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Top 10 Best Defensive Tackles in College Football 2023 Rankings

Ranking the best Defensive Tackles in College Football for the 2023 NCAA season as Shemar Turner of the Texas A&M Aggies leads the way


By admin | November 17, 2023

The defensive side of the football is loaded with playmakers across the board including at the defensive end, linebackers and secondary. However, one position that does not get enough recognition around the college football landscape is the defensive tackle position. The defensive tackle is key to winning the battle in the trenches and opening up lanes for linebackers to get to the ball carriers while also forcing double teams up front to free up paths for the defensive ends. As you look at the Top 10 Best Defensive Tackles in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list each one are big strong physical football players who have the talent to land among the upcoming NFL drafts. 

One of those big physical defensive tackles and lineman is the Texas A&M Aggies junior Shemar Turner. The former four-star and top 100 recruit has slowly developed into a strong presence on the defensive line while also ranking among the leaders in sacks among all NCAA defensive tackles.

As Turner stands out among the position, other top defensive tackles during the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season include Jer’Zhan Newton of the Illinois Fighting Illini, Mekhi Mingo of the LSU Tigers, Jamree Kromah of the James Madison Dukes, and Bryon Murphy II of the Texas Longhorns.

Here is a look at the Top 10 Best Defensive Tackles in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings:

Honorable Mention

Leonard Taylor III

School: Miami Hurricanes

Just missing the Top 10 Best Defensive Tackles in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Miami Hurricanes sophomore defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III. Tayor, who was an all-around immense talent, arrived with the Hurricanes last season as a five star recruit while ranking 4th overall among all prospects entering college two seasons ago.

Taylor who was also the top overall football player in his senior season in Florida continues to develop for the Hurricanes while being a big physical clog up front allowing for his linebackers and defensive ends to get to the quarterback as well as into the backfield.

Dontay Corleone

School: Cincinnati Bearcats

Another defensive star just missing the list of the best defensive tackles is the Cincinnati Bearcats sophomore Dontay Corleone. Corleone enters the final few weeks of the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season ranked among the best defensive tackles in the game while only being just a sophomore.

After posting three sacks as a freshman and 44 tackles, Corleone has continued that success this season racking up three sacks over the teams first 10 games including one in the team’s 24-14 win over the Houston Cougars last weekend. In addition to the three sacks, the Bearcats defender has racked up 35 tackles to go along with one pass defense. 

Top 10 Best Defensive Tackles in College Football 2023 Rankings

10. Tyleik Williams

School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 NCAAF Defensive Tackles 2023-2024 Rankings is the Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Tyleik Williams. Williams, who is just one of the many stars on the Buckeyes’ standout defense, has been a key contributor all season while also ranking among the best tackles in college football.

His play on the line along with other top stars currently have the Buckeyes ranked 2nd in the country while allowing just 9.9 points per game to go along with allowing just 262.2 yards per game. In 10 games this season for the Buckeyes, Williams has posted 42 total tackles to go along with three sacks and a forced fumble. 

9. Jaylon Hutchings

School: Texas Tech Red Raiders

As you look at the size and athleticism among the defensive tackles around college football one player that comes to mind is the Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings.

Hutchings, who comes in at six foot, also weighs 305 lbs. while having amazing strength that allows him to get to the backfield and shut down double teams on the offensive line.

The Red Raiders senior defensive tackle has tied his career high with 3.5 sacks with two games to go including a big time in a state rivalry game against the Texas Longhorns. 

8. Ruke Orhorhoro

School: Clemson Tigers

Another veteran defensive leader among the college football rankings is the Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro. As the defensive tackle and defensive line position gets overlooked, the Tigers star is a physical menace up front while allowing stars on the outside and in the middle of the Tigers defense to make big plays.

The standout football star from Nigeria is wrapping up a strong college career while also building a strong resume as he prepares for a potential career in the NFL. Orhorhoro enters the team’s final few games having posted 19 tackles on the season to go along with one pass defended and three sacks bringing his career total to 10 total sacks.

7. Kris Jenkins

School: Michigan Wolverines

Entering mid-November of the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season the Michigan Wolverines rank among the leaders in college football on the defensive side of the ball while allowing just 232.1 yards per game and an astonishing 7.5 points per game to start the season.

When any defense puts together numbers like that it is easy to find an extensive list of talented players among that roster. One of the Wolverines defensive stars is Kris Jenkins who is a leader as well as a player who should get strong draft considerations during the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Jenkins despite seeing his overall numbers drop this season has been a force up front while also posting 1.5 sacks and one interception this season. 

6. Byron Murphy II

School: Texas Longhorns

The Texas Longhorns continue to stick around among the top teams in college football while looking for an opportunity to land within the College Football Playoffs.

All across the Longhorns roster are talented stars with one of the team’s star defensive players being Byron Murphy II who continues to put together his best collegiate football season while racking up 22 tackles and 3.5 sacks in nine games this season.

Overall, his best overall performance on the season came in the teams 38-6 win over the Baylor Bears, a game in which Murphy II racked up four tackles including two sacks. 

5. Jamree Kormah

School: James Madison Dukes

Landing at number five among the Top 10 NCAAF Defensive Tackles 2023-2024 Rankings list is the James Madison Dukes defensive tackle Jamree Korman joining his teammate Jalen Green as one of the top pass rushing specialists in college football.

While his numbers rank among the leaders at the position, his lack of play against superior teams drops him a few slots. However, it is hard to take away how dominant the Duke’s defensive lineman is up front while also getting after the quarterback.

In his second season with the Dukes, Kormah has racked up a career high 40 tackles while also posting nine sacks while ranking 10th in the country in total sacks 

4. Nelson Caesar

School: Houston Cougars

Another standout defensive lineman that can be considered a hybrid lineman and tackle is the Houston Cougars Nelson Caesar. Caesar is as talented as any pass rushing specialist in the country while being flexible and talented to play anywhere on the defensive line.

Caesar, who is expected to garnish a ton of attention during the 2024 NFL Draft, has been brilliant for the Cougars all season long. After posting eight sacks over the previous two seasons, Caesar has already racked up nine sacks through mid-November of the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season.

The Cougars defensive star has also added one pass defended and a career high 40 tackles over nine games this season. 

3. Mekhi Wingo

School: LSU Tigers

Over the years the LSU Tigers have had a history of landing talented football players on both sides of the football. One of the more recent stars on the defensive side of the football is former Missouri Gatorade Football Player of the Year Mekhi Wingo. Wingo, who started his college career with the Missouri Tigers joined LSU before the start of the 2022 NCAA Football season.

The move paid off as Wingo posted career highs in tackles with 43, sacks with three, and forced fumbles with one. In addition, Wingo was all over the back field disrupting plays. That success has continued this season as Wingo has racked up 22 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks over six games played.

However, Wingo was hurt during the Tigers game against Army back in October shutting him down for the season. Nonetheless it is hard to look past Wingo’s talents among the defensive tackle position.

2. Jer’Zhan Newton

School: Illinois Fighting Illini 

The defensive tackle position is such an adamant part of the game of football and one of the key components to allowing other players on the defensive an opportunity to make plays. One of those standout defensive tackles is the Illinois Fighting Illini junior Jer’Zhan Newton.

Newton who has spent all four seasons with the Illini has racked up 5.5 sacks during each of the previous two seasons including during the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season with the team having two games remaining on their current college football schedule.

The Fighting Illini defensive tackle continues to elevate his draft stock while also being a menace to opposing quarterbacks all season. The production does not stop there as Newton has racked up 42 tackles, two passes defended, and one forced fumble this season after posting 50 tackles in each of the previous two seasons. 

1. Shemar Turner

School: Texas A&M Aggies

In at number one on the Top 10 NCAAF Defensive Tackles 2023-2024 Rankings is the Texas A&M Aggies junior defensive lineman Shemar Turner.

Turner has been a stud on the defensive line all season for the Aggies while ranking among the leaders at the defensive tackle position in sacks with six as well as forced fumbles with two through the teams first 10 games of the 2023-2024 NCAA Football schedule.

In addition to racking up the sacks, Turner has been tremendous at getting through the offensive line and attacking the ball carrier as well while posting 29 total tackles on the season.

How would you rank the Best Defensive Tackles in College Football for the 2023-2024 BCS season? Rank below to be added in the NCAA Power Rankings.

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