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Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023 Rankings

Ranking the best Defensive Ends in College Football for the 2023 NCAA season as Laiatu Latu of the UCLA Bruins leads the way


By admin | May 3, 2024

The ability to get to the quarterback is one of the most essential elements of any defense and one ability that can land a college football player with a high draft pick during the NFL Draft. While the college offense varies from one week to the next as college teams build offenses around the type of quarterback they have, it makes getting to the quarterback even that more difficult. However, for the defensive ends that land on the Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list, each are talented enough to make plays against any offensive attack while making the game even that more difficult for the opposing quarterback.

One of those pass rushing defensive ends that continues to make the lives of opposing quarterbacks miserable is the UCLA Bruins senior Laiatu Latu. Latu, who is expected to be one of the highest defensive ends drafted during the 2024 NFL Draft, has posted his second straight season with at least 10 sacks while having a few games left to add to his career high.

Joining Latu among the best defensive ends in college football includes Mohamed Kamara of the Colorado State Rams, Jonah Elliss of the UTAH Utes, Jalen Green of the James Madison Dukes, and Antwuan Powell-Ryland of the Virginia Tech Hokies.

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

Honorable Mention

Caiden Woullard

School: Miami (OH) RedHawks

Just missing the Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Miami RedHawks junior defensive end Caiden Woullard. Woullard has been a key part of the RedHawks defensive plans all season while also making it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to set back in the pocket on each snap.

Woullard who is coming off four sacks as a sophomore has outpaced himself this season while recording eight sacks over his first 10 games of the season including posting sacks in six of 10 games as well as in five of his last six overall games. The RedHawks defender has posted a career high 31 tackles to go along with one forced fumble and one pass defended.

Ahmed Hassanein

School: Boise State Broncos

In his third season with the Boise State Broncos, Ahmed Hassanein is off to the best season of his college career while setting a career high with nine sacks to start the season.

Hassanein who had posted just two sacks over his first two seasons with the Broncos has slowly come into a zone for the Broncos this season while being one of the teams best pass rushing specialist.

While increasing his draft stock this season, the Broncos star defender has also climbed to 9th in the nation with nine sacks through the first 10 games of the college football season. In addition, Hassanein has added 37 tackles and one forced fumble for the Broncos this season.

Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023 Rankings

10. Tre’Mon Morris-Brash

School: UCF Knights

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings is the UCF Knights senior defensive end Tre’Mon Morris-Brash. Morris-Brash who is from Richmond Virginia is a fifth year senior who has racked up a career 26 sacks over his five seasons including posting a career high 8.5 sacks entering mid-November.

Prior to setting a career high this season, Morrish-Brash had posted six sacks last season and five sacks during the 2021 NCAA football season. The Knights defensive end has shown explosive jump off the line while using his size and speed to get after the quarterback. In addition to the 8.5 sacks, the Knights star defender has posted 44 tackles on the season.

9. Rueben Bain Jr.

School: Miami Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes or the “U” continues to find some of the best players in the country from in state Florida with their latest addition coming in the likes of freshman standout Rueben Bain Jr.

Bain Jr. entered the current 2023-2024 NCAA Season ranked as the 71st ranked incoming freshman in the country as well as one of the top four star defensive standouts entering college.

Reuben has not disappointed during his freshman season while posting 6.5 sacks and forcing two fumbles to go along with one pass defended and 32 total tackles. As Bain Jr has made a name for himself during his freshman season, expectations are set high moving forward for the Hurricanes defensive star.

8. Adisa Isaac

School: Penn State Nittany Lions

Over the years the Penn State Nittany Lions have produced an extensive list of talented defensive players and the same can be said for the 2023-2024 Nittany Lions defensive that is loaded with talent.

That talent has produced at the highest level while ranking 2nd in the country in yards allowed per game on the year at just 239.7 while also allowing the fourth fewest points per game (13.1) as well.

One of those key defensive standouts is the senior Adisa Isaac who has been a key force in the team’s ability to get after opposing quarterbacks while limiting the big play potential. On the year Issac has posted a career high 6.5 sacks to go along with one forced fumble and 27 total tackles.

7. Elijah Roberts

School: SMU Mustangs

Bursting on the scene during the current college football season is the SMU Mustangs defensive end Elijah Roberts. Roberts who had spent the previous three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes elected to transfer to the Mustangs this season while getting a deeper opportunity to star on the defensive side of the football.

Like a few of the other top defenders in the country the move to transfer has paid off both for the Mustangs as well as for his own as he has emerged as one of the best pass rush specialists in the country.

Roberts has posted 8.5 sacks on the season to go along with 23 tackles, one pass defended and one forced fumble. The 6 foot 4 inch senior has showcased tremendous speed and athleticism while getting after quarterbacks this season.

6. Ashton Gillotte

School: Louisville Cardinals

Another defensive end racking up the sacks during the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season is the Louisville Cardinals junior Ashton Gillotte. Gillotte has been a key contributor on a Cardinals defense that ranks 12th in the nation while allowing just 17.1 points per game.

Roberts who has seen his production increase in each of his first two seasons from four sacks to seven sacks last season has reached double digits for the first time this season while posting a career high 10 sacks.

As Gillotte continues to get after the opposing teams quarterback, the Cardinals defender has been solid against the run all season while also forcing three fumbles during the season.

5. Antwaun Powell-Ryland

School: Virginia Tech Hokies

Rounding out the Top 5 on the Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Virginia tech Hokies defensive end Antwaun Powell-Ryland. Powell-Ryland who is in his third season of playing college football, made the decision this off-season to transfer to the Hokies from the Florida Gators.

The move has paid off for both the Hokies as well as Powell-Ryland who has posted a career high nine sacks after recording just 4.5 sacks over his first two seasons with the Gators. The Hokies defender has also ranked among the best players in the country forcing fumbles while posting three to start the season.

4. Jalen Green

School: James Madison Dukes

The Baltimore, Maryland native is making a name for himself while dominating on the defensive line for the James Madison Dukes all season. The senior defensive star enters the final few weeks of the season leading the nation with 15.5 sacks to start the season.

Through nine games, Green has posted at least one sack in seven of nine games including a career high five sacks in the teams 20-9 win over the Marshall Thundering Herd back in October.

The production does not stop their as Green as recorded 50 tackles on the season to go along with two forced fumbles, one interception returned for a touchdown and one pass defended. His production on the field continues to improve his potential draft stock as the final few weeks of the NCAA season approaches.

3. Jonah Elliss

School: Utah Utes

The Utah Utes have ranked among the best defensive teams in the country for most of the 2023-2024 NCAA season. One of the key contributors on the Utes defense is Jonah Elliss who is in his third season with the team.

The junior defensive end has been on a mission all season to get to the quarterback while forcing havoc on them from the opening whistle of the football game to the final whistle of the game.

Elliss through nine games entering mid-November has set career highs in tackles with 37 and sacks with 12. This includes posting 6.5 sacks in four games against AP Top 25 ranked opponents this season.

2. Mohamed Kamara

School: Colorado State Rams

Taking his game to the next step during the 2023-2024 NCAA Football schedule is the Colorado State Rams defensive end Mohamed Kamara. Kamara who is from Newark, New Jersey had logged 16 sacks over the previous two seasons combined entering the 2023-2024 season where the senior has logged 11.5 sacks in the team’s first 10 games of the season.

In addition to setting a career high with 11.5 sacks along with topping the double digit mark for the first time in his college career, Kamara has posted a career high 46 tackles to go along with one pass defended and two forced fumbles.

1. Laiatu Latu

School: UCLA Bruins

In at number one on the Top 10 Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the UCLA Bruins defensive end and pass rushing specialist Laiatu Latu. The senior defensive end who put together a strong junior season including posting 36 tackles and 10.5 sacks, has improved in his final season with the Bruins while elevating his draft stock.

Latu enters mid-November with a career high in tackles with 39 and sacks with 11. In addition, Latu has also recorded two passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one interception over 10 games this season.

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

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