2024 DL Rankings: Williams Nwaneri, David Stone Headline the Class of 2024 Defensive Line

    Utilizing a combination of the industry rankings, just who are the top defensive linemen in the 2024 recruiting class? Where are they headed?

    Utilizing a combination of the industry consensus rankings, who are the top defensive linemen who are set to unleash havoc on the college football world? The top 2024 DL rankings are an interesting mix of players from all corners of the country.

    Class of 2024 DL Rankings

    We’ve seen the DL Class of 2024 under the microscope for years, fixing our recruiting rankings at every turn. Now, with Early Signing Day approaching, just who are the top defensive linemen in this year’s recruiting class and where are they headed?

    In our rankings below, we combine rankings from the big four recruiting websites: 247Sports, ESPN, On3, and Rivals.

    1) Williams Nwaneri, Lee’s Summit North High School

    College: Missouri
    Hometown:
    Lee’s Summit, MO
    Height:
    6’6″
    Weight:
    260
    24/7 Position Rank:
    1
    On3 Position Rank:
    1
    ESPN Position Rank:
    1
    Rivals Position Rank:
    1
    Consensus Rank:
    1

    Some sites have him as a DE, others as a DL, but it hasn’t mattered. Nwaneri is the number-one defensive player in the class, and for good reason. With elite length and jaw-dropping athleticism, Nwaneri is a disruptive force along the defensive line.

    Missouri is capitalizing on its first successful season in a decade by securing Nwaneri, the kind of in-state talent that you shouldn’t let leave the state.

    2) David Stone, IMG Academy

    College: Oklahoma
    Hometown:
    Bradenton, FL
    Height:
    6’4″
    Weight:
    275
    24/7 Position Rank:
    5
    On3 Position Rank:
    2
    ESPN Position Rank:
    2
    Rivals Position Rank:
    2
    Consensus Rank:
    2

    If it wasn’t for Nwaneri, Stone would be the top defensive lineman in this class. A disruptive pass rusher at defensive tackle, Stone boasts rare twitch and athleticism to easily knife through linemen. Stone’s projection into the college ranks is an easy one to make and he is the kind of defensive tackle that can put up 8+ sack seasons.

    MORE: Who Is Dylan Raiola?

    Brent Venables and Todd Bates developed some elite defensive tackles at Clemson, and hope to recreate that at Oklahoma with Stone coming to Norman.

    3) Justin Scott, St. Ignatius High School

    College: Miami (FL)
    Hometown:
    Chicago, IL
    Height:
    6’4″
    Weight:
    310
    24/7 Position Rank:
    3
    On3 Position Rank:
    2
    ESPN Position Rank:
    4
    Rivals Position Rank:
    2
    Consensus Rank:
    3

    A former basketball player, Scott didn’t start playing football until his high school days. After starting on junior varsity as a freshman, Scott made the varsity team as a sophomore and got his first offer in two games. An athletic marvel at 315 pounds, Scott is still learning the finer points of his position, but boasts rare movement skills and carries 315 like it is 270.

    4) Armondo Blount, Miami Central High School

    College: Florida State
    Hometown:
    Miami, FL
    Height:
    6’3″
    Weight:
    250
    24/7 Position Rank:
    9
    On3 Position Rank:
    3
    ESPN Position Rank:
    8
    Rivals Position Rank:
    4
    Consensus Rank:
    4

    One of the best players in the talent pool of Florida, Blount is a two-sport star with football and as a shotput thrower. Where he’ll play at the next level has been debated, but what hasn’t been debated is his talent. A high motor and active hands make him unblockable throughout four quarters.

    Florida State has developed some incredible defensive line talent over the years, and Blount is next up.

    5) Eddrick Houston, Buford High School

    College: Ohio State
    Hometown:
    Buford, GA
    Height:
    6’3″
    Weight:
    265
    24/7 Position Rank:
    6
    On3 Position Rank:
    4
    ESPN Position Rank:
    10
    Rivals Position Rank:
    2
    Consensus Rank:
    5

    Ohio State reached into Georgia’s backyard to secure the commitment of Houston out of Buford. Doubling as both a defensive lineman and tight end, Houston is an incredible athlete who plays three sports for Buford (football, wrestling, and track). A powerful edge setter, Houston overwhelms opposing linemen despite playing in the best competition in the state.

    Ohio State’s defensive line has produced some mega stars over the last decade of play, and Houston seems ready-made to be their next star up front defensively.

    6) Joseph Jonah-Ajonye, Oak Ridge High School

    College: Georgia
    Hometown:
    Conroe, TX
    Height:
    6’4″
    Weight:
    275
    24/7 Position Rank:
    8
    On3 Position Rank:
    6
    ESPN Position Rank:
    2
    Rivals Position Rank:
    5
    Consensus Rank:
    6

    Joseph Jonah-Ajonye didn’t start playing football until his freshman year of high school and decided to fully commit to it as a sophomore after playing both football and basketball the year prior. You wouldn’t be able to tell football is a new sport to him, given his play on the field.

    MORE: What Is the Early Signing Period?

    A long, high-energy defensive lineman who plays both inside and outside on the defensive line, Jonah-Ajonye boasts an incredibly high ceiling. Georgia, given its recent success at developing these kinds of athletes, is a perfect landing spot for him.

    7) Dominick McKinley, Acadiana High School

    College: Texas A&M
    Hometown:
    Lafayette, LA
    Height:
    6’5″
    Weight:
    280
    24/7 Position Rank:
    7
    On3 Position Rank:
    5
    ESPN Position Rank:
    3
    Rivals Position Rank:
    3
    Consensus Rank:
    7

    Another track and football player on this list, McKinley is a talented athlete with incredible strength in his hands. An awesome run defender with an outstanding anchor and a violent play style, McKinley sheds blockers with ease.

    A commit to the former A&M staff, it will be interesting to see if Mike Elko can keep McKinley committed before signing day.

    8) LJ McCray, Mainland High School

    College: Florida
    Hometown:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Height:
    6’6″
    Weight:
    260
    24/7 Position Rank:
    2
    On3 Position Rank:
    4
    ESPN Position Rank:
    6
    Rivals Position Rank:
    8
    Consensus Rank:
    8

    With a jaw-dropping frame at 6’6″ and 260+ pounds with room to grow and arms that measure almost 35 inches, McCray is an incredibly high-ceiling player with the athleticism to be one of the best in college football.

    MORE: Latest on LJ McCray: When Will He Sign?

    Much like McKinley, McCray committed to Florida under a different defensive line coach, who is now at Texas A&M. Keeping McCray committed should be Florida’s top priority this offseason.

    9) Aydin Breland, Mater Dei High School

    College: Oregon
    Hometown:
    Santa Ana, CA
    Height:
    6’5″
    Weight:
    290
    24/7 Position Rank:
    4
    On3 Position Rank:
    7
    ESPN Position Rank:
    5
    Rivals Position Rank:
    4
    Consensus Rank:
    9

    A behemoth at a rocked-up 6’5″, 290 pounds, Breland doubles as a track player, placing several records in shotput and discus throwing while also demolishing offensive linemen week in and week out. A superb blend of power, length, and movement skills, Breland fits that Oregon defense to a tee and has an NFL-caliber ceiling.

    Oregon’s development of Brandon Dorlus and rich history of talented athletes gives Breland the development potential to match his upside.

    10) Kamarion Franklin, Lake Cormorant High School

    College: Ole Miss
    Hometown:
    Lake Cormorant, MS
    Height:
    6’5″
    Weight:
    265
    24/7 Position Rank:
    12
    On3 Position Rank:
    8
    ESPN Position Rank:
    9
    Rivals Position Rank:
    3
    Consensus Rank:
    10

    A football and basketball star, Franklin broke out onto the scene with a 17-sack performance as a junior in 2022. His position at the next level has seen some speculation, but he has the frame and ability to handle inside and outside duties at the collegiate level.

    Franklin’s power and quickness off the line of scrimmage have helped him become one of the top defensive linemen in the country. He’ll need some further refinement but the tools for success are there.

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