Following the departure of former head coach Mike Elko and a talented senior class, the Blue Devils, under new head coach Manny Diaz, had significant work to do this offseason to rebuild the roster. A key area of concern was the defensive tackle position, following the graduation of standout players DeWayne Carter and Ja’Mion Franklin. To address this, the program made a notable move by adding Liberty transfer Kendy Charles.

Charles, who has one year of eligibility remaining after four years with the Flames, brings valuable experience both on and off the field to the defensive line. The Orange Park, Fla., native accumulated 109 tackles during his time in Lynchburg, Va., and was named to the Phil Steele All-Independent First Team in his junior year.

Given these credentials, let’s examine the specific skills Charles will bring to Durham this fall.


Defensive tackles DeWayne Carter and Ja'Mion Franklin will both be sorely missed on the defensive line.


Like his predecessors Carter and Franklin, the graduate transfer doesn’t have elite size for the position, standing at 6-foot and 280 pounds. Instead, he relies on quick-twitch movements and short bursts of speed to make plays in the backfield. For example, watch him explode out of a stunt to chase down an opposing quarterback (0:05):

Despite being slightly undersized, Charles demonstrates impressive grip strength and the ability to fend off blockers while pushing the pocket. This was a consistent feature of his Liberty career, where he amassed 22.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. Check out his strength as he knocks back an offensive guard, sheds a block, and secures a sack in a crucial game against Arkansas (0:23):

Additionally, Charles is solid against the run, as indicated by his high tackle numbers. In a defense now led by one of the nation’s top defensive minds, Diaz, the ability to perform well against both the pass and the run is essential. Watch Charles diagnose and disrupt a zone scheme against the Razorbacks, beating the running back to the spot and dropping him for a loss (2:05):

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