The Texas 10: Ranking the best interior defensive linemen in Texas for 2024 season

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Spring football begins in earnest across the country following Spring Break. The state of Texas is primed for another memorable yar at the FBS level in 2024 with the Longhorns joining the SEC and new coaching staffs at Texas A&M, Houston and UTEP. UTSA begins a new chapter without long-time quarterback Frank Harris as rival Texas State appears set for a Sun Belt title run. The Lone Star State is home to 13 FBS programs

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football will rank the 10 best players at each position continuing with INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN. 

Previous rankings: QB | EDGE | RB 


2023 production: 22 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 5 QBH, 79.9 PFF grade 

A fifth-year senior who's played in 48 games with 12 starts. The departures of future NFL draft picks T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy means the defensive tackle room is Collins’ to lead. The Bastrop Cedar Creek product was a five-star in high school. The former basketball player’s combination of size and athleticism is rare for an interior lineman. 


2023 production: 33 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 QBH, 69.4 PFF grade 

A cornerstone of the Frogs defensive line since arriving from California as a true freshman ahead of the 2022 season, Williams is now an upperclassman. He’s started for TCU in all 27 games over the last two years. He’s a tremendous run stuffer who is growing into a difference maker. A new defensive scheme might unlock even more potential from the junior. 


2023 production: 18 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 81.4 PFF grade 

The strength of the Roadrunner defense in 2024 is likely the interior defensive line and at middle linebacker. Evans is a force that’s hard to move off a spot. His 91.2 PFF grade against the run was second in the state during the 2023 season behind Texas’ T’Vondre Sweat, who's about to be picked by the end of the second round of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. 


2023 production: 15 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 64 PFF grade 

A new era begins in College Station with Mike Elko in charge, but his defensive scheme isn’t unfamiliar to the 12th Man since he was the defensive coordinator for a few years under Jimbo Fisher. Elko’s four-man front requires a big dude in the middle who gobbles up blockers to free up playmaking linebackers. Regis is poised to anchor the interior of the Wrecking Crew. 


2023 production: 46 tackles, 9 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 81.6 PFF grade (Rice) 

The Duncanville graduate transferred to Texas Tech in the offseason after a strong few years anchoring the Rice defense. Carroll was the Owls’ highest-graded defender in 2023 while posting career highs in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, total pressures (31), hurries (20), and quarterback hits (5). He'll be one of the players tasked with replacing 2023 starters Tony Bradford and Jaylon Hutchings.


2023 production: 29 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 64.3 PFF grade

The SMU defense took a major leap forward in 2023 and that led the Mustangs to their first conference championship since the 1980s. To keep momentum going as new members of the ACC, the Ponies need to hold their own on the lines of scrimmage. Roberson is a former P5 recruit who should see a bigger role in 2024 with Elijah Chatman and DeVere Levleston no longer on the Hilltop.


2023 production: 28 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 77.3 PFF grade 

Ratcliff was 15th nationally in PFF’s run stop percentage amongst defensive linemen despite only starting three times as a redshirt sophomore. The former Louisiana transfer has played in 25 games across two seasons at Texas State. He played 449 snaps last season. 


2023 production: 34 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 70.7 PFF grade 

The Baylor defense is predicated on a big, bruising nose tackle who can bully centers and demand double teams. Lanz was that player at times for the Bears in 2023. A more consistent 2024 should help the other pieces around him take a step forward. Baylor allowed over 30 points a game in 2023.


2023 production: 40 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 6 QBH, 78.2 PFF grade 

Brown was a bright spot for a North Texas defense that allowed the 132nd most points in FBS in Eric Morris’ first year in charge of the Mean Green. Brown is an experienced player and one of the defensive leaders in Denton. That unit must improve for North Texas to reach a bowl and compete in the AAC.


2023 production: 20 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QBH, 70.1 PFF grade 

Another wrecking ball in the middle of the Roadrunner defense that 2024 opponents must game plan for, Brown gets into the backfield frequently.

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