on both sides of the line.

Other defensive linemen to watch: Bryson Bentley, Cedarville; Zach Heaton, Cedarville; John Beard, Cedarville.