Landrum keys a talented Jacksonville State defensive front
FRISCO, Texas-Jacksonville State (Ala.) senior Chris Landrum started his college football career at a Power Five conference school before he decided to head to an NCAA Division I FCS programs a couple hours away. The defensive end has no regrets....
FRISCO, Texas-Jacksonville State (Ala.) senior Chris Landrum started his college football career at a Power Five conference school before he decided to head to an NCAA Division I FCS programs a couple hours away. The defensive end has no regrets.
Landrum spent two years at Auburn before transferring to Jacksonville State where he's developed into one of the top defensive players for the Gamecocks.
"I loved my time at Auburn, but I love the decision that I made to transfer to Jacksonville State too," said Landrum, who transferred prior to the 2013 season. "I've always wanted to play for a national championship at the college level and I'm getting a chance to do it."
Four-time defending national champion North Dakota State (12-2) and Jacksonville State (13-1) play at 11 a.m. Saturday at Toyota Stadium for the FCS national title. The Gamecocks are the No. 1 seed while the Bison are trying to win an unprecedented fifth consecutive national crown.
"We know that they're a great football team and the chance to knock them off is a sweet opportunity for us," said Landrum, who leads Jacksonville State with 8.5 sacks.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Landrum is part of a Gamecocks defensive line that features three transfers from SEC schools. Defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler, like Landrum, also transferred from Auburn. Nose tackle Allan Carson transferred from Tennessee.
Landrum played in one game in his two seasons at Auburn, including a redshirt year. Sigler played in all 13 games for Auburn as a reserve defensive tackle in 2011. He made two tackles in 2012 for the Tigers.
At Tennessee, Carson played in five games as a true freshman in 2011. He didn't play in any games in 2012 and redshirted in 2013.
"I'm glad that all those guys transferred and I'm here playing with them," the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Sigler said. "They've helped me mentally and physically."
Landrum is impressed with a physical Bison offensive line, which averages 308 pounds a starter. One of the keys to Saturday's title game is to win the battle in the trenches.
"It's going to be a great matchup," Jacksonville State head coach John Grass said. "It's going to be a very physical game."
The Gamecocks allowed 36.5 points per game in their first two playoff games before a 62-10 victory against Sam Houston State in the semifinals.
"We're at a top-notch level right now," Landrum said.
Landrum, Sigler and sophomore defensive end Darius Jackson have combined for 17.5 sacks this season. That trio has also combined for 38.5 tackles for a loss.
"They're really aggressive up front," Bison head coach Chris Klieman said. "They're really disruptive. They don't play on the line of scrimmage, they play in your backfield."
Bison offensive tackle Landon Lechler said it will be a challenge to handle the Jacksonville State defensive front. NDSU is averaging 240.6 rushing yards per game and has allowed 16 sacks through 14 games.
"They're big guys, they move really well, use their hands well," said the 6-foot-7, 301-pound Lechler said. "They're obviously coming from Auburn, Tennessee, stuff like that. They look the part."