The story of the 2023 Defensive Line (on paper) is DEPTH. The Cards are deep at every spot along the defensive line under new DL coach (and Co-DC) Mark Hagen who came to Louisville with Jeff Brohm from Purdue.

In addition to just the overall numbers that UofL has at D-Line, the Cards also have a ton of experience from guys that have played a lot of college football……. AND…… a lot of pieces are interchangeable. So while we’ll speak about players and positions along the defensive line, the truth is that very few guys will stick at just ONE spot. The D-Line should be a strength for the Cards in 2023.

Defensive End

At Defensive End Louisville returns Ashton Gillotte who had 6 sacks and 7 TFLs a year ago in his true sophomore campaign. Ashton came to UofL has an unheralded recruit, but quickly showed potential as a true freshman. Since then, Gillotte has grown into a 6’3, 270 frame and is gunning for a monster junior year that may find him in the NFL draft this coming April.

Mason Reiger also came to Louisville without a great deal of acclaim…… but Reiger is a STUD along the D-line and last year hauled in 7 TFLs playing all 13 games for the Cards. It’s going to be tough to keep Mason off the field as his length and bend really make it tough for offensive lineman to keep their hands on him.

Behind Ashton & Mason is anyone’s guess. It’s possible that Penn State transfer Rodney McGraw can make a move as a true sophomore or that Ryheem Craig sees an increase as a master pass rusher. Or even Victoine Brown who appears to have all of the physical gifts required to play at a high level. Not to mention true freshman Micah Carter from St. X high school here in Louisville or RJ Sorensen who showed some flashes out there in Fall Camp.

My Projected Depth Chart


  • #9 Ashton Gillotte (6’3, 270, Jr.)
  • #95 Mason Reiger (6’4, 250, Jr.)
  • #97 Rodney McGraw (6’6, 260, Soph.)
  • #20 Victoine Brown (6’4, 250, Soph.)
  • #32 Ryheem Craig (6’3, 235, R-Soph.)
  • #92 Micah Carter (6’6, 250, Fr.)
  • #96 RJ Sorensen (6’4, 260, R-Soph.)

Defensive Tackle

Defensive Tackle is a little tough to create a pecking order. Ramon Puryear, from Eastern HS in Louisville, figures to be the frontrunner at this spot. Puryear has played a lot of football and he’s just a dependable player. But Ramon can’t get comfortable as Louisville is likely to unleash Arizona State transfer Jermayne Lole early and often in 2023. Lole played in only one game (the opener vs. Syracuse) last year after an off-season of hype. If Jermayne can stay healthy, UofL has a lot of dangerous options here.

Jared Dawson has gone up to 305 lbs and has also played a lot of football his 3 previous years here as Cardinal. It may very well be Jared Dawson is the eventual starter as well, giving Mark Hagen a tough choice on who his #1 is…. but this is a problem any coach would envy. It’s better to have too many choices than not enough.

Georgia State transfer Jeff Clark comes to UofL with a reputation of just being productive. 39 tackles, 9.5 TFLs a year ago at GSU and Jeff will see time on the field for the Cards. And lastly (but not least) might be the future of the position at UofL in Saadiq Clements. Saadiq from Henderson County, KY was committed to Jeff Brohm at Purdue and switched to UofL when the coaching change happened. Clements’ nickname is the “Boogeyman” had 21 sacks as a senior in HS and chose UofL over Purdue, Florida State and Michigan.

My Projected Depth Chart


  • #41 Ramon Puryear (6’3, 270, R-Jr.)
  • #90 Jermayne Lole (6’3, 310, Gr.)
  • #93 Jared Dawson (6’2, 305, R-Soph.)
  • #58 Jeff Clark (6’0, 290, R-Jr.)
  • #52 Saadiq Clements (6’4, 285, Fr.)

Returnee Dez Tell has played 3 years for the Cards and was a key component of last year’s 2023 defense playing in all 13 games. Tell is STEADY and does his job. I expect Dez to be Louisville’s starting NT this season, but true sophomore Tawfiq Thomas is likely going to get Tell a run for his money. Thomas played in 11 games last year as a true freshman and has gotten really good reviews coming out of Fall Camp. And in the end, you need a lot of bodies to play on the interior defensive line in college football. Both of these guys figure to get a TON of snaps.

Selah Brown from Louisville’s Male High School saw action in 3 games last year and maintained his freshman year of eligibility. Selah beefed up adding 35 lbs to his frame in order to play inside. Joining Selah is his high school teammate William “Woo” Spencer as a true freshman. We’ll see how much these young players contribute out of the gate, but if Hagen is looking for more experience as depth he can borrow from the DTs.

My Projected Depth Chart


  • #99 Dez Tell (6’1, 290, Jr.)
  • #91 Tawfiq Thomas (6’4, 300, Soph.)
  • #44 Selah Brown (6’2, 285, R-Fr,.)
  • #94 William “Woo” Spencer (6’5, 315, Fr.)

My Projected Depth Chart

Stephen Herron from Louisville’s Trinity HS played 4 years at Stanford as a former 4-star high school athlete. Herron was 3rd team All-Pac 12 in 2022 with 6.5 TFLS and 37 tackles while forcing 2 fumbles in 12 games. Herron is a VETERAN player but he has some young and hungry guys looking to take his spot.

Louisville’s highest rated recruit of 2022 was 4-star Popeye Williams. Popeye played in 6 games as a true freshman and added 17 lbs to his frame as the Cards headed into Fall Camp. Kameron Wilson has drawn praise since joining the team as a highly regarded freshman in the 2020 class but hasn’t yet made his impact. That’s partly because of Yasir Abdullah and injuries, but also Kameron just needed time to adapt to college football…… and his time may be now. DL Coach Mark Hagen has gone out of his way to praise Wilson during 2023 Fall Camp.

And the player that UofL probably just won’t be able to ignore is true freshman Adonijah Green (AJ). True freshman don’t typically see a ton of action in college football, but the way AJ’s teammates and coaches speak about his ability, I think we’ll see more of Green that the typical true freshman.


  • #14 Stephen Herron (6’4, 240, R-Sr.)
  • #12 Popeye Williams (6’3, 250, Soph.)
  • #15 Kameron Wilson (6’2, 230, R-Soph.)
  • #98 Adonijah Green (6’6, 225, Fr.)



Running Back

Wide Receivers

Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive Line



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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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