2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings: Adin Huntington, James Carpenter Top the Conference

    There are some surprises at the top as former overachieving underclassmen overtake the 2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings as experienced leaders.

    With James Madison’s Jamree Kromah and Marshall’s Owen Porter off to try their luck in the NFL Draft, there’s room at the pinnacle of the Sun Belt DT Rankings. Transfer portal matriculation has impacted every position, but the conference’s defensive tackle group remains relatively intact.

    With some changes at the top, let’s look at who holds an early lead in the 2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings.

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    2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings

    10) Earl Barquet Jr., UL-Monroe Warhawks

    Earl Barquet Jr. doesn’t have the stats of some of his counterparts on this list, with just 12 tackles, two for loss in 11 games with the Warhawks last season. It was his first season at ULM after two seasons at TCU (2020-2021) and one at USC (2022), racking up 21 tackles, four for loss, and a sack with the Horned Frogs.

    The expectations aren’t as high for the 6’2″, 285-pound senior as they once were, but he’s in a perfect position to shine with fellow ULM DT Aiden Huntington eating up space and double teams.

    9) Elhadj Fall, Georgia Southern Eagles

    Elhadj Fall wasn’t a full-time starter during the regular season but was a force off the bench for the Eagles. He made the most of his 364 snaps on defense with 19 tackles, five for a loss, and four sacks.

    The redshirt freshman from Marietta, Georgia, made his first and only start to end the season in the Myrtle Beach Bowl, recording one tackle. Fall gained valuable experience as a freshman, and he’s set to see more time heading into his sophomore campaign.

    8) Tavian Coleman, Texas State Bobcats

    After starting his career at Trinity Community College (2020-2021), Tavian Coleman spent one year at Utah State (2022) before starting all 13 games for the Bobcats last year. He racked up 27 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks, along with two blocked kicks. He also registered a blocked kick at Utah State, appearing in 13 games with four starts for the Aggies.

    Listed at 6’1″, 295 pounds, Coleman heads into his senior year as one of the leaders of a defensive front seven that finished third in the country in tackles for loss (108) last season.

    7) Henry Bryant III, Georgia State Panthers

    Henry Bryant III spent three years at Louisville (2020-2022), appearing in three games with three recorded tackles. That changed when he transferred to Georgia State last year, playing in all 13 games with 36 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and three sacks, earning a 2023 CFN All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention selection.

    At 6’0″, 290 pounds, Bryant III still has two seasons left to play, entering his junior season as the unquestioned starter.

    6) Denzel Lowry, Old Dominion Monarchs

    A two-year starter with two years left, Denzel Lowry is entering his fourth season, having started every game in the last two years. He has 85 career tackles, 10 for loss, and seven sacks, earning a 2023 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention nod after registering 46 tackles, five for a loss, and three sacks last fall.

    MORE: 2024 Sun Belt EDGE Rankings

    Old Dominion finished in the bottom half of the conference for total defense and dead last in sacks, but they’ll have Lowry to help bolster their front seven in the upcoming campaign.

    5) Wy’Kevious Thomas, South Alabama Jaguars

    A sixth-year player entering his fifth year as a full-time starter, Wy’Kevious Thomas has already played in 51 games for the Jags before his final season — amassing 133 tackles, 14.5 for loss, and 7.5 sacks. He was named to the 2023 All-Sun Belt Third Team and a CFN Honorable Mention after registering 38 tackles, two for a loss, and a sack last fall.

    Thomas’ numbers dropped off slightly last year, but his space-eating size — 6’2″, 310 pounds — and wealth of experience still make him a premier DT in the conference, worthy of a spot in our 2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings.

    4) TyQaze Leggs, Marshall Thundering Herd

    TyQaze Leggs has been a solid rotational piece for Marshall’s defensive line the last three seasons, amassing 97 tackles, 14 for loss with six sacks in 32 games with the Herd. He registered 41 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and three sacks last year, earning a 2023 CFN All-Sun Belt Second Team selection.

    The 6’2″, 300-pound senior saw his role increase in 2023, and his leadership will be needed in Huntington with others on defense departing ahead of the 2024 college football campaign.

    3) Justin Rhodes, Georgia Southern Eagles

    A three-year player at Wingate (2020-2022), Justin Rhodes started all 13 games in his first season with the Eagles, playing a whopping 569 defensive snaps. With 38 tackles, 13 for a loss, 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble recovery, Rhodes earned a 2023 CFN All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention.

    After an impressive first season in Statesboro, the 6’0″, 280-pounder is a welcomed returner for head coach Clay Helton.

    2) James Carpenter, James Madison Dukes

    A consecutive All-Sun Belt Second Team selection (2022-2023) with a 2023 CFN All-Sun Belt First Team nod, James Carpenter heads into his sixth season overall and fifth season as a starter for the Dukes. He was a key part of JMU leading the nation in TFLs (114), finishing fourth on the team with nine, along with 53 tackles, four sacks, and an interception.

    After a record-breaking year, the Dukes’ front seven has been depleted — primarily by the transfer portal — but Carpenter remains in place to take the reins for his final year.

    1) Adin Huntington, UL-Monroe Warhawks

    When Caleb Thomas graduated following the 2022 season, the Warhawks needed a nose tackle to replace the All-Sun Belt player. Adin Huntington transferred in from Kent State (2020-2022) and stepped into that role, earning All-Sun Belt Second Team honors after amassing 63 tackles, 16 for loss, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two batted down passes.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Sun Belt Power Rankings

    He boasts impeccable measurements with a reported 665-pound squat and 38-inch vertical at 6’1″, 280 pounds, making the senior not just one of the most fearsome tackles in the conference, but also in the country. He enters the 2024 campaign atop our Sun Belt DT Rankings, expecting continued dominance on the field.

    2024 Sun Belt DT Rankings | 11-20

    11) Christian Rorie, Texas State
    12) Tyrique Tucker, JMU
    13) Isaiah Gibson Jr., Marshall
    14) Terry Webb, Texas State
    15) Kadarius Miller, Louisiana
    16) Markus Clark, Appalachian State
    17) Myron Warren, Texas State
    18) Jaylan Ware, ULM
    19) Maurice Strong Jr., South Alabama
    20) Julian Peterson, Troy

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!


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