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Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023 Rankings

Ranking the best outside linebackers in College Football for the 2023 NCAA season as Dallas Turner of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the way

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By admin | November 5, 2023

The game of football continues to evolve from one season to the next as players all across the country at all age groups continue to get bigger, stronger, and faster. In addition to the physical tangibles helping to evolve the game of football, the style of football continues to evolve as well as teams look to get more athletic on the offensive side of the ball while using dynamic playmaking quarterbacks who can make plays not only with their arm but also with their legs. With this changing the outside linebacker position as well as the entire front seven on the defense continues to change to meet up with the talent on the opposite side of the ball. As you look at the Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list each member has the ability to make a big time play.

One of those players that stands out at the outside linebacker position is the Alabama Crimson Tide star linebacker Dallas Turner. Turner, who ranks among the best linebackers in all of college football, is a game changer and player who can disrupt the opponents offensive attack on nearly any play. The Crimson Tigers star has been all over the field this season while recording eight sacks to start the season. As Turner gets a ton of consideration as the best outside linebacker in college football, he is joined on that list by the likes of 

Here is a look at the Top 10 Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings:

Honorable Mention

Chop Robinson

School: Penn State Nittany Lions

Just missing the Top 10 NCAAF Outside Linebacker 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Penn State Nittany Lions outside linebacker Chop Robinson. Robinson is as physical and gifted an athlete as any linebacker or defensive end in the country.

However, the loaded defensive unit of the Nittany Lions limits the ability of just one player standing out as the entire unit ranks among the best in the country.

Entering November, the Nittany Lions defense ranks among the best in college in points allowed as well as total yards per game. Robinson is a key member of that unit while posting three sacks and a forced fumble this season.

Danny Stutsman

School: Oklahoma Sooners

After posting 124 tackles and three sacks last season, Danny Stutsman continues to be a strong defender for the Oklahoma Sooners across the start of the 2023-2024 NCAA season. The Sooners outside linebacker has recorded 73 tackles on the season to go along with two passes defended, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and one return for a touchdown.

While the sacks have not shown up as expected, Stutsman continues to excel on defense while showcasing his ability to examine the field and make plays against both the run as well as passing attack of opposing college football teams.

Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023 Rankings

10. Kydran Jenkins

School: Purdue Boilermakers

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Purdue Boilermakers outside linebacker Kydran Jenkins. The Boilermakers senior is in the midst of his best season of his young football career while setting career highs with 37 total tackles and sacks with seven.

Over two and half seasons with the Boilermakers, Jenkins has posted 16 total sacks and two forced fumbles over that stretch. In eight games during the 2023-2024 NCAA Football season, Jenkins has recorded seven sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 37 total tackles. Jenkins is a tremendous athlete who can make a play on any 

9. Cameron Whitfield

School: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns might not get the recognition or five star recruits as some of the top college football programs in the country, however the team knows how to put together talented players to make them even better.

One of those players is Ragin’ Cajuns sophomore outside linebacker Cameron Whitfield who has shined all season while posting seven sacks to go along with three forced fumbles and 27 tackles. Whitfield has been explosive all season while getting to opposing quarterbacks while also playing strong against the pass and run.

As the sophomore continues to develop, expect Whitfield to rise among the best linebackers down the stretch as well as heading into the 2024-2025 NCAA Football season.

8. Cedric Gray

School: North Carolina Tar Heels

Entering the 2023-2024 NCAA Football Season, Cedric Gray of the North Carolina Tar Heels ranked among the best defensive players returning for the current season. The senior outside linebacker who has posted at least 99 tackles in the previous two seasons is on pace to reach that success during the current season after posting 76 tackles over his first eight games this season. 

Gray is a physically strong linebacker who can do it all on that side of the ball including stopping the run, covering linebackers, and running backs in the passing game.

Gray, who is expected to be a highly recruited player during the 2024 NFL Draft continues to build a strong resume. In addition, with the 76 tackles Gray has posted 2.5 sacks, broke up three passes and one posted one interception.

7.  Jamon Dumas-Johnson

School: Georgia Bulldogs

The SEC conference is loaded with talented stars on the defensive side of the football with Jamon Dumas-Johnson of the Georgia Bulldogs landing among the group.

Despite losing multiple stars each season to the NFL the Bulldogs find a way to retool each season this includes this season as Dumas-Johnson continues to play at an elevated level including over the past three games.

Over his last three games the Bulldogs outside linebacker has been all over the opposing quarterback while racking up 2.5 sacks and recording two passes defensed. Dumas-Johnson and the Bulldogs are looking to three-peat as National Champions as they sit at 8-0 entering November.

6. Chris Braswell

School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Another talented defensive star from the SEC landing among the best outside linebackers in college football is the Alabama Crimson Tide senior outside linebacker Chris Braswell. Braswell is as dynamic as any linebacker in college while being both a strong pass rusher and solid in pass coverage.

The former four-star recruit who is expected to be one of the top linebackers drafted during the 2024 NFL Draft is putting together the best season of his career after recording career highs in tackles (32), passes defended (1), forced fumbles (2), interceptions (1), and sacks (6.5).

Using his quickness off the line, Braswell has been all over the back field this season while using his power to create mismatches against opposing offensive lineman.

5. Jason Henderson

School: Old Dominion Monarchs

Rounding out the Top 5 on the Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Old Dominion Monarchs junior Jason Henderson. Henderson is your prototypical linebacker who is in or near every play no matter if the play is a pass or run.

The former three-star recruit has posted back to back 100 tackle seasons including 117 to start the 2023-2024 NCAA season. In addition to the tackles, the Monarchs linebacker has also found his way into the backfield posting a career high 2.5 sacks over the first eight games of the season.

4. Kaimon Rucker

School: North Carolina Tar Heels

One of the hottest commodities in the NFL is a pass rushing specialist who can get to the quarterback while also being able to play against both the run and pass. That is exactly what the North Carolina Tar Heels senior outside linebacker who can also play the edge is and has showcased all season long.

Rucker is off to an outstanding start to the season while ranking eighth among all defensive players with 7.5 sacks while also ranking third among the linebacker grouping.

In addition, Rucker has been all over the backfield posting multiple games over the course of the season with at least three tackles for a loss in each game. As Rucker’s draft status climbs, the Tar Heels defense continues to shine while continuing to build a resume for a top College Football Bowl this season.

3. Payton Wilson

School: NC State Wolfpack

Another all around outside linebacker that continues to make plays each week is the NC State Wolfpack senior Payton Wilson. Wilson who posted a career high 108 tackles back during the 2020 season has racked up 89 tackles over the team’s first eight games this season to go along with a four sacks.

While Wilson does not rack up among the highest sacks in the country, the Wolfpack linebacker can do it all while also playing in coverage and against the run.

Overall, Wilson has posted 89 tackles this season to go along with two interceptions including a 15 yard pick six while also adding three passes defended. The senior linebacker is a jack of all trades while adding a ton of versatility to the Wolfpack defense. 

2. Nickolas Martin

School: Oklahoma State Cowboys

As you start to look among the best outside linebackers in college football it is hard to look past Nickolas Martin of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Martin who is a versatile linebacker who can get to the quarterback as well as play the traditional role of the linebacker while looking to shut down the ball carrier.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys star defender has shined this season while emerging as one of the breakout stars on the defensive side of the ball while posting a career high 83 tackles to go along with five sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble.

1. Dallas Turner

School: Alabama Crimson Tide

In at number one on the Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2023-2024 Rankings list is the Alabama Crimson Tide outside linebacker Dallas Turner. Turner is a game changer at the outside linebacker position while also having the ability to play the defensive end position.

As the Crimson Tide took a big step back after losing multiple stars on the defensive side of the ball including Will Anderson, Turner has stepped up on that side of the ball across the entire 2023-2024 NCAA Football season

 Over eight games this season Turner has recorded 34 tackles including seven sacks while also recording two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Turner is a big physical linebacker who has quickness and smarts to get to the quarterback while also having the ability to cover opposing tight ends and running backs.

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

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Players Count 10
  1. Payton Wilson

    Outside LB
  2. Mohamed Kamara

    Outside LB
  3. B.J. Ojulari

    Outside LB
  4. Derick Hall

    Outside LB
  5. Nolan Smith

    Outside LB
  6. Nick Hampton

    Outside LB
  7. Byron Young

    Outside LB
  8. Richard Jibunor

    Outside LB
  9. Zion Tupuola-Fetui

    Outside LB
  10. Will Anderson Jr.

    Outside LB
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